From the first time I read of its proposal, The High Line has fascinated me. So I knew when we visited Manhattan this summer, I would make time to explore it, and I was not disappointed.
Rudbeckia at Chelsea Grasslands
The High Line was constructed in the 1930's to elevate freight trains above the streets of New York's Meatpacking District. For half a century it delivered the milk, meat and produce that a hungry city needed. Buildings were constructed around it and took advantage of railroad tracks right outside, or in some cases inside, their second story. The last train ran here in 1980 and the tracks soon fell into disrepair. Mother Nature, who even in Manhattan abhors a vacuum, set seed in the railroad bed. Perhaps, this weedy growth, an unusual history and the need for open space inspired the park.
10th Ave. Square
Today The High Line is richly planted, mostly with natives that seem perfectly at home among the tracks. The landscape evokes what may have been growing here when Manhattan was just a wild island along the Hudson. However, this park does not deny its human history, in fact it is embraced. There are also many spaces where busy people can relax on benches and lounge chairs, enjoy the city view, listen to concerts and mainly take advantage of the totally linear nature of the park and simply stroll above the busy streets.
View Towards the Hudson
The Standard Hotel
Along the Tracks
10th Ave. Square
Helenium x ‘Ruby Tuesday’
This is one of my favorite photos from the day, with Rattlesnake Master (Eryngium yuccifolium) blooms in the foreground and a well-known New York icon in the hazy distance. One of the reasons I published this post today was to be on time to enter the Gardening Gone Wild Picture This Photo Contest for August.
The High Line is perhaps the most unique garden I have ever visited, and few places so successfully integrate themselves into their surroundings. If you visit New York, put this on your to-do list. If you want to find out more The High Line has an excellent web site, that includes a month-by-month plant list, lots of historic and contemporary photos, a list of events, insight into its design and lots more. If you want to see how other photographers interpret this place, there is a Flikr group for The High Line where many other perspectives are shown, besides my own. At the end of my visit, I could glimpse the second section which will soon be open. We could see some of the plants where being installed to become another piece of the new New York.