I needed a nature break after spending a few hours on the crowded floor of PhotoPlus Expo. On the strength of a neighbour’s recommendation, we headed south from the Javits Center to New York’s elevated urban park, the High Line.
We began our exploration at the north end, along the recently completed High Line at the Rail Yards. I noticed several elements that brought to mind the original purpose of this space: tracks are embedded in the bonded aggregate pathway that parallels a fenced-off re-creation of the original rail line overgrown with wildflowers. The broad loop takes visitors around the Amtrak rail yard. Even the fencing contains elements that evoke tracks and ties. While views of the Hudson command attention, careful observers will also notice at least some of the 13 sculptured cubes that make up The Evolution of God by Adrián Villar Rojas. I would love to return in a couple of years to see how the organic elements of this installation sprout and grow and change over time.
There’s an unobrustive children’s play area where the park widens and turns south. “Pershing Square Beams” invites the young (and young-at-heart) to explore an exposed original framework of safety-coated steel gridwork from above and below.
The High Line landscape and surrounding cityscape continued to change as we walked south towards Chelsea. Some sections were quite insulated from the busy streets below, while others included viewpoints overlooking the traffic. We paused several times to enjoy the mix of public art – some permanent and some that changes each month. I wish I’d known ahead of time to bring along a copy of the current month’s map showing the name and location of each piece.
By the time we reached the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Overlook at the south end of the park, it was mid afternoon and we were ready for a bit of lunch. We descended to street level and headed towards Gansevoort Market where I opted for chicken tacos and Mr. GeoK ordered BBQ brisket. Despite the fact that it wasn’t yet finished (it opened just weeks before our visit), it was a busy place.
Although we didn’t know it at the time, walking north to south seems to be the optimal route – at least for now. The south end of the High Line has more proximate access to metro and bus service and more options for food and drink, if desired.
We definitely plan a return visit to the High Line next time we’re in New York. First time through we were somewhat focused on getting from one end to the other. I’d do some advance planning next time, including taking a closer look at a park map (so we’d know where to watch for short spur lines that take you slightly off the main path), getting a better idea of what to look for in terms of public art and probably going later in the day, for sunset / night photography. If you’ve walked the High Line, we’d love to hear your suggestions re: what to look for and when to visit, so please leave a comment and let us know.