A Walk Above the City June 18 2015

by Mariana Palacios Vega

The sun is out and streets are crowded. Time to think about outdoor activities to enjoy in this season. New York city has a range of options spread around the 5 boroughs. But today we are going to suggest a delightful choice in the West Lower Manhattan. The High Line, a unique path above the city next to the Hudson river, that runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street. Here you can stroll and relax, walk down this particular structure, while enjoying different propositions along the way (art, music, green areas among others.) 

Friends of High Line, a non-profit organization responsible not only for the construction of this linear park, but for the improvements it has had along the years. They say “we seek to engage the vibrant and diverse community on and around the High Line, and to raise the essential private funding to help complete the High Line’s construction and create an endowment for its future operations

Looking back The High Line is an extraordinary rehabilitation and an example of hard work, creativity and willingness to make NYC what it is, not just a concrete jungle. In 1934 the High Line was originally founded as a railroad to carry good along the industrial districts. By 1980 trains stop operating and what was left is a residual space. In 1999 Friends of the High Line was founded by Joshua Davis and Robert Hammond, whom saw the potential of this structure as a public space. From 2002 to 2003, through different collaborations and planning strategies the project became economically viable. Following, a design competition in 2004 took place and James Corner Field Operations, a landscape architecture firm, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Piet Oudolf, planting designer were assigned to make this project a reality. The first section was finished in 2009, the second one in 2011. And  finally in 2014 the third section was finished and Friends of the High Line pride on 15 years of successful operation. 

The operation hours of this public park are as follow: 

  • Dec 1 to Mar 31: 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Apr 1 to May 31: 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • June 1 to Sept 30: 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Oct 1 to Nov 30: 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM

You can access the High Line trough staircases on: Gan Gansevoort and Washington Street (elevator access), 14th Street (elevator access) ,16th Street (elevator access),18th Street ,20th Street ,23rd Street (elevator access) ,26th Street ,28th Street ,30th Street (elevator access), and 30th Street and 11th Avenue.

For these season there are range of events plan, so cease the moment. Here are some, on Wednesday June 17 from 6pm to 7:15pm you can join Walk & Talk: City Dreams & “Epic Fails” a guided talk that will inform you of different failed urban plans for NYC. On Thursday June 18 from 8:00 pm to 9:30 pm enjoy “There will be pie!” Storytelling & Comedy. On Sunday June 21 join talented performers on Make Music Summer: Honk 210Hz. Join Arriba!: Latino Dance Party with Orlando Marin, The last Mambo King on Wednesday June 24 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. This are just some examples go to www.thehighline.org/activities for more information and an extended list of events.  


Furthermore while walking down the elevated path you can see unique pieces of art spread along the way. Olafur Eliasson, a collective project until september 30; Yto Barrada films every day until 7:00 pm, Rashid Johnson’s Blocks until March 2016, Panorama also until March 2016. And Adrián Villar Rojas’s The Evolution of God until July 31. For more information about each of this exhibits go to art.thehighline.org.

Personally I go to this park on weekends to walk above the chaos of the city and enjoy the amazing view, which will lead you to reflect and enjoy a singular walk. I stop now and then to observe the newest exhibits, or to lay down in the lawn. Don’t miss out on this experience, is soul warming and worth your time.