For those of you who are unfamiliar, the High Line is a relatively new park on the west side in the Meatpacking district built on old elevated train tracks from the 1930s. Kat and I took a walk tonight. We had both actually read today that the second of three sections was opening up tomorrow, but luckily, the ribbon-cutting ceremony was actually this morning. The first section runs from Gansevoort Street to 20th and the second runs to 30th.
Some of the cool features we discovered on our walk:
- There are seemingly hundreds of places to sit down and relax. There are benches, wooden seats in the reclining position, tables, steps, Bryant Park chairs, grass, everything. The park also branches off into so many different look-out points that there is definitely room if you want your own little area of the park or if you just want some quiet time.
- The train tracks are still there (or new ones were installed for the theme?) and are covered in plants. It’s a pretty cute touch.
- Tuesdays are “Stargazing in the Park” nights. The Amateur Astronomers Association of New York brings high-powered telescopes to check out the moon and the planets. The term “stargazing” is a misnomer since you can’t really see the stars around here – which is one of the things I miss from home, but tonight the moon and Saturn were out. Kat and I checked out the moon and all its craters, but we were already halfway up the park by the time Saturn could be seen. According to the events calendar, Wednesdays are “Wild Wednesdays” where you can get a tour of some of the wildlife around, there are tours on Saturdays, and Trisha Brown Dance Company performances on the rooftops nearby some days.
- The water fountains talk to you in creepy computerized voices when the water button is pressed. The most southern one is my favorite because it performs the Elizabeth Barret Browning sonnet which begins “Oh how I love thee, let me count the ways.” The rest of them are just kinda weird. One talks about how you are perfectly safe at that water fountain, but then gives reasons why you shouldn’t feel safe; one talks about how important it is to hydrate and mentions that men sweat more than women (duh); one talks about how you are so hot that you deserve some water (ok, I like that one too). I think it would have been more cool to have them all be love poems, but I guess it keeps people guessing more to have them be random.
- There are some really cool views, like the traffic rushing under you on 10th ave, the sun setting over New Jersey, and the Empire State Building, but there are also some odd views, since you are, after all, in an elevated park in Meatpacking. You are right next to some run-down, abandoned buildings and some apartments being developed where you’re going to be able to see *directly* into the windows and you get a bird’s eye view of lots of auto repair shops. I could imagine some of the views getting pretty sketchy later in the night, but the park closes at 11 so maybe it will be okay.
So you should probably go explore the High Line as well if you haven’t yet. And please let me know if you have any items to add to my “27” list. For realzies.