For those that think NYC is a concrete jungle--well, they are sort of right... but as you can see from past posts of mine--the city has many many parks spread throughout not just Manhattan, but also through the other boroughs (Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx). One of the newest parks to hit the city and definitely the one getting the most press these days is High Line Park.
High Line is on the lower West Side of the city starting in the Meatpacking District (very trendy area full of restaurants and in general just a neat place to be) around 16th Street note: for those of you familiar with NYC but not super familiar, Madison Square Garden and the Macy's store are around 33rd/34th so to walk, briskly, from 33rd to 16th it'd take about 40 min) This isn't just a regular park--its an elevated walkway that allows you to traverse the West Side above the city streets with sweeping views of the Hudson river on one side and the city on the other.
Tasteful food vendors are scattered around selling Gelato and pretzels while sunbathers and those wanting to escape for a while with a book or a friend take a seat in one of the oversized teak lounge chairs that are plentiful (but I hear get pretty full on a sunny weekend day). Currently the park is just in its first phase of completion. Once all phases are completed, the park will be a mile-and-a-half-long running through not just the Meatpacking District but also through the neighborhoods of West Chelsea and Clinton/Hell's Kitchen.
I discovered the High Line with my friend Angie. Earlier in the day, we had celebrated our birthdays which are separated only by a few days by having a wonderful lunch at a very cool restaurant --5 Ninth in the Meatpacking District (I had possibly the best Cobb Salad I have ever had). After we walked the park and marveled at the views and how it felt like such an escape from the streets below. By the way, Angie is credited for the title of this post--as I was commenting on how way cool the park was she stopped me during my "ooooh's and aaaaahs" and told me "just wait---the cool factor goes waaaaaay up". She was correct!
You may be wondering, as I did, how this Park was dreamt up considering the fact that its elevated and how much work that must have been to get it built and up and going with this economy and NYC's budget issues...
Well, it actually was a pre-existing structure constructed in the 1930's to lift freight trains up off the streets of Manhattan. As you walk the park you see the beautiful landscaping planted in and around the old existing railroad tracks. Pretty neat.
Check out the website if you have time www.thehighline.org
Here are some pics I snapped (and one from the website showing the park in the "old days" with the freight train and the Chrysler Building in the background).
Pics of the High Line and the views, the Meatpacking District, the restaurant, Ang and I lounging on the teak chairs