The Chelsea District, for so long bereft of parks and open space, now has access to the wondrous and trend-setting High Line Park, with an entrance at the midpoint of its north-south route just a short stroll from NYCSCC at 23rd Street and 10th Avenue. With the opening of the northern-most section leading up to and around the burgeoning locale of the Hudson Yards – slated to be the City’s newest and most dynamic neighborhood, and with a whole series of major residential and business towers and parks literally rising before our eyes just west and north of Flatiron and Chelsea – I decided to take a tour of the High Line, starting at 23rd Street near our NYCSCC HQ, and traversing north, then doubling back south to see how much it had changed since my last odyssey a couple of years back – and boy, was it an eye opener – (See this link for an overview of the High Line itself) ! Since my last visit, a whole new section had been created, with buildings and vistas on either side springing up and making the walk an incredible visual treat. For all those attending NYCSCC for an event, take some time after hours and sample this newest, and most compelling addition to New York City’s park system!
The High Line, as you probably know, was an abandoned and rusting elevated rail spur created to service the long-departed manufacturing buildings located along the Hudson River in lower Manhattan; It was spared from the wrecking ball by far-sighted and energetic local visionaries who formed a non-profit conservancy (The Friends of the High Line), and lobbied and fought tooth-and-nail to raise money and, ultimately, transform it from a rusting hulk into a rebuilt and revitalized urban pedestrian pathway that would give city goers a whole new viewpoint on their homes, their lives and their city. It’s the best possible example of a public/private partnership, and of what’s possible when citizens work together in a positive and determined way.
The views of the river and the neighborhoods that it traverses are at once new and familiar. The elevation from street level and the scenes down the avenues give us clear views of many things we did not see before – the river, our buildings, our neighborhoods. And, in a typical New York fashion, its very success has stimulated a building and real estate boom that has led to a series of eye-opening new buildings and remodeled older ones featuring cutting edge design which, as one traverses the paths on the elevated walkway, scream “can you top this?” The High Line is filled with architectural and landscaping treats galore, and it is the perfect place for people-watching in a busy city, complete with street performers, artists selling their wares, kids playing, lovers and families strolling and taking in the sights.
To whet your appetite for a visit to this special NYC-Chelsea-Flatiron Treat, check out this Flatiron Hot! News VIdeo Clip that gives you just a small taste of what you can expect on the High Line.