Tuesday, June 09, 2009
From the High Line to the Groove Line
Urban fetishists and historic preservationists are working themselves into a lather over today's opening of the High Line, an abandoned industrial railroad track on Manhattan's West Side that has been converted into an elevated park.
While I welcome the High Line to the New York landscape and admire the tenacity of those who turned a whim into a reality, I don't really see what the fuss is about. After all, the equally funky Groove Line has been open to the public since 1978.
Heatwave, the urban planners behind the Groove Line, was formed in the early 70s by two GIs stationed in Germany. They gradually added members and refined their sound, whipping up an irresistible disco/funk concoction that resulted in a steady stream of late-70s dance hits.
Though "Groove Line" hit #7 on the charts back over 30 years ago, it's fresher today than an al fresco stroll above the meatpacking district. It was an equally strong followup to their debut hit "Boogie Nights," the title of which was used for P.T. Anderson's superb film about the 70s L.A. adult entertainment industry.
I plan to make it over to the High Line later this week, as it is within walking distance of my office. I don't know what the weather will be like that day, but I'm expecting a Heatwave.
Thanks to Jeremy Sussman for the Groove Line suggestion.