Friday, August 14, 2009
The High Line: From Tracks to Park
On nice weekends Paul and I often will stroll through a park, and New York City has plenty to choose from.
There's Central Park and Prospect Park, of course, but last Saturday we looked about two stories up. We visited the High Line elevated park for the very first time.
The High Line opened to train traffic in the 1930s to eliminate the all-to-frequent accidents between street traffic and freight trains that earned 10th Avenue the nickname "Death Avenue," according to the High Line's website. The last train ran the line in 1980, and Section 1 of the park opened just this past June.
You still can see remnants of the High Line's past in the remaining tracks that line much of the park. As you might expect, the High Line is narrow and long (maybe 10 blocks), and many of the views are industrial. The High Line's location on the far west side of Manhattan means you also can catch glimpses of the Hudson River and New Jersey.
It is odd at first to see the flowers, grasses and trees growing so high above the street below, but that definitely adds to the charm, as do the unique and plentiful benches. It's no Central Park, but it's a creative use of space-- and a creative way to add green to a gray part of the city.