Of all the parks I’ve been to in New York, I think that the Highline is the most visually distinct. Its the newest park, and it is interesting because it utilizes a railroad that is basically ancient by our standards as the backbone for its walkway. I like to walk the entire length of it, starting at 20th & 10th. It is very sterile by New York park standards, because there is a curfew, lots of security people, and only certain vendors are allowed onto the premises. Kinda weird. I wish it would be open 24/7, but instead it closes at 10pm. Lame!
Despite these hangups, there is lots to love about the Highline. It is a wide, open public space that encourages you to think just a little above your everyday life in the city because—-well, you are slightly above the rest of the city, lol. From up above there, you can see some cool views of the Hudson and Jersey. I wish Jersey would put up some more interesting things to look at. The people there range from the trendy Meatpacking District crowd to intense urban parents seeking refuge for their newborns in the busy city.
Some of the features of the Highline are rather interesting. The path itself is a modern take on railroad lines, and even incorporates some of the original railroad in some patches of the gardens. There are cool solar LED wands sticking out of the wild grass. The seating seems to rise elegantly from the walkways in some places, and there are even cool moveable chaise chairs on wheels in one part. The trees and plants appear to be about as natural looking as you can get in New York. In one spot, you can overlook the city traffic on 10th ave. in a sort of suspended amphitheater. Its pretty cool for something so simple and urban. In another place, there are weird, eerie lights that give the walkway a dance club kinda feel. The Standard Hotel looms over one section of the Highline, and it appears some of their guests are quite the provocateurs.
I prefer walking along the Highline at night, since the people are more mellow, and there aren’t as many other photographers out there in your way. During the day and late evening, it is ridiculously busy, and because the walk is so nice, it makes you wish you could have it all to yourself to jog on in the morning to start the day.