Welcome to New York City's High Line, the latest trend in taking something useless and falling apart and turning it into something beautiful and useful.
The High Line is a handicap-friendly, elevated park running along 10th Avenue from just below 14th Street to 30th Street, with plans to expand to 34th Street in the near future. It is built on old freight rail lines (think rails to trails) from the meat packing district to Chelsea and closer to Grand Central Station.With wildflowers growing along the path, and pretty vistas of The Big Apple, the High Line is a great place for photo buffs. The scenes along the path are timeless and photogenic in all seasons. It also helps that one end is only a couple of blocks away from my favorite photo supply store -- B&H Photos.
For a more comical shot look for the bleachers facing a giant glass window that stretches across 10th Avenue. Here you can pretend, like Ashley, to be run over by cars.
A highlight of the stroll was stopping for ice cream cookie sandwiches from a street vendor. They were gooood. Ashley and I split one with dark chocolate cookies with peppermint ice cream in the center. Don had nutmeg cookies with peanut butter ice cream. The other street vendors' fares looked just as delicious.
My biggest complaint about the High Line is that it is too crowded. I was envisioning a cut-through to get from Point A to Point B without having to deal with traffic lights and slow moving pedestrians. Unfortunately the entire path seemed filled with slow moving pedestrians, many (like me) wielding cameras and stopping to take "the best shot."
A couple of days after going on the High Line, the New York Times ran an opinion story about it. The writer has even stronger opinions about the downsides of the High Line, including the demise of local businesses in the wake of gentrification of the former working-class neighborhood. Sounds like a case of too much success is not necessarily a good thing for everyone.
The park is free and open from 7 AM-11 PM everyday. It is worth a visit, especially on a nice day. While there, visit the neighborhoods below it and support the local businesses.