the high line: an elevated train track landscaped to the nines

high line-flowers

it does seem that the new york’s newest park, the high line, has been under discussion for a very long time with incredible publicity generated by lots of high end support (“friends of the high line” includes quite a roster of developers, politicians and celebrities like ed norton, stella mccartney and sarah jessica parker, of course).    now, at last, starting next tuesday, the first section of the high line will be open to the public which is pretty darn exciting.  

originally an elevated rail line built in the 1930s to carry freight trains from 14th street up to 34th street on the east side (for more history, there’s this video narrated by ethan hawke), this 60-foot track is in the process of being transformed into a mile and a half park packed with benches, water features, kids play areas and just, hopefully, some beautiful landscaping.  

i certainly am expecting a lot given the hype as well as the reputation of the architects who have designed the work — james corner field operations and diller scofidio + renfro.  yet, i worry, that the wealth behind this unusual walkway, and the surrounding super luxury developments will somehow make this park less appealing.  see this piece in the times. 


based on the reports so far, it appears that the opening of the high line will be highly managed.  first, only the first section (from gansevoort street to 20th street) is open; the remaining half is still in construction.  second, the flow must go from south to north and it’s not clear if lingering will be allowed. and last, and most fun of all, there will be official high line greeters, which i am guessing is a code word for people to help with the huge crowds. 

regardless, i’m excited to check it out though i might pass on opening day, and i’m really kicking myself for not going on the private tour that i could have taken in my last day job — what could have been more important than seeing the high line in mid construction and before the craziness begins.   for places to eat and shop nearby, see my post below.   the high line, entrance on 14th street and 10th avenue, starting on june 9th, open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., manhattan, new york.

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