New York’s Secret Garden – The High Line

What an amazing day off I had on Tuesday. Given my medical history and how mad doctor’s visits can drive me (even as a doctor) I decided to take a personal day when I needed to go in for an ultrasound on Tuesday. The appointment was super early, since I originally had planned to go back to work, but then I concocted this perfect plan for the rest of the day when I took off.

I was determined to see the High Line Park, then get dim sum in Chinatown and finally a massage at Bliss. Well two of the three happened. The dim sum was supplanted by an impromptu luncheon with my honey instead at I Tre Merli in Soho (on West Broadway).

The High Line was well worth the visit. The park is built along an old abandoned train line that carried freight from 1934 to 1980. Located on Manhattan’s West Side from about 30th street to Gansevoort Street, it is hidden above the streets and is a sort of secret park (reminds me of the Secret Garden of the book by the same name). The park is owned by the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation on land that was donated by CSX Transportation Inc. The park is filled with tourists, beautiful plants (most native to New York), amazing city views, and other artistic surprises. Closer to the Meatpacking district end of the park, you will also find some concessions for those who would like a tee shirt or a nosh – many local workers take their lunch time at the park.


Vegetation is weaved in with the train rails….

I entered the park at 30th street and 11th avenue. If you walk west along 30th street toward the Hudson River, at 11th Avenue you will see a stairway. Take that up to the park (or there is an elevator). The park is open from 7am to 10pm.

There are so many cute views from the path! There are some tenement style buildings that directly abut the park like this one which was closer toward 30th street entrance:




The park seemed to be teeming with Franco-phonic tourists the day I was there. I wonder if it is a highlight in one of their tour books or something, because it was kind of strange that they represented the overwhelming majority of the tourists at the park. Once you are in the park, it is linear, so you can only go in one direction or the other. There isn’t much room to spread out laterally if you get my drift.


I think this gives a good sense of how narrow the path is.

One of the most enjoyable things along the path is all the architecture you can see all around.



There is also some amazing artwork that has been strategically placed throughout the park. I’ve done a separate post on some of the street art that is visible along the path as well.


El Anatsui, Broken Bridge II



After walking a while, I was thirsty and luckily, I stumbled upon a young woman with a cart selling Mexican ice pops – Paletas. I had to have one of course, and I chose my favorite agua fresca flavor, hibiscus or “Agua de Jamaica”. The cart seemed to be inspired by the book Paletas by Fany Gerson.

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I’m so glad that I finally made it up there to see what all the fuss was about – it’s truly a unique place that embodies modern enlightened New York from many different angles.