High Line Park, two weeks from opening but already beautiful

New High Line Park, New York City

Of course the High Line park didn’t open on time for our New York trip – the first phase now opens June 15 – but at least we got to see all the frantic final activity from our hotel window. UPDATE June 6: This had seemed like a great urban park idea, and it would have made a very beautiful promenade for New York, but as it turns out its use is semi-private. Apparently when full public funding couldn’t be secured to produce a fully public park, private funders stepped in and this has meant that the park, a new design on the top of the old elevated railway, will sometimes be reserved for private use. You’ll need a wristband to enter, apparently, and sections can be arbitrarily closed off. (See discussion on gothamist, who also used our photos.) The park’s controlled use is unfortunate because politics aside, the design looks good. [End update.] It seems there’s been only minimal intervention on the el; the tracks remain, and only gravel, pavers and benches have been added. Some of the plants in the final design are the same indigenous species that have been occupying the long-overgrown line for decades. The benches are nicely designed – they ramp up from walkway level. It rained this morning but now it’s sunny and men are painting over graffiti on the adjacent buildings. There are more photos on the High Line website (including the black and white photo below). The Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District actually straddles the High Line, and from there you get a very good view of a portion of the new park. There’s a beautiful view of what it used to look like here and one by Timothy Schenk on Flickr:

High Line

high line train

New High Line Park, New York City

New High Line Park, New York City

New High Line Park, New York City

New High Line Park, New York City

New High Line Park, New York City

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