HIgh-Line-Magnolia-150x150As we turned the corner, we caught a glimpse of an enormous white flower in the tree. All of us wondered what could it possibly be? Then we saw more of them in several trees. Luckily, the High Line had an app to help us identify all of the flora and fauna. After scrolling through several images, we decided that the immense flower must be some sort of magnolia. How magnificent!

The High Line was a historic, elevated, freight rail line built above the streets of Manhattan’s West Side back in the 1930s. Then in 2009, it opened as a public park, which currently spans from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues. When complete, the construction along the Rail Yards will expand the park all way to the Javits Center and the Number 7 subway station.

As we climbed the stairs up to the High Line, I could feel myself begin to relax as we rose above the street level and didn’t have to worry about oncoming car traffic. This new sensation gave us a very different perspective on the West Side.

IMG_6795-2-268x300Having such a nice long stretch of pedestrian pathway was such a treat. We enjoyed a leisurely, care-free walk with our friends and their 5-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son (or at least as relaxing a walk you can have with a toddler boy). All of us admired the architecture, literally stopped to smell the flowers, and even sat to simply watch traffic passing us by. There is a wide variety of mesmerizing architecture along the High Line from 100-year-old buildings to recently completed and still under construction, modernistic glass and metal buildings.

The extensive flora and fauna made the High Line a wonderful garden oasis in the middle of Manhattan complete with some modern designs for the benches and walkways. All along the way, there were great views of the West Side and at the intersections, we saw all of the hustle and bustle of the city. In fact, there were even theater-style bleachers where people sat to watch the traffic.

We bought lunch from a few of the the High Line’s food vendors down in Chelsea before walking back up to 34th Street. We enjoyed yummy Mexican food from the Taco Truck, but be warned that it was a little too spicy for the kids. It was an idyllic way to spend a beautiful day!

Details:

Skills: Gross motor, curiosity
Preparation: Wear comfortable shoes since you’ll be standing and walking most of the time.
Cost: This is a free park. We took the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) to get there, but there are parking lots in the area which are $30 for regular cars and $40 for SUVs and minivans.
Time & Energy: The LIRR got us to Penn Station in about 45 minutes. We then walked 10 to 15 minutes to get to the 10th Avenue and 30th Street entrance to the park. We spent about 3.5 hours strolling through the park and eating lunch.
Contact Info: The High Line has a website (http://www.thehighline.org)