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Joel Sternfeld’s photographs show us a time when the High Line was a river of grass.

By **Claire Lambrecht**

Before the high line was the High Line, it was a secret space, a hidden world, a place without adults and placards, where long grass crunched under soiled sneakers, and civil disobedience involved more than stepping off the path. Joel Sternfeld’s images, one of which was on display on a 25 x 75-foot billboard adjacent to the High Line at West 18th Street during the month of June, articulate the bittersweet romance of the abandoned freight track before it appeared in tourists’ “New York City” Facebook albums and Lonely Planet travel guides.

Copyright 2011 Claire Lambrecht

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Claire Lambrecht is an editorial intern at Guernica.

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