Walking the High Line

June 21, 2015

My husband and I climbed the flight of switchback, metal stairs at 24th and 10th Avenue. At the top, we viewed a crowd walking in pairs, some moving to the right, some to the left, on this elevated, garden path. Beautiful foliage surrounded each side of the track and we turned to walk downtown. Our destination: The new Whitney Museum. It forms the ending corner of the High Line at 14th Street.

As we walked, I was reminded of that saying, “If we build it, they will come.” And we did! We came to see this garden path, to enjoy the flowers and have a chance to walk and enjoy the outdoors in a city covered mostly in asphalt and concrete and tall buildings. To the right is the Hudson River. When I look far out, I can see the outline of the Statue of Liberty. To the left, the spire of the Empire State Building peeks above all else. Then at the end is a new look – The Whitney which just opened a month ago. It moved from its location by the Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As we took the stairs down to the street level again, people were everywhere. So crowded.

My friend told me he used to live in this neighborhood in the early 90s while he was in grad school. Then it was the meatpacking district,”Rent was cheap,” he said. “Also, it was a huge hangout for the transgender community and it wasn’t a safe neighborhood to walk around in at night.”

Now the tracks are a tourist destination. Now the museum is another tourist-friendly destination. All the old meatpacking plants are being renovated into hip, new bars and loft apartments. And the rents do not look cheap due to all the new, modern apartment buildings being built.

In just 15 years, a neighborhood has been rebornand I visited it on Sunday while in New York City. I’m happy that an outdoor garden space has been created. I’m happy that so many come to enjoy it. I do wonder where the old inhabitants now live?

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5 thoughts on “Walking the High Line

  1. Tara Smith says:

    Yes, that's an important question. We've displaced so many people, and I fear that the city looks more and more homogenous (and expensive) than ever before. Not a good trend 😦

    Like

  2. Tara Smith says:

    Yes, that's an important question. We've displaced so many people, and I fear that the city looks more and more homogenous (and expensive) than ever before. Not a good trend 😦

    Like

  3. Rdgtchr says:

    Sally- I walked the upper part of the high line a week ago, and the whole thing this past Saturday- the day before you did! Like you, I went to the Whitney. The High Line is such a wonderful gift here in NYC. I love the view, the different perspective, the energy and crowds. It is so fun to see so much life in this part of the city.

    Like

  4. Rdgtchr says:

    Sally- I walked the upper part of the high line a week ago, and the whole thing this past Saturday- the day before you did! Like you, I went to the Whitney. The High Line is such a wonderful gift here in NYC. I love the view, the different perspective, the energy and crowds. It is so fun to see so much life in this part of the city.

    Like

  5. Red Emma says:

    I'm so glad you visited the High Line in New York. It's a wonderful tourist attraction, and also a great place to go in the summertime for those of us who are lucky enough to live here. As for wondering about displaced people, there was not a lot of housing wher the new buildings have gone up — it was mostly abandoned warehouses and factories which hadn't yet been gentrified. Turning the meatpacking district into the Meatpacking District did create new jobs, but relatively low-paying ones. Everything has both its positives and negatives, and the existing High Line is much better than simply tearing it down, which is what was going to happen 15 years ago.

    Like

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