Wednesday, June 29, 2011

One Park

Over the weekend, I also managed to squeeze in an hour to walk the length of High Line Park.

The High Line was built in the 1930s, as part of a massive public-private infrastructure project called the West Side Improvement. It lifted freight traffic 30 feet in the air, removing dangerous trains from the streets of Manhattan's largest industrial district.

As interstate trucking became popular, rail traffic dropped, and the last train rain on the High Line in 1980. After great efforts by Friends of the High Line, a community group, it has been turned into a long, skinny public park that runs right through the Meatpacking District and West Chelsea.

This sounded so cool that I had to go see it. The taxi had a little trouble getting me there (I realized why when I saw that Section Two of the park only opened two weeks ago), but we found it.

It’s really attractive. You walk up the stairs in the middle of a perfectly normal city block, and then you see this greenery.

You could reach over the edge of the park and almost touch the buildings on either side in places. In the days of the High Line as an operating railroad, this allowed freight to be offloaded directly into warehouses and factories on upper floors.

They kept the rails in some places for history and decoration.

There’s also seating, a water feature, various pieces of art.

Here’s the original railroad, overgrown with natural plants and weeds. It’s scheduled to be turned into the final Section Three of the park in upcoming years. And having reached the end of the park, I hopped into a cab and headed back to the hotel to grab my things and fly out of town.

Three shows, two exhibits, one park, and a trip to the Apple Store – that was my 45 hours in Manhattan!

3 comments:

mayberry said...

I'm amazed! I have been meaning to visit the High Line on every NYC trip. Maybe next time.

Anonymous said...

This is unique, especially the train going through a building. Didn't realize that it was for loading and unloading in a warehouse.

Bob said...

oops missed my name on the last comment.