It’s been a while since I shared any photo essays with you all. What with the move to New York and my being so busy getting all settled and then getting ready for the holidays.
But I am going to correct that today. Now you may not know this but I grew up here so there are very few things that would surprise this veteran New Yorker. I have seen it all and gone up to the highest buildings…and I’ve spent half of my life in the train system, below and above ground.
But I had never walked on a train line…till now!
I am taking you with me on a tour of the High Line in New York. It is a long post but so worth it.
Below is the entrance to the High Line on 34th Street in Manhattan.
And what is this High Line? It is a recycled railway into an urban park. The elevated railway opened in 1934 and served to transport meat between the factories and warehouses of the meat packing district. You can read more about the history here.
The railway closed in 1980 but it was structurally sound. And the gravel was perfect for plant growth. This eventually led the community to remake it into the present park. It has been opened to the public in stages from 2009, to the most recent opening of the upper section in 2014.
My little trip took us from 34th Street which is the newest section all the way down to the start on 12th Street. The photos I am sharing are of my perspective as I walked along the park on a crisp fall day.
To the left you can see the famous Javits Convention Center. As you can see there is lots of construction going on in the city…all the time.
As we continue our walk we can see the Hudson Yards construction area with the rail yard at the forefront. It is the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States and the largest development in New York City since Rockefeller Center.
Let’s zoom in for a second and look at that web like structure to the right, wedged in between the two skyscrapers. It is called “The Shed” an arts center with an exterior shell that opens and contracts to accommodate different events at the same time. In fact if you are an architecture enthusiast like me, watch this video to see how it works.
That red and black structure is called “The Vessel” and is the centerpiece of the public area of Hudson Yards. When it is completed it will consist of 154 flights of stairs, almost 2,500 steps. Now that is a workout!
In the background you can even see the Empire State building. And I have gotten off track…but the point is the High Line is a great place to see so much of the city.
As we continue our walk we see that the area if full of greenery and trees. There are also a number of gardens on the Line, which must be incredible to see in the spring and summer.
A bit further and we encounter this enclosed space that is for concerts and other events.
Here you can see what the line looks like as it crosses above 30th Street. I did not know it at the time but there was construction going on above us and “The Shed” was right behind this area.
As we crossed 30th Street and looked back this is what we saw! That giant metal and glass tower is 10 Hudson Yards, newly built. And the other building is luxury apartments.
Moving along we encounter this condo by Zaha Hadid, a world famous architect. It has robot valets and a private IMAX theater. But what is really impressive is the facade which was sculpted piece by piece.
If you look to the west you can see the Hudson River, and New Jersey.
We continue down towards 26th Street, where we see lots of interesting buildings and also fall trees. There are access points every few blocks leading up to the line. You’ll have to excuse the photography as the weather was unpredictable.
Rest stops are also included at strategic points.
So much foliage it makes you forget you are in the heart of the Chelsea District.
Looking down on 27th Street toward the east we see Chelsea Park to the left.
This sculpture “Sphinx Joachim” by Marguerite Humeau is located on 26th Street. It is a winged lion that is meant to protect the site against potential enemies.
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This interesting condo juts out into the Line and is located on 23rd Street. It is aptly named HL-23 and has huge glass paned windows.
Below you can get a better idea of just how expansive the High Line. The Street Lawn which stretches a block, is where visitors can have picnics and enjoy the parks summer programs.
On 17th Street we come to a Square with trees and benches. To the right is the Overlook.
This is a better view of the square with those ever present benches.
And the Overlook which is right next to the Square. This space is like an amphitheater which allows the visitor to look up onto Tenth Avenue.
You may have noticed that up till now we were only looking at the Streets going across, meaning east to west, underneath the High Line. Overlook is above Tenth Avenue, meaning South to North.
The original train tracks which snake their way up along various points on the High Line path.
We continue on under the Chelsea Market Passage and finally make our way to the end of the line below 12th Street. This is where the Line was severed in the 1990’s.
It was quite a walk for me and not at all what I was expecting.
Like I said I may be a veteran New Yorker but I never expected to see this oasis in the middle of the city. Oh there are many parks and green areas but this is the first time I’ve seen one perched on railroad tracks.
If you happen to visit New York this is a must see. Here is their website and as you’ve seen it is so much more than just a park. I hope you have enjoyed my tour of the High Line in New York.
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