I visited The High Line with a colleague last Saturday. Friends had recommended it and I’d done a bit of obligatory pre-visit research but I really wasn’t sure what to expect. Retired/disused rail line above Manhattan? I couldn’t help thinking of Sydney’s own recently closed Monorail.
It wasn’t too busy on arrival, or so I thought! There were a few people resting on benches here and there, and to the uninitiated, it looked fairly nondescript. What’s the big deal? I wondered…
Wikipedia describes it as an ‘urban park’ and ‘aerial greenway’, and both terms are true. As I wandered along The High Line, I couldn’t help but be taken in by the profusion of flowers blooming amongst the lush greenery. It seemed strange because New York is all about bricks and mortar to me – except for Central Park, of course – so it was a lovely surprise, a break from the city right within it.
What I loved as well was being able to stroll through the buildings at an elevated level. So much of New York is neck-ache – I was constantly looking up everywhere I went. It made a nice change to be simply looking straight ahead to admire the view. The building above left is the IAC Building designed by Frank Gehry. (I guess I don’t need to mention my penchant for buildings – yet again; suffice to say, this was archi-porn as far as yours truly was concerned.) Apologies to the specimen in the back right. It was pretty cool, too, with its mosaic of windows but I only had eyes for the Gehry.
Street art seen from The High Line
, and cabs, cabs, more cabs, below.
It doesn’t look terribly busy from the pics above, but trust me it was. Not to mention it was a sweltering afternoon in the mid- to high-30C’s and although I was wearing white, my bottom half was in trousers and I was ready to wilt. If you look closely at the guy above, I think you can see his perspiration-soaked shirt sticking to him. Whew! It made a nice change from being in wintery Sydney, although I heard that the last few days have been unseasonally warm with temperatures being at least 6C above the winter average.
Sydney weather aside, there were also food and drink vendors at The High Line
, and although the food looked enticing, we only bought a couple of drinks from the Brooklyn Soda Works
stand which were deliciously refreshing and precisely what the doctor ordered!
We spent some time wandering The High Line
, then the Meatpacking District
and the Chelsea Market
afterward; this was after about three hours of traipsing around the Upper West Side and Midtown before
we even got to The High Line
. I’m not sure how many kilometres we covered that day, but the blistered feet were testament to the walking. I slept well that night (6 hours – good for a jetlagged body)!