June 11, 2009

On An All Time High

Back in the early '90s when nightlife was semi-dangerous, I was invited to an outlaw party on the High Line, an abandoned stretch of elevated rail that ran through the then-industrial western part of Chelsea. By the time I got there, the party had been broken up by the cops so I never made it up to the tracks. Well, after 15-some years, I finally got up to there yesterday for a stroll on the first section of the newly renovated High Line park.

The new and improved High Line is a beautiful and unique addition to the city's burgeoning public parks; a clever mix of the old (railroad ties and wildflowers) and the new (a suspended amphitheater with a striking view straight up 10th avenue). It took nearly a decade of organizing, fundraising and building for Rob Hammond and Joshua David's dream of a new High Line to become reality. But it was well worth the wait. It provides a view of the city you've never seen before as you float 30 feet off the ground surrounded by a meticulously landscaped urban garden.

If I have any complaint, it's that the High Line currently stops after just 8 blocks at 20th Street. The next section is due to open in mid-2010 which will bring the park up to 30th Street. If you'd like to see what it looks like, there is beautiful slide show on the TIMES website (where this image is from). Or, if you'd like to walk it yourself, it's now open daily from 7am to 10pm. Outlaw parties start promptly at midnight--KIDDING! :) For more, info check out the official High Line website.