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.
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.
There’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.