For much of its history, the western edges of Manhattan neighborhoods like the West Village and Chelsea consisted of small manufacturing buildings and warehouses that served the piers on the Hudson River. Over time, those factories were replaced with residential developments, and shipping largely moved out to Brooklyn and New Jersey. What remained, however, was an abandoned light-rail line, located above street level. After 10 years of lobbying the city, state, and federal governments, the first section of the High Line park opened in 2009. It now extends for 1.45 miles, from Gansevoort Street in the south to 34th Street at its other end. An innovative design by James Corner Field Operations uses native species to preserve some of the feeling the old rail line had when it was overgrown with weeds. It has quickly become one of New York’s most popular attractions, both with residents and visitors who stroll the length of it, as well as a model for other cities attempting to find new uses for old infrastructure.
High Line - The Green Oasis Of Manhattan
Not unlike the Promenade Plantée in Paris, New York’s High Line is a masterpiece in terms of urban development - instead of destroying a perfectly good structure, why not revitalize it? Only 4 years after its grand opening, the High Line became a favorite spot for both New Yorkers and tourists alike - and from what I understand, New Yorkers are extremely picky! That goes in saying just how special this place is. First of all - the views. On one side spans the Hudson River and the Jersey skyline in all their glory, while on the other, the usual Manhattan hustle. A green oasis in one of the city’s most exciting neighborhoods - I’m not sure how New York can get better than this.
Empire state of mind
The High Line Park is a breath of fresh air for anyone looking to escape the concrete jungle of NYC. Popular with locals and tourists alike, this repurposed rail line runs through the Chelsea neighborhood and Meatpacking district.A stroll through this elevated park offers visitors a different perspective with views of New York icons as well as hidden murals and gardens.
Walking the High Line
Once upon a time this aerial park was a railroad running along the lower west side of Manhattan. Now it’s a one mile stretch of elevated greenery dotted with public art and benches and some of the best views of the city. It’s rare to be in the city and be above the noise and the hustle but still outside, with a view and some room to stretch and breathe. The High Line is that rarity. Take a walk on the High Line and see New York City from a different point of view.
NYC's Must-See "Park in the Sky"
The High Line, a public park built on an elevated train track in NYC, should be on the top of any visitor’s list. It is an outstanding example of a visionary, innovative urban park that has saved an important piece of NYC’s history. Built in the 1930s, the High Line’s tracks are 30 feet above street level. They allowed freight trains to deliver directly into the upper floors of the area’s meatpacking factories and also the local post office. By the late 1990s, there were plans to demolish the abandoned tracks, but conservationists rallied to save it. Today’s park stretches 1.5 miles along Manhattan’s West Side and includes views of the Hudson River. It also delivers a different perspective on Manhattan’s urban streets, as well as quirky views of the previously-hidden backsides of residential buildings and industrial factories. The landscaping and seating areas are integrated seamlessly and ingeniously with the tracks. Make multiple visits, if possible, in different seasons to appreciate the unique beauty of the park. The High Line is very accessible—there are various stairways to enter the park, plus gourmet snacks and drinks along the way. Combine a visit with brunch/dinner in the chic neighborhoods of the Meatpacking District or Chelsea. Or better yet, bring a bottle of wine, grab a seat and enjoy the sunset.
NYC's Distinctive Graffiti & Mural Art
While New York City is home to many of the world’s best museums, some of the best art is found on the streets. Since the 1980s when artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring made their marks, NYC graffiti has influenced art, fashion, music and pop culture. Street art is accessible to all and celebrates New York’s colorful diversity and frenetic energy. Some of the best mural art is found decorating the sides of buildings bordering the High Line park. In the photo above, Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra reinterpreted the iconic photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt, VJ Day in Times Square. Other areas for great graffiti are Chinatown, the Bowery on the Lower East Side, 5Pointz, East Harlem, Bushwick, Hunts Point, and DUMBO. So keep your eyes open and your camera ready!
High Line Park
For almost 25 years, the old railroad lines along the west side of Chelsea that now form the High Line Park were an evocative, atmospheric sight in their state of neglect. These elevated tracks ran alongside, and sometimes even through, the buildings that had once housed small factories and warehouses. After the railroad was abandoned, the natural world returned and weeds began to sprout on the tracks creating an untended forest. This would prove to be the inspiration for the High Line Park, a long sinuous park twisting above the city streets that was designed by three of the country’s leading architecture and landscape design firms: James Corner Field Operations, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Piet Oudolf. In place of that untended wilderness, the firms selected native grasses and other plants in scenes that combine contemporary design and inspiration from the landscapes of Manhattan before the city of New York existed. Today the High Line Park which runs from Jane Street (two blocks south of 14th) to 34th Street, mostly along Tenth Avenue, has become one of the city’s most popular attractions—a relic of the city’s industrial past reborn as a surprising urban oasis.