Sunday, September 25, 2011

The High Line, New York City, 2011

Once upon a time, there existed an elevated rail line that served the lower-to-mid Manhattan west side, and the meat packing industries that flourished there. At certain locations, the rail line actually went through buildings to make loading and unloading the rail cars easier. Completed in 1934, the freight line eventually became obsolete and the southernmost section of elevated track was torn down in 1960. The final train, carrying frozen turkeys, made its run on the remaining track in 1980.

All photos © 2011 by Ken Bausert
unless otherwise noted.

Considered a useless relic and eyesore by many, there were lots of people who wanted to tear the rest of the structure – from just below 14th to 34th Streets – down in the 1990s. Fortunately, city government red tape and lack of funding delayed any demolition and today, the remaining portion of the elevated railway has morphed into New York City’s newest tourist attraction and neighborhood park: The High Line Park. Some unique views of New York City are now enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.

Recently, National Geographic Magazine published a great article on the park in its April, 2011, issue (some of the facts mentioned here are gleaned from that text). The first section of The High Line, running south to north, just west of 10th Avenue, from Gansevoort Street to 20th Street, was opened to the public in June, 2009 (the remaining section, up to 30th Street, opened this past summer of 2011). After reading the Nat Geo piece, Ro and I decided to pay a visit to the park and enlisted some friends to join us; the photos displayed here are from two separate visits.
(As always, click on any photo to enlarge it;
click on it a second time to further enlarge it.)

Above: the northern terminus, at 30th Street.

Above: looking down at 30th Street from the
northern terminus.
What follows are assorted photos from
along the High Line Walk;
I don't think any descriptions are needed.

A concrete paved surface winds its way among wild flowers, trees, and shrubs, just a stone’s throw from old and new buildings housing families and businesses on either side. I understand that some local residents are less than pleased with this new lack of privacy, however.

First visit on May 29, 2011 with (left to right):
Ken, Eileen, Doris, Ro, Jim, and Bob.

Second visit on July 2, 2011 with (left to right):
Ken, Dottie, Bill, Fran, and Fred
(Ro took the photo).

After exiting the High Line at its southern terminus,
it's a short walk west to the Hudson River and
Riverside Park, from where you can see the air
vents for the Holland Tunnel rising
above the river near Canal Street.