High on The High Line

Two men went to a community meeting. They didn’t know each other. But they had a similar idea.

Listen to this video.

Just sitting here, reminiscing about last week in New York. I was back for a BlogHer Writers conference. Although my few days there were scheduled tight, I stole a bit of time to visit one of my favorite spots, the The High Line.

For those of you not familiar with this little piece of heaven, it’s a mile-and-a-half-long elevated park, running through the West Side neighborhoods of the Meatpacking District, West Chelsea and will eventually span to Hell’s Kitchen. Originally built as a rail line in the 1930s, it was designed to lift dangerous freight trains off the streets on Manhattan. Today it holds a lush park. The creativity and vision behind this park’s creation is genius.

I climbed the steps up to the park at the 14th Street entrance, near Chelsea Market. It was late Saturday afternoon and the High Line was crazy, jammed packed with tourists and New Yorkers alike. After all it was a beautiful, crisp fall day. What better place to be than 30 feet high up in the sky, in a park, in New York City!

I hung around { loitered! } wanting to lay on one of the wooden lawn chairs – I wanted to take in the aura of the city, once again. After about 15 or so minutes I overheard an old man complain about the crowds. He and his wife left and luckily I was near enough to grab one of their chairs.

I nestled into my lawn chair and closed my eyes for what seemed an hour. I took in all the city’s street sounds, all the people whispering and enjoying the park. The children’s laughter. The few horns that honked in the background blended beautifully into the murmur of people’s quiet voices.

I smelled the scents of the city. You laugh I’m sure, thinking of car fumes and dog pee-drenched sidewalks, but the smells of the bakery, the freshness of a park and the coffee brewing nearby enveloped me.

And the feel. I just sat there and felt infused with the energy that New York City brings me. Much like putting on a sweater right out of the dryer, the energy feels simply electric.

The High Line is definitely one of my recommendations if you’re in New York. Not only is it an oasis in the heart of an fast paced urban jungle, but it’s also a common man’s dream that came true. I love it even more for that reason.

Go for me. And while there, grab a seat, lay back and close your eyes. Sit for awhile. Every one of your senses will enjoy it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~

. . . a nice pinot might make it even better!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~

In 1980, the last train ran along the rail lines that now house the High Line. They carried three carloads of frozen turkeys. There were many attempts to demolish the tracks and make way for development. Thanks to Peter Obletz, a Chelsea resident, an activist, and railroad enthusiast, who challenged them in court. His efforts were followed by Joshua David and Robert Hammond (who didn’t even know each other. . . watch video!) who formed Friends of the High Line which advocated for the High Line’s preservation and reuse as public open space. The result: a beautifully serene park, high above the hustle and bustle of New York’s streets for all of us to enjoy.

1 Comment
  • Pingback:12th Arrondissement in Paris
    Posted at 10:10h, 03 September

    […] crown jewel of this area is the Viaduc des Arts and the Promenade Plantee. Similar to the High Line in New York, this old elevated rail bed has been converted into a park-like walking trail. […]