A couple of weekends ago we slowly got ourselves ready for the day and thought about what we should do. I believe it’s easy to get blinded by all the different things a city like New York has to offer. Now, we aren’t the best people maybe to explore and find new areas in a city landscape, but we are working on it. So that morning a few weekends ago I said that I wanted to walk the High Line, because I have heard so much about it, from friends but also elsewhere. There are tons of articles online about “moving to New York”, “10 best things to do in New York” along with “how to cope with a too hot apartment in the wintertime”. The last one might be put into a blogpost later on, together with a ton of other things that can happen in an apartment in New York City. Anyway, walking the High Line seemed like an excellent idea and was a regular “attraction” on many “to do” lists. On top of that, we hadn’t been to any Trader Joes since we moved here, and there are couple of those on the more southern part of Manhattan, well, think mid- to southern part of Manhattan, and one very close to the end of the High Line (well the more northern end of the High Line).
A little bit of History
We actually didn’t walk all of the High Line. The southern end is around Washington St and Gansevoort St. We took the train south from where we live and got off around Lexington and 14th street and walked along 14th street through Chelsea Market before getting on the High Line. Chelsea Market that once was a National Biscuit Company was apparently greatly benefited by the construction of the High Line, which in many areas cut right through the buildings. All I knew about the High Line is that it used to be an old freight rail line that now has been converted to a nice park. It’s only 1.45 miles long, so extremely short. The neighborhoods surrounding that short stretch of rail line got together to save the rail line from demolition a few years back. It all started way back in the mid 1800’s when the railroad run by New York City Central Railroad was becoming a hazard to pedestrians, and by 1910 more than 500 people had been killed by the railroad. It wasn’t until 1924 when the idea of a elevated rail line came to the drawing table, but the very first train to go on these rails didn’t have its virgin trip in 1933. If you are interested in more of the history, but also pictures from the High Line when it was still in use by the freight line you can go to the webpage for the High Line.
Gardens and architecture
What really caught our attention was not the park itself with all the grasses and other plants (and sometimes even trees), but the architecture surrounding the actual High Line. I am not sure what we had hoped to find on the High Line, plantwise, but we were not that impressed. The design of the High Line itself is still very nice. The benches and boardwalks and the fencing are of a “flowy” design but it turns out that some of the design is a real hazard. We saw an elderly woman accidentally stumble on some of the design features on the ground as she was trying to take a perfect picture. Once I noticed that, it really struck me how inconvenient that part of the design really was, especially in an area like this where everyone wants to snap a picture. We of course do not do that great with crowded places but still managed to have a pretty good time. There seem to be a wide range of popularity of the actual High Line. Where we entered was fairly busy, and walking north suddenly became very crowded. But as with everything it always comes and goes in waves. The amount of people sometimes trickled down, and then suddenly increased again throughout the whole walk. The least people I think we encountered at the very end of the High Line. That part is not yet fully developed so maybe that was the reason for that.
Something that is pretty cool to watch are all these skyscrapers south of Central Park. The all are very eye catching, especially since they are most of the time reflective, and show you this lovely blue color on a sunny day, like the one we had.
Have you ever been to New York and walked the High Line? What did you think?