Manhattan’s High Line park is officially a “must-see” attraction for those visiting the Big Apple, according to Yelp.
The elevated railway was active until 1980, then converted into a park in 2009. Now tourists and locals alike can enjoy views of the Hudson River as they walk along 30 blocks above the neighbourhood of Chelsea.
Today, with over 1800 reviews and an average of 4.5 stars the High Line sits at the very top of Yelp’s “local flavour” category. This section is where curious sightseers can find “the wackier listings that make any city unique.”
But “wacky” doesn’t even begin to cover the elaborate park design, nor does it convey how special this modern addition is to New York City.
We gave readers a look inside the park back in 2013, but scroll down to take an updated tour of the beloved High Line.
The High Line starts on West 34th Street. Recent subway extensions have made access to this park of town much easier. The 34th street entrance is a ramp, so it's wheelchair and stroller friendly.
There are five elevator entrances spaced throughout the park as well. On an early November morning, we decided to start at the top and work our way south to 14th Street.
The park was nearly empty at 7:30 a.m. -- a rare sight. We should mention no dogs are allowed on the High Line, so it's probably not a place morning people and their canine friends visit very often.
The park opens at 7:00 a.m. Aside from joggers, I spotted friends having coffee and the occasional commuter taking a scenic route to work.
This section of the High Line 'features a simple path through the existing self-seeded plantings.' These plants grew naturally in the years after the train's closure.
'Our strategy of 'agri-tecture' combines organic and building materials into a blend of changing proportions that accommodates the wild, the cultivated, the intimate, and the social.'
Parts of the park path are paved around the railways. You can see the original turn-switch for the train in this gap under the fence.
When you think 'park,' towering construction cranes and steel beams probably don't come to mind. But the High Line isn't your average park.
Elevated above the streets, walking through the High Line provides the average city-dweller with a wholly unique perspective of the avenues and surrounding buildings.
And the park design itself situates the visitor in a strangely linear but dynamic environment. The benches that seem to be rising from the ground are an example of this.
Sometimes, when the path narrows and the vegetation stands above you, the noise of the city is dulled.
But just a couple hundred feet later, the path opens again. Park staff can be seen trimming plants throughout the day.
The seasonal change in the park is a wonderful aspect. Here in late fall, leaves on some of the trees were still shifting colour.
'The plant selection favours native, drought-tolerant, and low-maintenance species, cutting down on the resources that go into the landscape.'
Some of the walkways are raised above the tracks, which still follow below among the trees and plants.
Another aspect of the High Line's charm is the artwork spotted both on street level and throughout the park itself.
One consequence of the elevated park is the proximity of nearby apartment buildings. The High Line effectively puts thousands of people within eyesight of some residential windows.
As a result, it seems as though renting out or selling these non-private residencies could be tough.
And even the lawn-mowing is done with style here. In the summer, people crowd and covet those bleacher-style sitting areas.
After the lawn area, the pathway narrows again. This can be tough to navigate with crowds, but the early morning stroll was delightful.
There are stairways leading down to the street, in case you're not up for walking the full 30 blocks at once.
As you approach the end of the High Line, the park widens and becomes more interactive. There are food stalls and tables for people-watching or snacking.
These wooden lounge chairs roll along the train-tracks on wheels. You can push two together for a cosy chaise experience. These are also hard to snag in the summer, where people bring books and picnic lunches to lounge around with for hours on end.
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