My sister and I had three lovely days in New York City last week. Since it was exactly 20 years ago that my sister visited the city last time (August 1989), she had a long list with what she wanted to see. So, we walked a lot (up and down 50 blocks in that heat and humidity was tough!), visited Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s, cooled off in Starbucks – preferably in a Barnes & Noble book store (my sister reads more than I and works in the publishing business), and visited Times Square, however not as impressive in daylight…
We also visited the Frick Collection on 5th Avenue (12 blocks south of the Met, i.e on 70th St) – a great medium-sized museum in a beautiful old Millionaires’ Row-mansion with art from Degas, Whistler, Rembrandt, El Greco and Goya. No queues and do-able in 1-2 hours!
However, the highlight for me was the relatively newly opened High Line Park. I had read an article about the park, a year ago or so, I think in a Swedish newspaper and it sounded like an amazing project – a park on an old railway line, three levels up from the street in the middle of Manhattan!
When we had lunch with the other blogger girls, it turned out that Anna and her boyfriend P also wanted to see the High Line Park, so we decided to meet up at 10th Ave – 20th St on Thursday morning.
Of course J and I were a little late, the train was delayed and then we walked in a brisk pace from Penn Station (32nd St)… Phew! Did I mention that it was really hot and humid? We were already feeling our [fast] walks from the day before and had blisters and aches in our legs… But as soon as we had climbed the stairs and started walking along the park we relaxed. It was so quiet and calm up there, even though you could hear the muted noise from the traffic below.
The High Line Park runs from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues. However, only the section from Gansevoort to 20th Street was opened to the public in June 2009. The rest is still under “construction” or maybe “planting”.
The High Line railway was built at the end of the 1920’s to avoid accidents in the Meatpacking District. The railway on street level was nick-named Death Avenue because of the amount of people getting killed in accidents with the trains transporting meat from the ~250 slaughterhouses in the area.
I like how the vegetation is kept wild and not trimmed into typical park flower beds…
Parts of the railway were placed in tunnels but from the 34th St to Gansevoort St it was elevated in a sort of bridge. The line was discontinued in the 1980’s and the railway tracks were taken over by rust, wild flowers and grass. In 2001 it was decided that the railway bridge should be torn down, but a few enthusiasts decided to try to save it and make it into a park. Read more about the High Line Park on its web-site.
We were trying to work out what this was – just seating to watch the traffic? There’s no stage so it couldn’t be for theatre?
The walking paths’ paving have been designed so that flowers and plants can spread in between the cracks… The billboard is not on the park by sticking up from the street!
You can have a coffee while walking along the park – I hope that they will never go commercial… A Starbucks would just be wrong here!
The Standard Hotel saddling the High Line Park
Anna is enjoying the sunbeds in the Park – some of the sunbeds were movable along the old railway tracks…
The High Line Park view
Street view from the High Line Park
There were not many tourists in the park – probably because it was opened recently and if you have an old guidebook (like I do), it is not mentioned. It is also off the beaten track, most tourists stay around 5th Avenue and Times Square and might prefer the more accessible and famous Central Park. But, personally I will definitely come back to the High Line Park next time I am in New York City!