This evening, in the gorgeous October dusk, I took a walk to the Gansevoort Street entrance of the High Line to meet Ann and walk her home. What a treat awaited us in the Chelsea Passage: the incomparable, incandescent Judy Kuhn was warming up for an evening performance. With a partner I can’t identify she was singing the Sondheim heartbreaker “Being Alive.”
Take my advice and cancel your evening plans. Run (don’t walk) to the High Line. Stand outside the barricades (there’s something afoot, a dinner for Cooper Union, it appears) and treat yourself to the rare opportunity of hearing this great singer. If you can’t — if you’re in Timbuktu and the last flight has departed — go and buy her fantastic CD of Jule Styne songs, “Just in Time.” Judy Kuhn does the best cover of “Time After Time” you’ll ever hear. It’s so romantic it’ll knock your socks off. You won’t know what hit you.
At first, on my way south, I was mildly annoyed to be re-routed in the Chelsea Passage. Hoi polloi tonight have to follow the route that the dairy trains took when the High Line was a working railroad; it goes underneath the main part of the Chelsea Passage, under the wonderful Spencer Finch “River That Flows Both Ways” art exhibit. This is how deliveries were made to the National Biscuit Company building, via the “Southern Spur.” Eggs, milk and butter went in; Fig Newtons, Mallomars and Animal Crackers came out.
But I digress. The detour was more than worth it. To have caught that bit of soaring magic as the sun was setting. Well, it was priceless.