Apple Chronicles: The High Line

After touring Boston and Washington, D.C., we’re back in New York City.  And as a person who likes exploring on foot, I wouldn’t miss The High Line.  It had become one of my favorite places in NYC and here’s the day I walked its route:

My starting point at one end of The High Line in Gansevoort Street.

This is part of a series

The High Line was an elevated freight line on the west side of Manhattan that had become obsolete.  Instead of just removing the structure completely, the city repurposed it by converting it into a 1.45-mile-long linear park.  And the results are just amazing!  It is a great example of how to reuse infrastructure that had outlived its purpose.

I was greeted by a lot of fellow tourists upon reaching the platform.

What’s interesting about it is that it’s run by a non-profit organization yet still free of charge to enter.

Today’s route.

It’s easy to forget that you’re 30 feet up from the ground when you see the beautiful landscaped plants of The High Line.  Here, plants seem to grow like you’re on the ground level, carefully placed to coexist with some of the remaining tracks, pavement, steel, and everything else that makes the structure stand.

Some of the tracks are kept with the vegetation.
There are benches and toilets in some sections.

Did I say that the landscaping is gorgeous?  The plants were strategically placed to maintain that balance between having shade from the summer sun and keeping the views of the city and the sky.  And for those who are weary or needs relief, there are benches and restrooms at certain spots along the route.  They’re not evenly spaced though so it may be a lot of steps away depending on where you are.

It is a great place to view the city.

As The High Line traverses many streets, it is a great spot to do view the city.  And due to the grid layout of the Manhattan, you can practically see through the island!

The landscaping here is just absolutely gorgeous, mixing plants with concrete and steel.
It goes through rows of apartments.

I can’t imagine how expensive these apartments are along The High Line but I imagine that they must have great views from their windows, looking down on the foliage and the people below.  But as much as I like the area, I probably won’t be comfortable living here, especially in apartments at the same level as The High Line, for privacy reasons.  Those that love people-watching may have a totally opposite opinion though.

This is just one of the numerous modern buildings you’ll see along its route.
Sometimes it pays to look back from where you came from as the view may be good as well.

The High Line via Google Maps.

520 West 28th Street by superstar architect, Zaha Hadid.  I was so mesmerized at the fine details of the building that I did not realize that this is the only shot I had.

When I walked on The High Line, I didn’t know that I’d have the rare opportunity to see in person a building designed by Zaha Hadid.  I didn’t knew it at the time when I saw 520 West 28th Street, but something about the design and the attention to details that gave me a hunch.  And a quick Google check confirmed my suspicion.  It’s a residential luxury condo so I can’t just take photos as I please (as respect to tenants), but it’s probably because my eyes were so busy feasting on the sight that I forgot I only had one photo.

A brief history of the High Line near Hudson Yards.

As we reach Hudson Yards, the view opens up to the sight of the Hudson River and New Jersey on the other side.  You also see countless trains parked on the rail yard.

The view of Union City, New Jersey across the Hudson River from The High Line.
Hudson Yards.  It was still all under construction at the time.

What is so amazing about Hudson Yards is that these buildings are standing over actual railways!  In fact, you can look at Google Maps and see the tracks traced under these buildings.  It’s one thing to have buildings near rails, it’s another to have them over the rails, especially if they are supertalls!  This is similar to Trinoma Mall in Quezon City, Philippines which is built atop the MRT-3 train depot—only on a much, much bigger scale!  It was unfortunate that it was all still under construction at the time so I can only look from afar.

Hudson Yards via Google Maps.

Just several meters later, the trail runs aground, returning you back to the city.

End of the line.

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