Fresh Tracks: A Visit to The High Line

The first thing you’ll notice about New York’s arguably most unique park is its design. A slender walkway raised above the neighborhood of Chelsea, flora and fauna sprout on either side of an even narrower concrete walkway. The raised park seems to stretch on for miles, each part of it just as fascinating to the eye as the next. From the art to the architecture to the collection of native New York state plants, everything about the Highline is designed to catch the eye.

The High Line is a recent addition to the city’s many attractions. Frequented by both tourists and locals, this magnificent park was only a few years ago an unused and rusting train track marring the neighborhood of Chelsea. Still visible in parts of the park are the original rails laid down where the High Line sits. The park is a mile long and the first portion of it was opened to the public in 2009, a second half opening in 2011. It features varying plant life designed to pay homage to the weeds that inhabited the abandoned line before it was converted into a park. Since its conversion, real estate prices have skyrocketed along the walkway as everybody wants a chance to live near the High Line.

The park passes over both the Chelsea market and the Meatpacking district and offers views not only of downtown Manhattan and buildings such as the Empire State, but also provides a view of the Hudson river. Despite the narrow architecture of the park space, designers have managed to fit in a lawn, a water play area, a small food court, and an amphitheater for performers. There is never a dull moment on the High Line.

By Allyson Larcom

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