New York City’s extraordinary public space
Running above the streets of Manhattan’s West Side is The High Line, an elevated railway line that has been transformed into a lush, parklike public space that stretches for 1.45 miles, from West 45th Street to the north to Gansevoorst Street to the south. Abandoned since the 1960s, The High Line was, for almost forty years, a deteriorating and dangerous eye-sore.
Since the day it opened in 2009, the High Line has been immensely popular. Its stunning vistas of the Hudson River and unexpected views of the neighborhoods it passes through and over are delightful. You can pack a picnic, buy a snack along the way, or just enjoy the pleasure of walking. Art installations and food vendors dot the route: ice cream, soda, coffee, baked goods and barbecue. (Here’s a complete list.) If you’d like to visit something along the way (recommended: Chelsea Market), you’ll find more than a dozen places to exit.
The care and attention paid to the design of this marvelous walkway is apparent at every step: from the delicate yet industrial materials used as pavement, decks, walls and rails to the native plant inspired landscape. It is an easy walk, so plan to go from end to end. There is ample opportunity to rest along the route: bleecher seats, short and long benches, chaise lounges, even grassy patches. Carefully planned outcoves and lay-bys offer a quiet place to stand and marvel without obstructing the flow of traffic.
Visit the High Line website for more information.