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Park Above The Rest: The High Line (New York City)

The High Line NYC - New York City elevated park and Hudson Yard buildings - Happier Place

The High Line is an extraordinary, linear New York City park elevated 30 feet above the streets of Manhattan! It’s the must-see NYC attraction that offers a unique nature getaway.

The High Line is a New York City public park built on an elevated freight rail line on Manhattan’s West Side. The linear park is 1.45 miles (2.33 km) long and runs from Gansevoort Street (just below 12th Street) in the Meatpacking District through Chelsea up to 30th Street – with an extension winding around Hudson Yards to 34th Street.

Neighborhood residents got organized back in 1999 to save the tracks from demolition. In 2009, the High Line opened as a hybrid public space with an emphasis on nature, art, and design. While it’s owned by the city, the nonprofit organization Friends of The High Line is responsible for the maintenance of the sustainable park and the programming of art and events.

The High Line is a perfect reminder that a Happier Place doesn't have to be in 'the great outdoors' but that a nature getaway can be found right in the center of a metropolis. Click To Tweet

The High Line features a harmonious mix of overgrown tracks, flowers, grasses, small trees and well-designed manmade paths, seating areas and changing public art pieces. It’s a lovely place for watching butterflies and bees as well as people and art. Of course there are also the vistas of the Manhattan streets below, the high rises above, the Hudson River to the west and all the fire escapes and home and office windows that can trigger your imagination.

The High Line has 10 entrances, 3 of them with elevators (14th, 16th and 23rd). It’s fully wheelchair accessible – but you’re not allowed to ride a bikes or skateboards up there. From spring to fall you can purchase food and beverages from cafés and kiosks along the rail trail. Unfortunately, you can’t bring your dog. The free park opens every day at 7am, year-round. Closing times vary by season.

South end and entrance of The High Line at Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District.
South end (currently featuring the “Giver Your Daughters Difficult Names” installation by Marinella Senatore) and entrance of The High Line at Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District.
Gansevoort Woodland at the south end of The High Line in NYC.
Gansevoort Woodland at the south end of the linear park.
Overgrown tracks of the elevated freight rail line 30 feet above the streets of Manhattan.
Overgrown tracks of the elevated freight rail line 30 feet above the streets of Manhattan’s West Side.
The High Line takes a turn to wind around the new Hudson Yards development and the old rail yard
The High Line takes a turn to wind around the new Hudson Yards development and the old rail yard.
Take a break. Go outside. And enjoy a walk in nature 30 feet above Manhattan streets on the High Line elevated park.
Take a break. Go outside. And enjoy a walk in nature 30 feet above Manhattan streets.
Looking west from the High Line: view of the Hudson River and cars stuck in traffic.
Looking west from the High Line: view of the Hudson River and cars stuck in traffic.
Looking east from the High Line down 17th Street in Chelsea.
Looking east from the High Line down 17th Street in Chelsea.
10th Avenue Square overlooks 10th Avenue to the north and the continuation of the High Line to the Hudson Yards west of 10th.
10th Avenue Square overlooks 10th Avenue to the north and the continuation of the High Line to the Hudson Yards west of 10th.
Stop. Look. Appreciate... and smell the flowers along The High Line.
Stop. Look. Appreciate… and smell the flowers.
The high rises of the Hudson Yards are still under construction - but already loom tall over the High Line.
The high rises of the Hudson Yards are still under construction – but already loom tall over the High Line.
View of the Empire State Building between the trees of the elevated park The High Line. Happier Place
View of the Empire State Building between the trees of the elevated park.
Empire State Building, purple flowers and bee on the High Line.
Taking a break from the city by focusing on the flowers and bees instead of the Empire State Building.
Butterfly feeding on flowers along the High Line in the middle of Manhattan.
Butterfly feeding and pollinating along the elevated city park in the middle of Manhattan.
"I Lift My Lamp Beside the Golden Door" Mural by Berlin-based artist Dorothy Iannone - at 22nd Street.
“I Lift My Lamp Beside the Golden Door” Mural by Berlin-based artist Dorothy Iannone.
Seen from the High Line: Ramen, female robot, street art, fire escape, plant.
Seen from the High Line: layers of NYC life, work, and a personal Happier Place.
The High Line crosses 27th Street in Chelsea.
The High Line crosses 27th Street in Chelsea.

If you want to see how much the plants and city have grown over time, you can check out two Moving Postcard videos Luci made about the High Line in 2012: High Line Park – In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 112) + High Line Park, New York City (extended version).


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Above The Rest: The High Line - Elevated Park in NYC Happier Place


All photos in this post were taken by Luci Westphal in 2018. By clicking on an individual image you can see a larger version – and even purchase a print if you’re so inclined. More High Line photos.

Above The Rest: The High Line - Elevated Park in NYC
#HappierPlace

2 thoughts on “Park Above The Rest: The High Line (New York City)

  1. Thanks. I enjoyed seeing how the neighborhoods have changed.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed seeing the change. In retrospect, I wish I had paid more attention to where exactly I had taken pictures back in 2009 and 2012, so I could take photos again from the exact same locations. Maybe next time…

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