Are you planning a trip to New York on a tight budget? Or perhaps you’re a nature enthusiast who finds yourself overwhelmed in the concrete canyons of Manhattan? Or maybe you’re a New Yorker with only lint in your pockets after paying rent on an apartment even the Smurfs would feel claustrophobic in. Well you can forget about dinner at The Mercer Kitchen or shopping on Fifth Avenue.
One of the great things about New York is that you can experience it on foot. Translation: for free. But depending on which neighborhood you end up in, sometimes you want to see something a little more scenic than a street full of trend setting hipsters (note the sarcasm here), or smears of dog poo on the sidewalk. If a stroll through a recycled railway garden sounds like a nice afternoon to you, check out the High Line on Manhattan’s West Side.
The High Line is an elevated garden between 10th and 11th Avenues, running through the Meatpacking District and Chelsea. Right now it is only open from Gansevoort to 20th Street, but once it’s completed it will be a mile and a half long elevated park extending all the way to 34th Street. The High Line is built on the former elevated freight railroad track for the West Side Line, but now serves as an urban garden for Manhattanites.
Along the aerial garden’s concrete walkways are lush, green vegetation designed by landscape architects James Corner Field Operations and architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro. You can still see the tracks weaving throughout the plants, but near 14th St they have these great fixed and movable seats on the them for guests to enjoy the afternoon sun.
Although you feel like you’re in a desolate part of the city at times, you’re only thirty feet above some of the city’s best restaurants and bars at any given moment.
This time of year the greenery looks more like a wild brushfire hazard than anything, but the experience is not all about the plants. You’ll see views of the Hudson River, New Jersey, The IAC building by Frank Gehry, and the Empire State Building, while peering down the bustling streets of Manhattan.
There’s even an “urban theater” over 10th Ave at 17th Street- a set of stadium style seating enclosed by glass windows for a unique view over 10th Ave.
Who knows, maybe you’ll see some sort of art exhibit while you’re up there. Or just a corner full of a color that catches your eye.
The High Line is open daily from 7a-10p. Check out their website for more information and upcoming events scheduled. And just a friendly tip: the restrooms are only slightly above what you’d expect in a public park, so plan accordingly ladies.