Features NY Life — 01 September 2011
The Highline: An Elevated Urban Oasis

Blog: The Highline

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The Highline
122 Gansevoort St
New York, NY 10014
Getting There: L to 8th Avenue

The final days of summer 2011 are approaching with each passing second. Back in June many of us mapped out plans to fill every weekend, leaving little time to go out and do things on the fly. Our crew is similarly guilty of that. Sometimes we all need to take a collective step back from our over planned lives, and just improvise.

This past week, while covering an event I found myself in NYC’s Meatpacking district. And standing elevated above the street in front of me was The Highline. The Highline is a 30 foot high, steel structure which once carried freight traffic up the city’s west side from the 1930′s through 1980. In recent years this gigantic relic of the industrial revolution has been transformed into a breathtaking public park, giving city dwellers and tourists alike, a new take on the city that never sleeps.

Needless to say, I briskly walked over to the stairs located on fourteenth street and ascended to the elevated platform. My first reaction was one of surprise and awe. People were everywhere snapping photos, walking in groups, and even catching some sun on specially designed wooden lounge chairs. The Highline is a true respite in a city that thrives on the hustle and bustle.

Yet none of this would be possible without the great people at “Friends of the Highline.” In 1999 this community-based non-profit group formed when the historic structure was under threat of demolition. This group worked tirelessly with the City of New York to preserve this urban oasis as a public park. These forward thinking folks have transformed tons of rusting steel into an innovative landmark that has created jobs, utilizes green technology, and gives jaded New Yorkers a reason to love their city again.

You may only be walking around taking in sights of the city, but you’re still going to work up a hunger. Luckily the Highline is chock full of some excellent local food and drinking options all season long. At West fifteenth street visitors can kick back on “The Porch,” and grab a seat at “The Green Table,” which offers fresh, seasonal, and delicious fare, including bruschettas and sandwiches, fruit, and wine and beer from New York State. If you’re not in the mood for a sit down meal, you can always grab a portable snack like shaved ice at “People Pops,” or a sustainable twist on ice cream at “Melt Bakery.” Or hop on the Highline at 30th Street and 10th Avenue for an outdoor beer garden of sorts, complete with a cavalcade of tables and food trucks overlooking the skatepark next door. The trail stretches from the Meatpacking District into the 30′s and is elevated to enhance the sights of the west side, with landscape and river views that you haven’t seen before.

September is now upon us. The weather is still great, and is still very much summer-like. So grab some friends, family, or just yourself and head over to the Highline right away. We can guarantee you with one of the most relaxing and unique New York City experiences that you have ever had. Trust us, it’s our job.

-Jayson Rubin

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