New York City On A Budget: The High Line

While living in New York City, I had the chance to write for NYCWave.com, a website created to help New York City residents and tourists discover all that NYC has to offer. Published on NYCWave.com on July 14, 2012, under maiden name Emily Harris. (Original Post)

It can’t be denied that New York is a city of creativity. From the architecture to the culture, New York embraces beauty in all its forms. What makes New York special is that it is unique in its expression. There might not be any better example of this than the High Line.

Originally the West Side Line and part of the New York Central Railroad, the High Line Park stretches from Gansevoort Street to West 30th Street. First built in the 1930s, freight trains traveled its elevated tracks from the Meatpacking District through Chelsea. The last freight train ran in 1980.

The park was created when the city announced it had plans to tear the structure down. Instead, it was preserved as a park and is supported by the non-profit organization Friends of the High Line. It opened in 2006.

For the very low price of absolutely nothing, New Yorkers can enjoy a pleasant escape from the streets of Manhattan. Walking the High Line is surreal: the park is 30 feet off the ground, and the path winds between buildings and billboards. There are fantastic views of the city, including the New York Harbor. Visitors can walk the paths that follow the original railways. They may also find a seat overlooking the streets at the 10thAvenue Square, sunbathe on the Sundeck, or relax on the lawn at 23rd Street.

Inspired by the vegetation that overran the line before it was preserved, wildflowers border the walkways, providing visitors a chance to escape the concrete jungle for something a little more natural.

Art exhibits are also featured. These various artistic forms seek to celebrate the High Line and its urban setting. The official website for the High Line has a list of the commissioned exhibits. Be sure to catch a glimpse of the High Line Zoo, animal cutouts scattered over a rooftop near 27th street.

After exploring, hungry New Yorkers can eat at the Upper Chelsea Market Passage above West 15th Street. Snacks, meals, and desserts at reasonable prices are available from various vendors. Expect to pay between $3-$10.

Unique and quirky, the High Line offers a chance to experience New York from a different angle. Be sure to check the park’s website (highline.org) for times and features, as the park may close early for holidays and weather. The website also includes information on exhibits and events, plus a timeline of the history of the High Line.

Website: http://www.thehighline.org
Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. daily
Cost: Free
Location: Gransevoort Street to 30th Street

Access Points:

  • Gransevoort Street
  • 14th Street (with elevator)
  • West 16th Street (with elevator)
  • West 18th Street
  • West 20th Street
  • 23rd Street (with elevator)
  • West 26th Street
  • West 28th Street
  • West 30th Street (with elevator)

Transportation:

Subway: within walking distance of lines 1, 2, 3, A, C, and E
Buses: M11, M14, M23, and M34

The High Line is wheelchair accessible. Animals are not permitted, and the park is smoke-free.

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