Bwog About Town: The High Line
Written by Bwog Staff
In tourism news, perhaps the biggest story of the summer was the opening of the High Line, an elevated park/walkway running from 20th Street to Gansevoort Street. With the sun out and a cool breeze in its hair, Bwog investigated whether the newest tourist trap is worth a visit.
Formerly a freight rail line for factories and warehouses in the Meatpacking District, the High Line was last used for deliveries in the early 1980s. Mayor Michael Bloomberg allocated funding for its transformation in 2004, and the first phase opened this June, with plans to extend it at least to 30th Street and possibly even 34th Street.
The new walkway itself is made of concrete “planks,” which rise on the sides to keep visitors from straying into the plant life (an ingenious way of avoiding actual walls around the vegetation). Hundreds of different plants grow in the stone mulch to the side, most inspired by the plants that grew on the track while it was in disrepair.
But, to be honest, while the plants are somewhat interesting, the real attractions are the many different cool views to be had along the parkway. Because the track runs in between buildings, you of course get a far different perspective on the city than the standard above-street walkway. In addition, part of the walkway runs through an old warehouse, where the city has installed an impressive glass installation by Spencer Finch.
With respect to the views, Bwog’s one piece of advice is to start at the north end, and work your way toward Gansevoort – the best views are to the south, when the harbor comes into view.
Ok, there’s one other piece of advice: go now, while the weather’s still warm. Even this weekend, the walkway was somewhat windy when Bwog was on it, and it can only get colder in a month or so. But while the sun is out (or, even better, while it’s setting), The High Line is definitely worth a visit.
– JCD, photos via JCD and Flickr