Between the buildings and above the streets…
One of the suggestions from my mum of ‘top things to see in New York’ is the Highline, a 2km long elevated parkway that was once a rail trail through the west side of Manhattan.
We headed up the highline at dusk, after a false start that saw us retreat from rainfall into a trendy looking underground market.
We didn’t eat anything, instead just biding our time until we could pop back out like little groundhogs for Take Two:
The skies cleared- relatively speaking- and we made our way up.
We planned to use our higher vantage point to gaze out over the Hudson, and onwards to New Jersey, but alas!, the north-western most part of the Highline was closed for renovation.
So we instead got a view over the slightly-more-industrial West Side Yards.
The Highline itself is a repurposed rail track. Following an increase in interstate trucking in the 50s, the track saw a gradual decline in use, with just two carloads of cargo passing through a week by the late 70s. Following some discussions, a final trainload of turkeys (truly), petitioning from an organisation called ‘Friends of Highline’, a tonne of donations, and a few more decades, the highline was eventually turned into a public park and walkway, taking inspiration from similar projects in Paris and Germany.
I’m fairly certain that a lot of people will look at these photos and still find the space lacking, from a greeness point of view.
It’s increasingly clear that public space matters. As does the presence of even smallish amounts of real nature. Both for human health and for that of local pollinators
It wasn’t very busy up there (although I imagine this changes a lot as the weather warms), so overall it was mostly just a pleasant way to wander through a bit of green, and a bit of art, and see the city from semi-above.
And as the sky darkened, the city brightened into flashy colour:
We came of the Highline straight into the Chelsea Market, arriving just in time to grab some food before things started to close up for the night.
There was a soupy Dan-dan-mien style noodle…
and for those of us who are more into the slippery kinds of food, some shellfish:
I took an Orient Point Pearl oyster, as well as a littleneck Clam and a Cherrystone Clam, which apparently are all from the New York area.
Because all strolls should end with a snack.