The Highline in New York City is a park built on the previously abandoned and disused elevated railroad tracks of the New York Central Railroad spur which runs from the Meatpacking district to Midtown West. The north end of the Highline is near my office and I love it dearly. I have spent many a lunch hour wandering the park, people watching and taking in the juxtapositions of urban sounds, construction and building with the peaceful flora and fauna of the park.
The Highline has been open since 2009, but since the opening, construction has continued to push the park northward. The final section of the park running from 30th street and as the New York Times describes “swing[s] west from 10th Avenue toward the Hudson River…It spills into a feral grove of big-tooth aspen trees on 34th Street.” Indeed the sunsets are glorious.
The newest and most northern section of the Highline, has a different tone, both literally and and metaphorically, than the rest of the park. It juts what seems dangerously close to a high rise construction site, and loops post the end of the line for the trains at Penn Station. Even the path way is more industrial, with more exposed rails and rugged black top rather than the concrete pavers seen elsewhere in the park. There is a constant cacophony of drilling, hammering, horns honking, and trains chugging along.
Certainly, its less than peaceful, but it seems like the perfect end to the park. After a more peaceful and sometimes magical feeling walk through the southern sections, the end of the Highline slowly brings you back to the urban reality of midtown Manhattan.