Old and rusty train tracks half-hidden by blooming flowers on which butterflies and bees feed, joggers drinking from refrigerated fountains, passers-by photographing modern art, tourists enjoying their coffees seated on design benches, white collars on dark green garden chairs focused on their laptops, architecture enthusiasts taking in the eclectic scene from Frank Gehry designs to the under construction Hudson Yards and the warehouses of the meatpacking district,… Regulars of the High Line enjoy its quietness in the heart of New York City, and so are we, running it from midtown to Greenwich Village and back.
Inspired by La Coulée Verte in Paris that turned an old train track into a city park, the former railway was transformed into a green heaven and has drawn many New Yorkers and tourists to its stunning settings. The one and a half mile long high line (about 2.3 km) appears to be the perfect trail for our early morning run and allows us to take in the views from both ways as we return from the southernmost border of the park while yellow cabs buzz around about nine metres below our feet.
Linking 34th Street to Spring Street, trains had run on the High Line since the 1930’s to carry goods to and from Manhattan’s largest industrial district through the centre of blocks, until truck traffic put an end to it in the 1980’s. Thanks to the Friends of the High Line, the tracks have been preserved and turned into a park, after years of struggle.
The High Line is such a delightful experience that we felt compelled to come back for a sunset stroll to take our time to observe its very specific landscape, wild and tamed. Created by the Dutch planting designer Piet Oudolf, most of the plants of the High Line were selected amongst the ones that had grown naturally on the former train tracks and appear to be drought-tolerant and low-maintenance, making it an example of sustainability.
Claire & Marcella
- For more information about activities in the High Line Park visit the park’s official website.
- We were not very surprised to learn that the planting designer was from the Netherlands, based on the century-long know-how of the Dutch when it comes to flowers and plants. Check out this interesting article!
- Check out this interactive map (quick tutorial) for the specific details to help you plan your trip and more articles and photos (zoom out) about the area!