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The High Line, Chelsea, New York City

See the New York City Guide ›
Manhattan's West Side, from Gansevoort Street to 20th Street
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 500 6035
view web site ›'s insider take:

New York City's newest park, the High Line is brilliantly executed, hugely popular, and has become an instant must-see. Occupying an unused elevated rail line that parallels the Hudson River in lower Manhattan, the 1.5 mile–long promenade embodies the spirit of the Meatpacking District and West Chelsea—a nexus of art, design, commerce, and nightlife. Begin by climbing the stairs at Gansevoort Street or Chelsea Market, a painstakingly restored 1913 Nabisco factory turned gourmet emporium that runs from Ninth to Tenth avenues at West 15th Street. (The park has several other entrances, as well, including two with elevators.) Once up on the walkway, stroll along the concrete and wood pavings, grooved to echo the former train tracks. The park winds its way through and under buildings (including the Standard hotel), past art installations, and at eye level with apartments, billboards, water towers, and other elements of the New York City skyline. (Another ten-block section opened in June 2011; a third phase is planned if funds can be raised.)

The architecture, by New York firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, is clever, with benches, walkways, and planters seamlessly flowing together; there's even a set of bleachers overlooking the traffic on Tenth Avenue. Field Operations did the landscaping, using mostly native grasses and flowersa reminder of the weeds that covered the abandoned railway's surface for years before the park opened in 2009. It all comes together perfectly, a feat of engineering, imagination, and gumption (neighborhood residents lobbied tirelessly to get the park built). The High Line is the sort of fabulous project you expect to read about in a Wallpaper magazine story about some small, design-obsessed city in Europe, not in crass, commercial New York. But here it is, and New York couldn't be prouder.—Peter Frank

Open daily 7 am to 8 pm in winter, 7 am to 10 pm in summer.

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