Green spaces are hard to come by in New York City. Concrete sidewalks and brick buildings crowd the busy streets, but you can find a stretch of secluded greenery just by looking up. Perched above the bustling streets lies the High Line, a park built on an historic elevated section of the former New York Central Railroad.
The High Line was built during 1934, in an effort to revitalize the surrounding area. The tracks ran from 34th Street to Spring Street, and sat above city streets on a suspended line. After the last train traveled the tracks in 1980, a local group called Friends of the High Line worked to preserve the space. The line reopened during 2009 as a park, but you can still spot the old tracks in between the trees and pathways.
The park offers an amazing view of the New York skyline, with an added bonus of some hidden street art.
Some art installations scattered along the path are more humorous, especially given that it was 24 degrees when I visited. Those sunbathers might have a rough time.
Local artists also stop by the park to get inspiration or show off their works. I passed by a representative from I Think Outside My Box, a community painting salon that gives the public a chance to channel their inner artist. The group has collected over 20,000 paintings on tiny three-inch pieces of cardboard that are displayed throughout the city.
As you walk along the 1.45-mile stretch, you can stop to relax on the giant wooden benches, or take in the view at the many city viewing stations.
Whether you go for the view or to people watch, the High Line is a great escape from the craziness of New York. The park is open year-round – check the park website for hours, which vary by season.