Posted by: adventuressetravels | July 15, 2011

A Modern Hanging Garden

High Line Park

High above the bustling metropolis of New York, stretches a paradise aloft.  The High Line suspended park is truly remarkable.

Originally a railroad from the 1930s, used to take dangerous freight trains off the streets of New York. Renound architecture firm, Diller Scofidio and Renfro worked with the landscape architects at James Corner Field to convert this desolate abandoned track, standing like a dinosaur’s backbone, into a hanging garden.

A new addition to New York, the High Line opened its gates quite recently.  section one, running from Gansevoort Street to West 20th Street opened June of 2009.   Section two, running from West 20th to West 30th, unveiled its beauty June of 2011.  But this is not the end of construction.  When the High Line park is fully complete, the elevated park will stretch 1 ½ miles over Manhattan’s West Side.

Stairways climb to the suspended park at West 14th, 16th, 18th, and 20th with elevator access at the 14th and 16th entrances.

Lush with grass, brilliant purples, soft pinks, and bright yellow flowers lend colorful splashes along the suspended walkway.  Grass springs up along the old railroad track clothing it in a lush green blanket.  Huge mirrored sky scrapers stretching to the heavens and lumbering brick buildings flank the park.   But the garden seems to be surrounded by a bubble of peace that cannot be burst by the outside world.  It is a place of serenity amidst the hustle bustle of New York City.

A park-goer cooling his foot in the flat fountain

The rushing sound of water adds to the peace in one of my favorite sections of the park.   Along the sidewalk, running for more than 20 feet flows a flat fountain.  Water bubbles out of one grate, rushes across a platform and then disappears down into another grating a few feet away in an endless loop.  This ingenious idea offers a whole new dimension to the park, lending the music of water, a place to cool feet, and a wonderful atmosphere.

Across from the flat fountain run what I could only describe as wooden beach chairs.  These comfortable seats offer places for park visitors to sun themselves, relax, picnic, nap, or just relax in the ambient music of the water.

Of course, even paradise has its problems.  Because of its narrow breadth, the High Line can get extremely crowded, especially on nice weekends it is packed with visitors and New Yorkers alike.  There is also the issue of shade.  Though there is a lovely copse of trees at the southern end of the park, they are still too young to offer significant shade, and unfortunately the rest of the park is directly in the sun.  But not even these inconveniences can mar the wonder of the park.

The High Line is a spectacular addition to New York’s rich tradition of parks.  I highly recommend adding the High Line to your list of New York sites to see.  It is a different way to stroll through the city and well worth at least an afternoon.

The High Line is open from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm daily with the last entrance at 9:45 pm (though I recommend getting there earlier – 15 minutes is not nearly long enough at the High Line).

For more information call the High Line information line at 212.500.6035 or visit this website:



  1. Bring an umbrella!

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