Turning Abandoned Space into a Lovely Park: NYC’s High Line

Lisa Schwartz guest blogs this week about a relatively recent addition to NYC’s attractions.

Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Rockefeller Plaza, etc. are all iconic and wonderful places to visit when touring New York City. I have visited each of these locations several times, and they are definitely worth checking out. A few weeks ago, though, I discovered a new place to visit while in New York City, the High Line. The High Line is now one of my favorite spots in NYC.


The High Line is a beautiful park created on an elevated abandoned spur of the New York Central Railroad. The park is 1 ½ miles-long and consists of a walking path, gardens, local artists’ sculptures, vendors, both food and souvenirs, and beautiful views of the city, which change around every turn of the path. The High Line Park even purchased some of the air rights next to the park so the views would not be obscured. The High Line is on Manhattan’s West Side and runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues.

I spent my time on the High Line just walking on the path enjoying the views and the park, but there is so much more you can do there. Tours are available to teach you about the history, the art, and the gardens of the High Line. There are musical performances, children’s activities, meditation and tai chi classes, stargazing through park-provided high-powered telescopes, the Haunted High Line Halloween festival, and so much more.

I started my day with breakfast at Chelsea Market, which is located at 75 9th Avenue (between 15th and 16 Streets) and is very close to the High Line. Chelsea Market is an indoor food and shopping mall. The upper levels consist of office space and a television production facility. Chelsea Market is the converted factory for the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) and the building retains much of its historical character. There are many delicious options to choose from, but the market does get busy, so going early is a good way to avoid the crowds.

After breakfast, I headed to the High Line and walked the park from beginning to end and back again. I enjoyed the park so much that I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss any of it and could have stayed there all day.

For lunch, I stopped in the Gansevoort Market. The Gansevoort Market, an indoor food court with many high-quality options. Like Chelsea Market, the Gansevoort Market retains much of the character of its original industrial purpose.

Know before you go: You can get a free tour of the High Line! Hear the story behind New York City’s park in the sky. Weekly guided walking tours are free 75-minute-long tours led by High Line Docents, knowledgeable volunteer guides, will offer you an insider’s perspective on the park’s history, design, and landscape. Free public tours take place twice a week on Tuesdays at 6:30 pm and Saturdays at 10 am, between May 2 and October 31. Meet on the High Line at Gansevoort St.

Getting there: There are multiple points to access the Highline.

Hours: Dec 1 to Mar 31: 7 am – 7 pm; Apr 1 to May 31: 7 am – 10 pm; June 1 to Sept 30: 7 am – 11 pm; Oct 1 to Nov 30: 7 am – 10 pm.

Dogs: Surprisingly, no. Dogs are currently not allowed on the High Line due to the limited area of the pathways and the fragility of the new plantings.

Website: Highline: http://www.thehighline.org; Chelsea Market, http://chelseamarket.com; Gansevoort Market, visit http://www.gansmarket.com

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Have you daytripped somewhere interesting? I’d love to hear what you’re doing! Email [email protected] if you’re interested in being a guest-blogger!