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The High Line (New York), June 2009 - 24

Note: this photo was published in a Jun 25,2009 Italian blog titled "Una linea verde passa su Manhattan e nasce l'agritettura." It was also published in a Jun 26, 2009 blog titled "High Line, un parque en una antigua vía de tren elevada." It was also referenced (via a URL) in a Jul 13, 2009 Time/CNN blog article about The High Line Park titled "Above It All." And it was published in a Jul 16, 2009 blog titled "Will We Repair Our Green Infrastructure?" More recently, it was published in an Aug 7, 2009 blog titled "On the High Line and Various Lights." And it was published as an illustration in a Sep 2009 Mahalo blog titled "High Line," at www-dot-mahalo-dot-com-slash-High-dashLine. It was also published in an Oct 14, 200 blog titled "GOOD Events: New York City’s High Line Park: A Walking Tour GOOD Events: New York City’s High Line Park: A Walking Tour." More recently, it was published in an Oct 20, 2009 blog titled "High Line West Side Line, New York City."

 

Moving into 2010, the photo was published in a Feb 19, 2010 Los Angeles Times blog titled "High Line designer wins park job in Santa Monica." It was also published in an undated (Aug 2010) blog titled " Quick Tips for the First Time Jersey Home Buyer."

 

Note: for another look at the High Line, about a month after this set was photographed, and also when the weather was somewhat more interesting, see my Flickr set Return to the High Line - Jul 2009.

 

Note: this photo was published in an undated (early Jan 2011) blog titled "Exercising Tips To Grow Tall." And it was published in an undated (late Apr 2011) blog titled "Home Fitness Tips That Really Work." It was also published in a Jun 9, 2011 blog titled "The Morning Dig: New Phase of NYC’s High Line Opens." And it was published in a Sep 4, 2011 blog titled "The Economic Advantages of the Greenway."

 

Moving into 2012, the photo was published in a Jan 8, 2012 Fitness Websites blog, with the same caption and detailed notes that I had written on this Flickr page.

 

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A recent Wikipedia article informs us that "the High Line is an abandoned 1.45-mile (2.33-km) section of the former elevated freight railroad of the West Side Line, along the lower west side of ... Manhattan between 34th Street ... and Gansevoort Street in the West Village. The High Line was built in the early 1930s by the New York Central and has been unused as a rail line since 1980. Part of it reopened as a city park on June 8, 2009."

 

Since its opening a few days ago, the High Line park has gotten quite a lot of publicity including a June 10, 2009 Huffington Post blog/article titled "Story of Reusing the City: Welcome to High Line," and a June 15-22, 2009 New York magazine article titled "The Twin Pleasures of the High Line: A Petite New Park, and a District of Lively Architecture" (the online version of which seems to be much more sparsely illustrated than the hard-copy version, though I've just been alerted to the existence of a PDF image of the photos from that New Yorker article, which you can find here).

 

So I ventured down to the West Village today, along with a gazillion other New Yorkers, tourists, and visitors, to see what it looked like. Photographing the crowds along the walkway was probably a worthwhile exercise, because it serves as a reminder of how many people a park like this must serve, in a city the size of New York. On the other hand, there's no question that I'll want to come back in a few months, after the novelty has worn off, to see what it looks like when it's essentially empty (showing up at 7 AM when the park opens, instead of noon, would probably help too!).

 

It was a gray, leaden day when I strolled through the park, with sprinkles of rain as I reached the northern end of the park at 20th Street -- and that probably didn't do much to help the pictures. I'll come back on a sunny day, sometime, and I may well wait until late afternoon or early evening, in order to catch the sunset glow in the western New Jersey skyline...

 

But for now, the pictures do offer a view of a very different kind of park than most people envision; instead of vast, open, grassy fields and views that try to deny the very existence of the surrounding city, this park is woven right into the abandoned train tracks, the surrounding buildings, and the abandoned piers along the Hudson River. And it has obviously inspired a wave of innovative architecture in the new hotels and office buildings that have sprouted up along the way; where possible, I've tried to identify the buildings, too, so you can draw your own conclusion about whether all of this is beautiful, inviting, or just a little bizarre.

 

If you're interested in finding out more, the afore-mentioned Wikipedia article has a number of links to articles and other resources about the past, the present, and the future of the High Line...

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Taken on June 13, 2009