Visiting NYC, what I miss most is nature, not something I thought about as a kid. On a recent trip back home, I had a few things I had to do. One key spot on my must-see list was to visit New York’s new-ish High Line. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has taken to greening the city, opening many small median parks, closing streets to traffic and planting lots of trees.
The High Line, an elevated garden built on an old freight railroad line, runs through Chelsea and the Meat Packing district, which, like most of Manhattan, is now upscale. When I was growing up, this area was treacherous, true meat packing was going on as well as other nefarious activities. Today, the neighborhood is bustling with fancy shops and the new High Line is a treasure to behold.
Initially built in 1934, the raised tracks fell into disrepair when the last train ran in 1980. Two locals from the neighborhood spearheaded the renovations, and with cooperation and money from the city, the newly renovated High Line opened to the public a year ago. The plantings are wild and yet beautifully landscaped, with gardeners working daily.
My visit on a muggy June day was literally a breath of fresh air. The views of the city are so different, looking down a street from upon high. There are wooden chaise longues to recline and take in some sun, a small café and a new water element under construction. The day I was there, it was a mix of locals and tourists, lots of moms with strollers…I even caught a glimpse of a butterfly resting on the grasses. There are plans to extend the High Line to 30th Street.
If you are making a visit to NY I highly recommend a trip there and if you are hankering for some nibbles, head to the Chelsea Market nearby where you can find everything from scrumptious lobster bisque to the most outrageous baked treats.