The High Line, the beautiful elevated park meandering through Chelsea is attracting crowds of strollers clearly enjoying this unusual city oasis. There is a side story quietly unfolding because of this park involving the artist Hyemi Cho whose apartment faces the High Line between 27th and 28th streets. Here is her story.

windows with paintings

neighbor's window with painting

people on highline, watching and taking picture of the windows

Here is the story:

My apartment’s windows look directly onto and are at the same level as the High Line. When I learned that the High Line would be open to the public I thought, “Oh no! I will have no privacy and millions of people from all over the world will be staring into my life, invading my privacy. I will have to keep my curtain closed all the time or be like an animal in a zoo!”


Then I imagined myself cautiously peeking through my curtain looking outside, seeking the sky and river I used to love to see. I thought, “I am a painter. Why don’t I paint the reality of life and put it out to the public.” In this way, I would (re)solve the restriction of my freedom and my frustration of this invasion of my privacy.


The window paintings have brought me, now an animal in a zoo, delightful interactions with people on the High Line. Everyday, I see people laughing at the paintings and photographing them. Sometimes, I actually peek out and wave my hand, the real life recreation of the painting. The surprise on their faces turns to excitement and they wave back, saying “hi” with their hands. I see that my paintings are a good surprise and make people smile and laugh.