A new project we currently have on the horizon is a video for our friends over at the Freshkills Park Alliance. Having already done a bunch of work about and for the NYC Parks Department with such videos as our High Line Phase 2 piece for Architect Magazine and an award video honoring the former Commissioner Adrian Benepe, the folks at landfill-turned-park decided to reach out to us.
At first I, like I'm sure most of you who are reading this, had to spend a good bit of time attempting to comprehend exactly where this park was physically located along with its timeline for completion or even opening(s). I had heard of a wide variety of excited landscape design and urban chatter about this former landflll, which is said to have been viewable from outer space, that was now being serendipiously converted into New York City's biggest park since Central Park (3 times bigger). After our initial braindump meeting with the park's staff I spent a few weeks milling around the various materials and research that can be "dug" up on the park and it's history (recently released documentary cna be viewed here) spanning all the way back to the city-mover Robert Moses himself. Luckily, our pre-production research and script development coincided with the park's annual public opening in the form of a "Sneak Peek" which we went to for ourselves to see what the staff was so passionate about.
What we found was an astonishingly dynamic and expansive area of beautiful rolling hills surrounding the Fresh Kills water system with industrial and natural features dotting the landscape. The day was chock full of activities such as free bike rentals, kite building/flying, kayaking, eating, exploring and more. It is a shame that this extremely unique park is only open one day a year while funding is still being lined up to open up the various sections in the decades ahead. The sheer size of the park and relatively unknown location in proximity to the masses of New Yorkers will prove to be big issues to explore as we move forward with a video and as the organization continues to expand the public's interest in this amazing asset and not to mention the all important coffers of funders' pockets.