Walk on the High Line in NYC and you’ll experience an outdoor urban oasis like no other in the city. After being abandoned for years, this section of the New York Central Railroad line was turned into an elevated public park in 2009. The Friends of the High Line came together and fought for the preservation of this historic rail trail that runs through the Chelsea neighborhood, beginning at Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District and extending to 34th Street at the Javits Center.
I’ve been to the High Line several times. Once I took a ramble during daylight hours –– it was lovely, albeit crowded. Still, I could appreciate the clever design, lush plantings, and the juxtaposition of a stunning landscape adjacent to 10th Avenue.
Then I meandered one evening after dinner just before the park was about to close. It was quiet, almost desolate, with only a few stragglers remaining minutes before 11 p.m. I found the High Line’s after-dark lights mesmerizing, particularly with Manhattan glimmering in the background.
I spent a full hour late in the afternoon once too. I entered at 14th Street, walked and observed. I saw children playing with one another; business people meeting with their technology in tow; the after-work crowd eating, shopping, and sipping cocktails; tourists mingling with locals; all types of people passing through, and others relaxing for the duration. Honestly, this trip had an effect on me unlike those previously.
On prior visits, I appreciated the High Line, but this time, I truly loved it and didn’t want to leave. I realized what a treasure we have in this almost 1.5-mile green space. The thoughtfully planted path feels like a series of outdoor rooms; a lofty, yet welcome respite overlooking a frenzied city to the east, north, and south, and the calming Hudson River to the west.
New Yorkers near and far, no matter your borough, I encourage you to visit. The High Line is one more reason to love New York.
Enter the High Line at Gansevoort and Washington, 14th, 16th, 18th, 20th, 23rd, 26th, 28th, 30th, or 34th Streets. The entrances at 14th, 16th, 23rd, and 29th provide elevator access. The 34th Street entrance has ramp access that’s open from 7 a.m until sunset (per the website).
Know that the High Line isn’t like other public parks in New York City. You can’t walk your dog here, ride a bike, or toss a frisbee. It’s not that kind of park.
The hours vary by season. While the High Line opens every day at 7 a.m., hours in winter are only until 7 p.m., spring and fall until 10 p.m. and summer until 11 p.m. Regardless of the rules and limited hours, the High Line in NYC is a park that every resident and visitor should experience at least once, but like me, you might find that once is not enough.
Thank you to the Friends of the High Line for believing in this project, fighting for its preservation, and saving this downtown gem from demolition. For more info on the High Line in NYC, visit the website.