New York City is famous for a lot of things, not the least of which are its parks and green spaces. And I love those parks, each and every one. But this last visit, I was able to experience one of Manhattan's newest chill zones, more than once, and it has now trumped Central Park, Prospect Park, Battery Park, all of them, as my most beloved place in the five burroughs to hang and wallow in the urban pulchritude of The Big Apple.
It is called The High Line and we walked it both during the day and after dark. BLOWN. AWAY.
So what was/is The High Line? From the official website:
The High Line was built in the 1930s, as part of a massive public-private infrastructure project called the West Side Improvement. It lifted freight traffic 30 feet in the air, removing dangerous trains from the streets of Manhattan's largest industrial district. No trains have run on the High Line since 1980. Friends of the High Line, a community-based non-profit group, formed in 1999 when the historic structure was under threat of demolition. Friends of the High Line works in partnership with the City of New York to preserve and maintain the structure as an elevated public park.
This blocks-long promenade is like some kind of open-air, open-source, avant-garde art installation slash garden slash funhouse that meanders above, below and and through the shifting man-made landscapes of the Lower West Side. I hope you'll enjoy the photos that follow but know that they only hint at the many delights of this brilliant whatever the hell you want to call it.
By virtue of the park's conception and execution, the city itself is transformed into a giant, populated art piece, as if it were built only for our viewing pleasure. FYI, these images are not presented in any sort of logical order; this first shot comes from a section near the south end.
And this shot was taken at the far north end. The leg that runs from the left into the center of the image is a portion of The High Line that is still to be renovated/reimagined.
Here is a wider section that passes through a deep canyon of residential and industrial buildings.
From further up this area, facing the other direction. Dig the groovy balcony facings on the right.
As the light of the day changes, so does the mood and atmosphere, every step of the way. (See some of the train rails still embedded in the path?)
After dark, it is an entirely different experience.