Friday, June 10, 2011

"Highline 2"

A view of the Highline looking North
The long-awaited, highly-anticipated Phase II of the Highline (Park) is now open! After what seems like years of gazing up at the previously abandoned train-tracks, the gate finally swung open this week, and despite the 100 degree temperatures, I braved the full length of the park.

And the wait was well worth it!

Lush green lawns, overgrown "fields", trees and shrubs of countless variety - all accent the surprising bird's-eye view one gets while wandering the trails and bridges some 20 feet above the streets below. The new phase, connects the existing park opened a few years ago, and now stretching fully from 12th Street in the Meatpacking District to 30th street in North Chelsea. A full mile.
Winding Walk
Enough cannot be said about the views! And the unexpectedness of gazing between buildings, peeking around a corner or into the window of some of the impressive new architecture that has sprung up along this corridor. Virtually, an entire new neighborhood has been created, grown where once only weeds did, (and a few hundred art galleries!)

Bird Houses, London Terrace, Empire State Building
But nature is still there, in the middle of the city, with indigenous plants, butterflies, bugs and birds. The above image is of a bird-house cluster. Behind which, the mammoth London Terrace Towers can be seen, (a.k.a. my home!) and then the omnipresent Empire State Building.

A Seating Area near the entrance on 23rd Street
The Highline is a masterpiece in perspective, and an urban oasis when seeking respite from the city. There are clever seating options throughout, and green-green grass where the shoes come off and bare feet sink in.

As I stroll along, pausing only to absorb its beauty, I notice buildings I have never seen before, a hidden terrace or courtyard, roof top art invisible from the street, all before reaching the end at 30th street, where cyclone fencing discourages further exploration. There the tracks split East for several blocks of unclaimed marvels, and West, curving out around the Hudson Rail Yards, over toward the West Side Highway and the Javits Center. It is enough to make me realize that even with all this reclaimed parkland available for public the use, the city holds still more promise.
Phase III?

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