Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Opening day on the High Line

Ever since I first read about the decommissioned railroad tracks built over 10th Avenue and the West Side, I've been intrigued. And once they announced that the old trestle would become the High Line Park, I've eagerly anticipated my first trip up there.

I've missed the Open House New York tours that brought you up to the old, abandoned tracks, but I'm happy to settle for the refurbished park that mixes the gnarled history of rusted rails with the community gathering place of open space and abundant benches. No longer a member of the media that would be invited to press conferences and VIP previews, I'd noticed in the past few days people walking above 10th Avenue and 14th Street and knew that it must mean the park would soon be open. That day was yesterday, and so I made sure I caught an earlier train into the City so that I could alter my usual route from Christopher St. to Chelsea Market just a little and climb the steps to the park.

Not only was it a thrill to look down over the Meatpacking District and to walk over 14th St. instead of having to wait for the light to change, but it was convenient too. The park is on the way to the office, so it's not really a detour to enjoy it regularly. The only concession I'll have to make if I want to take that route is to get my ass in gear early enough to take an earlier train than the 5:04, which maximizes my time at home but leaves me no extra time to wander once I get to Manhattan. Today, that's the train I'm taking after getting home at 6 a.m. and sleeping until 1. The next sunny, cloud-dotted blue-sky day, however, and I'll have to leave myself extra time -- and pack the SLR and the wider lenses instead of just the point-and-shoot -- and enjoy more than just the Gansevoort-to-18th-St. stretch I strolled through yesterday. I've read, though, that there is an exit at 16th St., which is perfect. This could become my regular walk to work -- so long as I can refrain from stopping, or regularly make the 4:38 train out of Clifton.

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