The High Line: High Flying on the West Side
As anyone who lives in a New York apartment knows, living in the city in summer can sometimes feel like a concrete clam bake. Fortunately this summer relief comes to the West Side in the form of a new and innovative public space project--the High Line.Originally a freight track built to replace a ground level track responsible for so many pedestrian casualties that its section of 10th avenue was once known as “Death Avenue,” The High Line had been abandoned for nearly 30 years (the last train to pass through was a three car freight train in 1980 carrying frozen turkeys).
This year, thanks to a concerted urban planning effort, part of the 1.45 mile elevated track has finally reopened as a landscaped promenade and park, complete with over 210 plant species and breathtaking views of the Hudson River. This new lifeline of public green space only serves to enhance the already charming Meat Packing District and West Village, increasing Manhattan real estate market rates and providing a significant draw for both tourists and renters of NYC apartments!
The park is free and open to the public from 7am to 10pm daily, but there are rules: no bikes, rollerblades, segways or skateboards are allowed, and dogs are prohibited due to the young and fragile plant life.
Friends of the High Line, the founding group responsible for the park, projects the opening of the second section of the railway (from 20th to 30th streets), sometime in 2010. The third and last section (that wraps around the West Side Rail Yard) is privately owned and may or may not be slated for renewal. The group wants to save this historic property and give it the same green makeover!
So this summer if you're baking in a West Side Manhattan Apartment and you want relief. . .just look up!