The High Line - read more
When the last train left the High Line in 1980 who would have thought that 35 years later it would blossom as one of the ""must see"" places in New York City? We had visited the High Line several times before and had watched as each section was developed. Now we were returning to see the completed project.
Early on a Sunday morning, street parking was easy to find close to the 14th Street elevator to the High Line. Elevators can also be found at Gansvroot, 16th, 23rd, and 30th Streets. If you don't want to elevate and can't do the stairs, begin at 34th Street, where a gentle ramp goes from street level to the elevated main walkway.
The vision of two friends became ""Friends of the High Line,"" a group that advocated for the High Line's preservation for use as public open space. (website) The High Line is a public park built on historical freight rail lines elevated above the streets of Manhattan's West Side. It runs from Gansvroot Street in the Meat Packing District to West 34th Street between 10th and 12th Avenue. (website)
As we walked we noted the abundance of benches, the smooth walkway, the incredible views and the planting design that has incorporated many species that originally grew wild over the rail beds. (website) Whether walking on concrete planks, aluminum grating or some kind of glued down gravel, it is a smooth walk/ride. Even places where you can walk along the original train tracks are smooth enough for a wheelchair or carriage.
The southern section has a sprinkler area, a number of vendors where one can purchase souvenirs, a drink and/or snack, an outdoor theater area, tables and chairs, and multi-stall, handicapped-accessible restrooms with baby-changing stations (at Gansvroot St.)
We made many stops along our way north, trying to remember and compare how it used to look with how it looks now. The first two sections from Ganssvroot to 30th Street seem to have been fully developed, with new luxury buildings on either side of the walkway and trees and plantings that seem to have matured.
The newest and final section, from 30th - 34th Streets, seems to be a simpler design, featuring self-seeded plnating original to the site, a smooth, glued gravel walkway, and much closer to the river, with incredible views of the Hudson and New Jerse We found a children's play area up here and just a few vendors. We also noted the massive building projects going on at Hudson Yards (next to and over the LIRR yard). It will be interesting to see the future impact of this construction.
When we began our walk (before 9:00 am) it was fairly quiet. By the time we returned to Gansvroot Street for our visit to the new Whitney Museum, (about11:00 am) the High Line was ""packed."" Of course, being a gorgeous Sunday in June most certainly contributed to the number of people enjoying this venue with us.
We have been to the High Line in different seasons, on different dayshe week, and at different times of the day. Each visit is a new experience. We have yet to be able to take a tour, but it will happen.
This is a wonderful oasis in New York City that is easily accessi and one that should not be missed.
As always, we at Destination:Accessible advise you to check a venue's website, www.thehighline.org, when planning a visit, to ""know before you go.""