Why New York is Awesome: the Highline

New York City is easily my favorite city to visit. it’s super accessible and always interesting. Last time I was there, I wanted to see the Highline, but didn’t get the chance. This past trip, my cousin took me there to see new york’s growing urban park being developed on existing train tracks spanning from the meatpacking district to midtown.

Not only is the Highline historically significant, it is also a great showcase of how NYC is redeveloping a relic from an older time and make it useful for a new generation. The Highline is an above-ground walking boardwalk/park/botannical garden that has a wide variety of open areas for people to gather.

From the meatpacking district, you can enter the highline from Gansevoort St, near the Standard Hotel. This area is block-to-block full of boutique shops and designer stores.

NYC 2010

One of my favorite areas of the Highline is the amphitheater (aka skybox to 10th avenue). Its wooden benches and giant picture window over 10th ave makes it a great spot to sit and relax.

NYC 2010

From the highline you can get some views of the Statue of Liberty

NYC 2010

Some of the old tracks are still visible, reminding us how this used to be used exclusively for freight trains back itn he 1930s.

NYC 2010

There is plenty of room for artwork on the Highline, potentially the hot, new public artspace. I wish we could use the Highline as an example for DC to take the Dupont Underground and make it art/community space.

NYC 2010

Along the boardwalk, there are giant wooden benches for people to relax and people-watch.

NYC 2010

The benches are kind of unique in that they are on wheels and some of them can roll on the old tracks, so you can make one giant wooden couch to lay on. (pictured has a brake installed, but some do not)

NYC 2010

One of the most interesting buildings on the Highline is the Standard Hotel, which is a hotel on stilts, perched over the highline – and the highline is perched over a biergarten. way to use your vertical space!

NYC 2010

So for it’s ability to reinvent its very limited space, for turning an old rail track into a long pedestrian, botannical, artistic park – New York City fortifies itself as one of the greatest cities in the world.

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