Escape From New York: The High Line

Hey everyone! I know, I know I promised a regular Monday/Thursday schedule - unfortunately I dropped the ball yesterday. I was running around prepping for my trip to Firefly Music Festival this week! I'm excited to post about that when I get back, but without further ado, here's a little look at my first full walk down the High Line on Manhattan's West Side.

Last week, I got tickets to the Whitney Biennial, which has since ended, but you should go watch their video series about the stories behind the exhibit anyway! It was incredible. The Whitney happens to be right at the end of the High Line, so I wanted to walk it from start to finish, about 1.5 miles from west 34th St. to Gansevoort St. in the Meatpacking District.

For those of you not familiar, the High Line, or High Line Park, is an elevated garden built on the now abandoned train tracks that once accommodated the West Side Line. From the elevated path, you're able to walk through some of the city's most beautiful (and expensive) neighborhoods, Chelsea and the Meatpacking District, as well as all the new construction being done at the Hudson Yards (which looks amazing, by the way).

Along the way, if you go from the North to South entrance like I did, you'll begin with views of the Hudson River and pass by various art installations nestled within the greenery and the trees as you make your way down the West Side.

 This victrola played sounds of the ocean (I think?) in a little seating area between giant fruit trees!

This victrola played sounds of the ocean (I think?) in a little seating area between giant fruit trees!

 These 'Giant's Shoes' were hidden in the heavily wooded area near the birch trees.

These 'Giant's Shoes' were hidden in the heavily wooded area near the birch trees.

 My friends and I struggled to figure out what these were, but settled on the theory of casted dinosaur prints.

My friends and I struggled to figure out what these were, but settled on the theory of casted dinosaur prints.

 This creepy little dude prompted the, "...so is this...art?" conversation, as he was just kind of chilling at one of the tables near Gansevoort St. By far the funniest and most terrifying piece of art we came upon.

This creepy little dude prompted the, "...so is this...art?" conversation, as he was just kind of chilling at one of the tables near Gansevoort St. By far the funniest and most terrifying piece of art we came upon.

My absolute favorite part was about halfway through; we came to a part where the promenade widened and was turned into an open, grassy field. It was a great place to stop and rest, take a photo, and enjoy looking up at the skyline without being pushed by people in the street or, you know, run over.

One thing that I really loved about the aesthetic of the High Line is that a lot of the flora took on a haphazard look (though I'm sure that was fully intended), and kind of gives me "plants recolonize urban space after apocalypse ravages human life" vibes.

Bleak? Sorry. 

All joking aside, I really, really love it. While I enjoy gardens and anything natural as much as the next person, I've never been a huge fan of super manicured lawns and landscapes. There's something about a gorgeous field of wildflowers, or buttercups popping out from between the cracks in a sidewalk that are more striking than any perfectly pruned shrubbery will ever be.

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Only having seen it once before, I was so happy I decided to walk the entirety of High Line Park. The walkway is definitely a really great place to people watch, and provides a welcome change of scenery if city streets are all you see day in and day out. Its unobstructed city views, various art installations, and surprisingly quiet atmosphere make this truly one of the most unique spaces in New York - or any city for that matter.

While much like Central Park in the sense that tourists and locals seem to coexist in perfect harmony, a refreshing aspect about this park is the lack of gimmicky stands, attractions or lines you might see at New York's other major sites. It simply exists as a tiny little jungle above it all, there for you to sit, relax and escape - even if it's just for a minute.