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We Walk the High Line, Part 1

October 19, 2016

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On Sunday, August 7th I made a rash decision: I would walk the entire NYC High Line from start to finish. Ages ago, I had visited the partially completed High Line with friends, so I felt it was time for a return.

Heading south on the High Line – there’s lush greenery everywhere

I also thought that since this was work/research I would go alone. Why subject some poor soul to my boring routine of endless stops for picture-and-note taking?

I started out at 34th Street and Park Avenue with the intention of walking straight across to 12th Avenue where the entrance to the High Line is located. CAUTION: do not do this because it is a killer walk (especially in 80-degree F. weather) that takes forever. Find some mode of transportation even if it’s a horse and buggy.

I cut through Macy’s (for the air conditioning), admired the Ralph Lauren Olympic outfits that were on display right inside the main entrance and then went on my way across 34th. The tourists and shoppers had thinned out a lot by the time I reached 10th Avenue where a lone King Tut’s cart stood selling halal food. I passed on that one.

At 11th Avenue I started looking for a sign that said, “This way to the High Line” but there was nothing. I also spotted a family of four standing on the corner looking dazed and confused. As I surmised, they were also looking for the High Line so I told them we had one more block to go.

At 12th Avenue I spotted six tour buses lined up on the south side of 34th and guessed that I’d finally made it – so had the family. The father waved a cheery good-bye as we all started our High Line trek.

Information about the High Line at the 34th Street and Twelfth Avenue entrance

STARTING UP THE RAMP AT 34TH STREET       

This turned out to be my favorite spot on the entire High Line. One walks up a wide, curvy ramp to a great view across the Hudson River to the west and Manhattan’s concrete jungle to the east. Yes, the cars on the West Side Highway are speeding along down below, but one hardly notices them.

On the High Line looking east at 34th Street and Twelfth Avenue – cranes   and skyscrapers

Note: the designers of the High Line have provided ample seating all along the line. This is very definitely a place for all ages. I saw lots of toddlers jumping around, mothers with babies in carriages and senior citizens taking rest stops. And, best of all, the High Line is FREE.

Lots of seating as soon as one enters the High Line at 34th Street and Twelfth Avenue, a great view of the Hudson River and New Jersey

At 30th Street, it curves east from 12th Avenue, goes over to 10th and continues downtown. My comment: an executive decision must have been made at some point to keep signage to a minimum. I agree with this BUT I think they overdid it. There are almost no street signs to let you know where you are (I saw a barely visible “27th Street” etched on one railing. That was it).

At some points, the High Line and the buildings nearby are definitely “kissin’ cousins”

I did my own market research and asked several people if they knew where they were. No one had the slightest idea. That said there are lots of signs saying, “Protect the Plants. Stay on Path.” And several others saying, “Do Not Give Money to Panhandlers.” (I didn’t see anyone asking for money.)

THE LAWN AT 23RD STREET

This is a pretty spot and a welcome relief from all the wild, bushy greenery. Make no mistake, I love the vegetation overall – but one needs a break periodically. We’ll have more about the High Line next week.

Grassy area along the High Line

The lawn at 23rd Street on the High Line – a nice open, airy break

Shaun Nelson-Henrick

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