The Travel Tipping Point: Walking The High Line in New York
Written by Jaillan Yehia
Every once in a while a city, country, activity or some other flavour of enticing worldwide experience creeps into your consciousness for the first time and promptly proceeds to pop up everywhere – in your Sunday paper or the magazine you pick up at the dentist, on your friend’s Facebook page or on an obscure TV documentary you happen to turn on – suddenly this spot has climbed to the very top of your travel wish list. It has tipped.
This week for me the travel tipping point has been well and truly reached by New York’s celebrated urban walk along disused railway tracks right through the middle of the city – The High Line.
I’m not sure when The High Line first permeated my consciousness – it must have been within the last three years because this elevated stretch of parkland created from 7 acres of train tracks on Manhattan’s West Side only opened to the public in 2009. A second section opened in 2011 and a third and final section is nearing completion at the moment.
What I do know is that as soon as I first heard of the project a little light bulb went off in my head because the idea captured my imagination. Since then I’ve steadily caught glimpses of information about The High Line here and there and this week a friend posted photos of their visit online and it became official: I knew I had to go!
I think one of the reasons The High Line appeals to me is that it seems to be a sort of New York equivalent to my own Regent’s Canal – albeit you can bike along the canal, or walk your dog whereas two-wheeled and four-legged companions are strictly prohibited on The High Line. The style of landscape that has been created using The High Line’s original materials, features, tracks and native plants also reminds me a little of an urban Dungeness.
I’ve always thought of New York as somewhere that I shouldn’t visit again until I’d saved up a veritable trousseau of amazing glam outfits or failing that enough cash to go on a no-holds-barred shopping spree when I got there, overnighting at The Plaza – and the years of avid Sex And The City viewing did little to quiet those dreams.
But The High Line is a salient reminder that we can enjoy the best that any city has to offer for free and do The Big Apple justice on a small budget.
The High Line is located between Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th & 11th Avenues.
The park is open from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. daily with last entrance at 10:45 p.m.
List of entrances:
14th Street (elevator access)
16th Street (elevator access)
23rd Street (elevator access coming soon)
30th Street (elevator access)
To see some truly awe-inspiring photography of the High Line check out this blog
Photography courtesy of The High Line Website
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