Back on the High Line Again (and again)

After establishing their new part-time nest in the city, the country mice emerged to explore the neighborhood.  A block and a half to the north is the start of the High Line Park (subject of the graphical journal below) and the same distance to the west puts you on the Hudson River Park which runs for miles with separate bike and pedestrian paths along the river.  Long walks in these parks have quickly become part of my daily city-mouse routine.

"West-side Cowboy" rode ahead to clear the tracks

The High Line is a refurbished stretch of the old elevated freight train track that serviced the industrial west side of Manhattan beginning in the 1930s.  The elevated rail line was constructed because there were so many accidents involving the ubiquitous west-side street level freight train traffic that 10th Ave. became known as “Death Avenue”.

The High Line ran along side and even through the middle of industrial buildings to facilitate the loading and unloading of goods – it was quite successful in its day but eventually freight trains lost out to tractor trailers and the last three cars of frozen turkeys rolled from the meat-packing district in 1980.

Since then, the elevated rail spur fell in disrepair and was about to be demolished until a dedicated group of neighborhood volunteers known as The Friends of the High Line lobbied for public and  private support to re-make the structure into a public park space.  After three years, their hard work paid off and in 2002 the Bloomberg administration adopted the project as a cultural and economic revitalization for NYC.  Construction began in 2005 and the first section of the park opened to the public in 2008.

Picture a hidden walkway lifted 30 feet above the streets on massive steel columns studded with rivets. On it you travel down Manhattan’s West Side, overlooking the Hudson River, with views to the midtown skyline… It is the future, and it is built on our past….                             Friends of the High Line

Take a virtual stroll on the High Line below with Opinion8ed2’s photo journal (move cursor onto photo to pause, advance or reverse):

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Not exactly the High Line, but pretty close (Steve Winwood’s classic, Back in the High Life, with some amazingly coincidental footage):


Published in: on September 18, 2011 at 3:02 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Cute. I figured out that you wanted me to play the Winwood video while watching the slide show. They do go together! I think I saw a story about this park on 60 Minutes or some place. But if you’re looking for a long walk out in nature, go to Suffolk county.

    Editor’s response: Thanks Andy, yes and I do appreciate nature with regular long walks on the Wading River beach (of course I have to drive to get there) but in Suffolk you can’t then walk down the block to the new Whitney Museum (currently under construction) and take in their latest collection, go a few more steps to an outdoor cafe for some of the finest cuisine on the planet, walk a few more blocks to the Village Vanguard for a set of Jenny Scheinman’s jazz violin trio, take a moonlit stroll along the Hudson River, move on for a nightcap or homemade gelato at any of the places that stay open to all hours and finally back to nest without having to get behind the wheel of a car. Truly blessed.

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