High(line) Above the City Streets
On the last Friday of July I convinced Nick to play hooky from work and join me on an adventure into New York City. We'd been wanting to take a trip into the city for awhile now. Over the winter holidays we pushed our way through the throngs of city goers with Nick's family. The only benefit from that aggravation, besides spending time with our family, was they didn't punch tickets on the train so we had round trip tickets to use any time we wanted. We said spring then maybe June but finally I said, let's just do this.
Now Manhattan may be fairly small but there are a lot of places to chose from for an adventure. I settled on the High Line, a large "park" built on old train tracks that were elevated over the city streets. Some developers in Philly are thinking of doing the same thing with some old elevated railroad tracks so I wanted to see what it would look like. Plus I had heard tons of things about this amazing open space in New York.
I have a strange love for green spaces in city spaces. I love the juxtaposition of fresh and worn, gritty and clean. I was blown away by the beauty of the High Line. It was an absolutely gorgeous day. There were so many people strolling over the High Line boards but it felt calm, peaceful, and relaxing. The sounds of the city floated up and mixed with sounds of the wind through the trees and the buzz of insects. The gardeners of the High Line have done a wonderful job of making the park seem wild and untamed, just like the city itself. Wildflowers pop up among huge puffs of high grasses and trees straight out of The Jungle Book stretch up towards the skyscrapers.
If the wild life isn't for you, maybe a little culture? Interspersed with the greens were some amazing art installations. From sculpture to murals, the art was a perfect compliment to the nature. The High Line was like the botanical gardens and modern art museum all wrapped up into one.
Nick and I decided to walk the entire length of the High Line from West 30th street to Gansevoort Street down in the Meatpacking District. I think the greatest part of the day was that we had no agenda. Part of this feeling was attributed to not paying for those tickets and part of it was that sunshine. While I love to spend any sunny day in the summer down the Shore, it was fun to experience the city in summer. We usually find time to make it into the city when it's cold and let me tell you that wind around the city blocks is no joke. So while summer in NYC can smell a little (or a lot) like hot trash and feel about the same, there's something to be said about experiencing the city without a coat.
At a certain point on the High Line it runs under a building and its been designated as a sort of "food court." That's a terrible way to describe the delectable little food stands but seriously, it's food all in one place and since I grew up NJ that's what it will be to me. Like I mentioned before there were a lot of people walking along and they all seemed to congregate around the food. While I wanted to try some Delancey's BBQ or tacos or Terroir which had wine and beer, there were just too many people and no seats. I settled for some pictures anyway (of course).
On my little blog here I'm always writing about my adventures in Philly. Philly has become "my" city since Nick introduced me to it. But the best part of where I live is that I'm between two cities. While Philly may be the city of my heart (hello, I got engaged there!) New York City has a special place too. I will probably always be more comfortable with Philly since I've spent so much time there in the last couple of years but there's something magical about NYC. The buzz and energy are tangible and Nick and I have talked about spending more time there in the future, after we save a little bit more!
Just in case you were wondering, I loved the High Line. Our little NYC vacation/adventure didn't stop at the High Line. Nope, the High Line was just the beginning. But I'll write another post since this one has gotten a bit long and picture-heavy. Stay tuned for more NYC adventures coming soon!