My friend Kim came to visit me last weekend, and I was determined to show her a proper New York time of it. And when Saturday dawned gloriously sunny and crisp, I decided that a walk along the High Line would be just the thing - even more so because I'd not yet made it there myself. Naughty, naughty New Yorker!
The High Line, in case you've not heard of it, is a newly-opened park on the west side of Manhattan. It opened in 2009 after years and years of negotiations, delays and debates. The High Line is so called because it's actually built above the city; it's a landscaped stretch of old elevated railroad tracks. The tracks run through what used to be the industrial center of the city, from Penn Station through the Meatpacking District, and have been landscaped in a way that pays tribute to their history. (As of today, the High Line is only finished up to 20th Street, but work on the last 14-block stretch is moving forward!)
The cement blocks that make up the paths recall railroad ties, and the wildflowers and reeds planted along the walkway seem to emerge from cracks in the sidewalk, much as they might in railroad beds left to seed.
One of the coolest things about the High Line is the way it allows for unique vantage points from which to view the city. It's not quite ground-level, nor is it a high-rise, and since it crosses the roadway fairly often, the path provides glimpses into nearby buildings and across vistas that just can't be seen from the ground.
In case you need another reason: see that overpass up there? Right under there, you can buy Butter Lane baked goods as well as popsicles and shaved ice from People's Pops. Yum.