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The High Line, Manhattan

The High Line, Manhattan

by Kelly Sparkes on October 10, 2012

Bench on the High LineIt’s six weeks today since we got back from New York and I’ve finally got around to sorting out all my photos.

For the last week we stayed in the Meat Packing District, at the Gansevoort hotel and it was my favourite part of the trip.  The Meat packing District has changed so much since we last went, we have a photo on the wall in the kitchen of an industrial unit and when eating breakfast on one of the last days we realised that is was right opposite where we were sitting  being transformed into a retail unit.

We could see the High Line from our hotel room, snaking it’s way between the buildings from the Meat Packing District up to midtown.   It’s a historical, elevated railway line, built to move dangerous freight trains from ground level on ‘Death Avenue’.  Once completed the High Line was nicknamed ‘The Life Line’ as it transported vital meat and dairy products.  Now over a mile of it has been transformed into a trendy public park by the Friends of the High Line, who have worked hard to ensure the structure survived when it was under threat of demolition.  It’s a fabulous way to see the city, elevated from the noise, traffic and hubbub of the street.

The High Line from Ganesvoort Street
The planting feels free and wild, like it is has sprung up naturally.  Concrete benches seem to grow out of the long grass and multi stemmed Silver Birch from between the train tracks.

Silver Birch Planted in tracksThe many nooks, viewing platforms and seating areas make it easy to just sit and be, I could have sat on these sunbeds all day people watching.

Sunbathing on the High Line
As you can imagine, a park as cool as this, situated in the heart of Manhattan attracts a huge range of creative people.  I have never seen so many people painting or drawing in one place, made me wish I’d brought my sketch book with me.

Oil painting on the High Line
Art installations are dotted everywhere, is this a huge woman or a tiny man?

Art installations on the High Line
Even the graffiti is inspired…

Graffiti on the High Line
This large-scale street mural is of a Native American from the Lakota tribe of North Dakota.

Inside Out ProjectThere’s a real mix of architecture along the High Line, small areas are lined with decaying warehouses complete with meat hooks, but most of it is now surrounded by modern buildings.  I do hope developers don’t destroy too much of the history and diversity that makes it interesting.

Old and new architecture on the High LineI wish I had somewhere as fabulous as this in London to have my lunch in, I would eat outside every day, even in winter :)

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

tina October 10, 2012 at 11:40 pm

Oh, you are back at your best. Great storytelling. I felt I was there with you…. really nice descriptions and great photos.

I didn’t realise they had built this trendy park. It looks wonderful and just the kind of place I want to hang out in.

Whilst in Germany in the summer I also came across these public sunloungers and didn’t want to leave. I love when public spaces are abundant and bring the community together.

It’s a small man;) Do you know the work on Slinkach?. Really amazing.

Love the graffity and all the creativity going on.
Now where in London can we find a place like this??

It was lovely to see you the other day, albeit brief! xx


tina October 10, 2012 at 11:44 pm

Sorry, mis-spelt…… Slinkachu……. x


Kelly Sparkes October 24, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Hey Tine, thanks for the lovely compliments! It is such a wonderful place, I imagine you would be in your element there. As Annie says below I keep hearing rumours that they are building something similar in London, we will have to go when they do!

I love the work by Slinkachu, I bought Mr S one of his books on one of our first dates at the Tate. It transports me back every time I look at it :)

It was lovely meeting up with you, so sorry about the Abigail workshop but we will have to get together properly soon! x


Rona October 11, 2012 at 8:10 am

Hi Kelly

It’s been wonderful following your holiday in the US…looks like you had an amazing time!

I just had to comment today as I love the whole concept about the High Line…and especially love the sun loungers…oh, to have them in UK parks!

Hope you’re well…

Very best wishes


Kelly Sparkes October 24, 2012 at 7:08 pm

I’m very well thanks Rona, thanks so much for visiting and commenting! We had a fabulous time thanks, seems like such a long time ago now.

Hope all is well with you too.

Kelly x


Claire October 11, 2012 at 8:19 am

Now I’m very excited about my spring trip to NY. Your photos are great by the way!


Kelly Sparkes October 24, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Thanks Claire, I have so many recommendations for you! Writing it all down so I don’t forget :) x


Sam Lennie October 11, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Great post Kelly. We ran out of time unfortunately so didn’t get to see it, but now I have so thank you :-)x


Kelly Sparkes October 24, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Such a shame you didn’t get to go, definitely one for the next trip :) x


geraldine October 12, 2012 at 7:05 pm

such lovely characterful images. Those loungers look so relaxing :) x


Kelly Sparkes October 24, 2012 at 7:11 pm

Thanks Geraldine, they were so relaxing, it helped that it was lovely and sunny too! x


Alex Parker October 14, 2012 at 10:58 am

What an unusual and funky outdoor space, we could do with more places like that in the UK. Thanks for transporting me there :)


Kelly Sparkes October 24, 2012 at 7:14 pm

No problem Alex, glad you liked it. We all need to be transported somewhere far away when we are in the middle of coursework! I’m now trying to get my Axo finished but finding it thoroughly boring and fiddly. Hope you are getting on well x


annie October 15, 2012 at 4:44 pm

I keep reading about this everywhere at the moment and it’s not exactly helping me resist booking a holiday to NYC! It look so cool, apparently they’re going to build one in East London i was reading?

Love the small man that’s so funny! x


Kelly Sparkes October 24, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Sorry Annie! Well I’m not really sorry, I think you should go, BOOK IT :) but probably not the right time with all of your exciting house and life stuff going on! x


Laura Passey October 16, 2012 at 11:43 pm

Why is everything about New York so achingly cool? I had never heard of this park, and it looks the epitome of an urban creative resting space. I once had a pact with my ex never to go to New York without the other as it was where we had met for ten days of cool romance when living in Sydney and London. But he broke the pact so I guess I can too… What a wonderful summer trip you guys had.


Kelly Sparkes October 24, 2012 at 7:18 pm

Oooo ten days or cool romance sounds fabulously naughty! Forget the pact, you really should go, maybe we could organise a girly trip once you get some money saved up after your house move :) perhaps even to celebrate our graduation in 2025 x


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