Last week, I happened to have a shoot in a location just under the High Line. Needless to say, I popped up for a quick post-shoot walk. I have never been on the High Line when it is not packed, but I am always determined to enjoy moments of solitude and to take in the beautiful surrounding architecture while I am there.
For those of you who are not familiar with the High Line, it is a public park built on a historic freight rail line. It runs from the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street on the West Side of Manhattan. The High Line was originally built in the 1930’s as part of a project, called the West Side Improvement. This public-private infrastructure project lifted freight traffic 30 feet in the air, which removed dangerous trains from the streets of a large industrial district in Manhattan. Trains haven’t run on the structure since 1980. In 1999, when the structure was under threat of demolition, a non-profit group was formed, which works in partnership with the City of New York to preserve and maintain the High Line as the elevated public park we all know it as today.
I personally like the High Line because it is the perfect dichotomy of modern and historical New York: contemporary and lavishly designed buildings and modern art line the park, along with formal industrial sites, apartment buildings from the early 1900s, the well-known Chelsea Market and even a diner dating back to 1929. I also never seem to tire of the timeless views of New York City streets, as seen from the High Line.
The High Line, Gansevoort Street – W 34th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues