The High Line, New York City


On our way home from our wild west vacation, we were excited to be able to stop in New York City to visit Lori’s aunt Joan. Joan lives in Chelsea, a really cool part of lower Manhattan. Walk south 20 minutes from Joan’s apartment and you are in Greenwich Village, and the same distance north gets you to the hustle, bustle and energy of mid-town. We had a good visit with aunt Joan, and it was great to see Carlo too.


Before heading out of the city and up to Northampton for the night to see Lori’s sister on our way back to Maine, we planned a short trip to a new park in NYC. The High Line had just recently opened, and it has a really interesting history…

The High Line was built in the 1930s, as part of a massive public-private infrastructure project called the West Side Improvement. It lifted freight traffic 30 feet in the air, removing dangerous trains from the streets of Manhattan’s largest industrial district. No trains have run on the High Line since 1980. Friends of the High Line, a community-based non-profit group, formed in 1999 when the historic structure was under threat of demolition. Friends of the High Line works in partnership with the City of New York to preserve and maintain the structure as an elevated public park. The project gained the City’s support in 2002. The High Line south of 30th Street was donated to the City by CSX Transportation Inc. in 2005. The design team of landscape architects James Corner Field Operations, with architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, created the High Line’s public landscape with guidance from a diverse community of High Line supporters. Construction on the park began in 2006. The first section, from Gansevoort Street to 20th Street, is projected to open in June 2009.

The idea of turning old train tracks into a green area and public park intrigued us, and we were amazed with what we saw. The design and layout of all of the High Line elements – everything from the railings, to the benches, and the wonderful landscaping – though not yet complete, all meshed together in a very stylish way that effectively celebrated both the history and feel of the old train tracks.


As we walked The High Line from 20th Street to Gansevoort Street near Greenwich Village, it was almost surreal to be wandering along such a beautiful pathway right above the streets of one of the busiest cities in the world. Kudos to the “Friends of The High Line” who fought so hard for the preservation and restoration of what is undoubtedly a wonderful addition to NYC. If you ever get the chance to wander along The High Line, take it… you won’t be disappointed.

Our Sunday stroll through (over) the streets of New York City was certainly enhanced by our experience on The High Line, and our brief stopover in the city was rounded out perfectly with a couple of pies from the renowned “John’s Pizza” on Bleecker Street. Ahhhh NYC pizza… nothing compares 🙂

15 thoughts on “The High Line, New York City

  1. expatsophie

    Your photos are great. My sister and I strolled along the High Line the day it opened. It was packed, but still amazing. I was really impressed with what they did with it. The view is great, the relaxed atmosphere is refreshing and you can see the Statue of Liberty from particular points along the route. Brilliant use of public space.

  2. David Patterson

    Thanks for the kind words, and for reminding me about seeing the Statue of Liberty… I had forgotten that you could see it from the park. A unique project… I totally agree that it is an exceptional use of public space.

  3. Thomas

    Thank you very much for this sensationel article. I have read a lot about “The High Line Park” in the last few weeks, but you gave me a special feeling what it meens, to warlk through this special park.

  4. My first trip to New York last month featured me and my travelling companion accidently finding this park. It was at night and the breeze felt so good. It was jam packed but we found a spot to relax and really take in how amazing it was. To convert and old train way to a park is fantastic, they even left the tracks! New York City was amazing and I can’t wait to go back! Thanks for this post!

    • David Patterson

      You are welcome. With all of the other exciting things available in NYC you would think that a “park” would be pretty inconsequential, but I know for sure that the next time I am back in the city I will definitely be heading over to see the progress made on this special project.

  5. As a transplanted New Yorker, I’ve been closely following the fight and the subsequent development of the High Line. I can’t wait to finally see it in person; thanks so much for your photos and thoughts on it.

    • David Patterson

      I too am excited to see the project completed… if what already exists is anything to go by, the finished project will be really neat. When you get a chance to visit in person, pay close attention to how the designers incorporated the personality of the existing materials into the project… the tracks are still there, and I absolutely loved the design of the benches and other resting spots created. The engravings on the new railings detailing the names of the streets below was done very well indeed. Right now it only covers about half a dozen blocks… I can only imagine how impressive this will be when it stretches for one and a half miles!

  6. Argy Nestor

    Makes me want to hop in the car, on a train or a bus and head to NYC just to visit High Line! Thanks for your description!

    • David Patterson

      John… thanks for the share. The Walkway Over The Hudson project looks like another example of forward-thinking and innovative civil engineering.

  7. dg

    Hi big lad. Love your snaps – revived great memories of the pool at the back of Lori’s Mum and Dads place – and the warm summer nights, with the fireflies fluttering over our heads.

    Big news – Got a new job – seconded for a year
    I’m now the Coordinator for the Fermanagh Learning Community. Basically trying to get schools to work together to provide more choices for pupils – maybe even develop some OL learning programmes. Will be in office more NO TEACHING.

    • David Patterson

      Congratulations on the new job. So do you think you will miss being with the kids in school from day to day? Sounds like a very cool opportunity…. will look forward to hearing more about it.

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