9 Photos To Inspire You To Explore
High Line Park - New York City
Despite its reputation as an urban jungle, New York is more concrete and glass than lush flora and fauna. However, the High Line Park is an oasis in the metropolis.
The 1.45 mile-long, $152M masterpiece of city planning and industrial renewal makes for the perfect escape from the city hustle. But, the High Line wasn’t always a manicured promenade. It didn’t always showcase dazzling views of the Hudson, the New York skyline, or, for some voyeurs, the exhibitionists staying at the Standard Hotel.
Originally, trains ran down 10th Ave to the warehouses in the Meatpacking District. The freight trains and pedestrians kept playing chicken, and the trains won. So in the 1930’s, the city relocated the railroad tracks onto elevated platforms above 10th Ave. The elevated tracks worked great until trucking replaced trains as the dominant freight transport. The platform fell into disrepair and was forgotten until 2009 when local citizens reimagined it as a public green space.
The High Line is a prime example of New York’s ability to to transform, adapt, and re-invent itself. Today the rail cars have been replaced with wildflowers, the locomotives are gone and pedestrians are the victors. The once abandoned railroad track is now one of the top attractions in New York and is ready for you to explore.
Dense trees and shrubs contrast the old steel at the southern end of the High Line.
Just steps from the High Line is Chelsea Market. From the late 1800’s to the 1950’s, Chelsea Market was home to the National Biscuit Company, more commonly known as Nabisco. This is the hallowed birthplace of the Oreo cookie. The factory long since shut down and the space now features a series of local bakeries and emporiums. Most of the factory’s design details remain intact: the exposed brick, old machinery, and metal beams. But, the fan favorite is this French clock.
The view over 10th Ave is one of the High Line’s main focal points. The architects transformed what was an ordinary bridge into an urban amphitheater with wooden bleacher benches stepping down to a window overlooking cars zooming below.
Artists, who were already flocking to Chelsea’s gallery scene, found an appreciative audience on the High Line. Massive murals, abstract sculptures, and a few performance pieces pop up around and within the park. This creation, aptly named Sleepwalker, is a life-size, hyper-realistic figure of a bald man wearing nothing but a pair of not-so tighty-whities. Eyes closed, mouth gaping open, with arms stretched limply in front of him - this somnambulist finds himself in many a selfie.
This is the northern portion of the High Line near Penn Station that turns westward toward the Hudson. CSX, the rail company that donated the elevated platforms to the High Line, still owns this particular section. This is prime real estate to watch Fourth of July pyrotechnics.
Eduardo Kobra is an artist and designer from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Kobra is known for his massive-scale murals on city walls around the world. This piece could be seen from the High Line at 25th and 10th. Many of you will recognize the photograph this artwork was based on, it’s the iconic V-J Day photo taken in Times Square by Alfred Eisenstaedt. Sadly, the mural has since been painted over, but there is plenty of other Instagram-worthy murals along the High Line.
The concrete slab you’re staring at is The Standard Hotel, a luxury hotel with over 300 rooms. Despite the 1970’s disco vibe, it was built in 2009. The glass curtain theme on the exterior extends to the bedrooms inside; exhibitionists can actually observe downtown Manhattan, the Hudson, and all of New Jersey from their glass-walled shower.
The 23rd St. lawn is a local gem for weekend picnics and people watching. So put on your darkest shades (the ones that are best for people watching), grab a baguette, some refreshments, and go enjoy the High Line's one and only lawn before it looks like this! 👇
Recycled Railways, Frank Gehry & the Atomic Bomb: The High Line Park
Want to explore the High Line? We’ve got you covered. This Sidewalk takes you on a stroll from the Meatpacking District to Chelsea along the High Line. Along the way, you’ll learn about the street art, architecture, infamy, and hidden gems that nestle alongside some of the best views of the city.