It took 3 years to transform the Avenue of Death into the Alley of Life. Well, okay, 3 years and $50 million. Regardless, the creators of the High Line Park deserve a round of applause.
In New York City we are tiny creatures surrounded by a mountainous jungle of glass and concrete. The streets and avenues of Manhattan leave little space for real greens. Chelsea is a particularly industrial and gloomy area… Well, it was before the rough old railroad was redesigned into a modern, delightful park.
The first railroad was built in this area in 1847. It opened job positions not only for railway workers and freight handlers, but also for cowboys. In contrast with their Wild West colleagues, West Side Cowboys had to wrangle local citizens instead of cattle. Their actual job was to ride horses around, waving signal flags alerting people of incoming trains. For some reason, humans are not that easy to herd. Despite all precautions, there were still so many lethal accidents involving humans that the road became known as the “Avenue of Death.” Finally, the government found a more efficient solution than cowboys and raised the rails 25 feet above the ground.
The very last train ran through the Highline in 1980. There was no further need for the railways, as advanced transportation systems had been built. Derelict rusty rails were a peeve for everyone, except perhaps vagabonds and hooligans. Society demanded that the city demolish the structure.
The citizens’ demand was finally going to be satisfied in 1999. But, I would not be writing this story if it weren’t for two smart New Yorkers, Joshua David and Robert Hammond, who realized that there were 1.5 miles of expensive Manhattan street that improvident compatriots were going to just destroy.
Robert and Joshua crossed four straight lanes into an H-shaped logo, proclaimed themselves “Friends of High Line” and suggested that the city not destroy the High Line, but create around it. They approached the government with diligent research and detailed planning. After some head-scratching and session-sitting, authorities сoncluded that the idea was nice.
The Friends of High Line got $50 million to repurpose old and rusty railroad. Within three years, High Line Park was formed. It’s now one of the most prominent places in New York.
As the park developed, so did the whole surrounding area. Artists, hipsters, and other modern groups of citizens began to see Chelsea as a desirable place to live and work. Housing pricing rose accordingly.
Those who disagreed with all the changes were confined to the New York version of Bastille: windows bricked closed and gridded.
The secret symbols of Friends of High Line were spotted on some windows.
It is a famous world tradition to transform old industrial sites into contemporary art. When it comes to contemporary art, contemporary graffiti is usually present.
The High Line offers a great view of the two huge red edifices on 23d street. They are named the London Terrace Towers and they represent one of the biggest apartment complexes on Earth and sprawl out across the whole block.
This masterpiece of contemporary development stands proudly just across from the 85-year-old, antique London Terrace Towers.
The next photo represents a prominent, modern piece of a rusty structure:
The garden begins to resemble a jungle:
The High Line flora encourages visitors to practice the art of photography.
The park offers the perfect view of a busy intersection on 10th Avenue. Here, you can sit on a comfortable bench and destress yourself overlooking fellow citizens stuck in relentless Manhattan traffic.
Drinks and snacks can make the show even more enjoyable.
Locals are playing some strange type of poker.
The Chelsea Market Passage provides precious shade, drinks, snacks, and a variety of High Line souvenirs.
This place is called Diller – von Furstenberg Sundeck. It is not necessary to remember the name, just keep in mind that the part of the park between West 14th and West 15th Streets provides some foot bath features.
Living up to its “Sun Deck” name, deck chairs for lounging are featured on this part of the High Line. They are installed directly onto the rails.
Some equipped with wheels are mobile.
Aside from sunbathing and foot-wetting opportunities, the park offers stargazing, boxing, meditation, and a variety of tours and educational programs for both kids and adults. Check the schedule on the official website: http://www.thehighline.org/
Admission Price: free
Address: full list of 11 entrances is here
Dec 1 to Mar 31: 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Apr 1 to May 31: 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM
June 1 to Sept 30: 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Oct 1 to Nov 30: 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM