What a delight it is to explore New York with a friend. What a double delight when the exploring takes place in the morning of a day that features blue sky, puffy clouds and a bit of a breeze.
The area of New York that I explored is called the High Line. It has been created on a formerly derelict span of elevated rail line very near the Hudson River, on the western boundary of our fantastic city. The architects, engineers, and gardeners that have worked on this project should be very, very proud of their achievement. It is new, yet seems to be in harmony with all the neighborhood scenes that one can view from its three/four-story height. One can see the river, and watch boats and ships pass by. One can see and remark upon the various trees, shrubs, wildflowers, not so wild flowers and grasses that have been planted along this walk way.
The walkway itself is done in planks that are reminiscent of seaside boardwalks, and have a north-south orientation that echos the original railway direction.
We have had a very wet June and July in New York, and many of the plants are quite overgrown and blowzy. They are sculptural and crazy, and grab your attention. Little children love to run back and forth along this walkway, and to see their city from very different angles.
There are many buildings along the Hudson Riverside that are dramatic. There are others that show no particular attention from architects, yet are still interesting in the mix.
Along the walk, one comes upon clever benches upon which to sit. These benches also have a design that derives from rails. Some manage to be in shady spots, although most of the walk is in brilliant open air.
The juxtaposition of being above the city, and yet in the city, is fascinating. Scale constantly shifts. Savvy advertisers know where to post a poster or two.
Between the location of the High Line and the Hudson River is another area where many warehouses still function as warehouses, but many now function as either art galleries or very, very expensive housing.
At one point, the original rail line ran straight into a building. (There was an entrance to that building that allowed trains to unload their freight right into the building.) And, in a witty homage to that original notion, the High Line also dives straight through a building, treating it like a covered bridge. This gives a welcome bit of deep shadow, and opportunity to sit with one's laptop, and contemplate distant views of New Jersey across the river.
Back out in the sunshine, the pathway decides to duck under, yes under, a modern hotel that straddles the High Line on what must be very strong pillars.
At this point, the length of this spectacular walk is less than a mile. It will be extended. I so look forward to returning to see this route in late afternoon, early evening, and as the seasons change.
May I extend huge thanks to fabulous Elizabeth , for introducing me to this wonderful addition to our city. Any readers who have not already done so are very much encouraged to visit any of Elizabeth's blogs. Her photos are much, much better than mine.
Sweet dreams to all.