People Lose Babies and Engagement Rings on the High Line All the Time

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Photo: George Rose/Getty Images

"It’s so interesting because people get up there and they lose track of things, " Robert Hammond, co-founder and executive director of Friends of the High Line, told New York last night at the High Line Spring Benefit. He meant both on an existential level — so close to the city bustle and yet so far removed! — and also a deeply practical one.  People "leave their briefcases, their phones, their iPads, and in some cases people have walked away from their baby carriages, with the babies in there!" Uh, that doesn't sound good! But Hammond reassured us.  "The maintenance, they’ll just go and stand next to the baby until they come back. " 

Park staff also has a system for dealing with another commonly lost High Line item: engagement rings. The High Line is a common spot for proposals. (Perhaps because of the romantic lighting —Hammond, who pushed the Park Department for the lowlights,  joked "What gay doesn’t have a dimmer in their apartment — or their park?") He knows of at least three nervously fumbling couples that have dropped the sparkler in their excitement. "Our maintenance guys have developed a hook to get engagement rings out of the cracks, " he said. "People think that it’s gone forever. But the guys use a light and the hook and get it out within minutes." They've done it successfully three times. "I don’t know how many failures."