My last visit to New York was ages ago, but the city is still vivid in my mind. Looking through pictures I have taken in NYC, I started compiling a list of places in New York I would like to revisit on the next trip to NYC. The High Line came to mind immediately. So, I noted down some thoughts on why I love the High Line and some things to do nearby.
The High Line is no secret and on weekends it can overflow with New Yorkers and tourists alike. But, even then it offers a respite from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. It is a very contemporary and yet nostalgic place. Walking amongst the young trees and bushes, looking down on the streets of Lower West Side and the Meatpacking District, I cannot help but wonder what the place must have been like before it became a park. What with the freight trains still frequenting the High Line and the warehouses still used as slaughterhouses and packing plants. While today more hypermodern buildings are springing up next to the tracks – especially in the northern parts. When the light is right, the place can genuinely feel like a rendering of a city from the future.
See Manhattan from a Different Vantage Point
In any case, walking along the High Line gives you a completely different perspective on Manhattan. Climb up one of the many stairs leading onto the tracks, and you suddenly find yourself 6 to 9 meters above street level. Here you can enjoy unique views onto the urban canyons of Manhattan and the buildings lining the former viaduct.
See NYC Stories Unfold on the High Line
The High Line is also a place where you can see NYC stories unfold. Just sit down on one of the benches or loungers and start observing the people populating the park. I am confident if you were to write a book about a sunny weekend or late weekday afternoon on the High Line, it would be full of entertaining stories and anecdotes.
Close Your Eyes and Forget that You Are in Manhattan
The soundtrack to all these stories is a mix of murmurs, screaming, and laughter. Close your eyes, and the place can sound like a public swimming pool or the shore of a lake. The chatter of the people, the splashing, and gurgling of water from one of the many fountains, the rustling of leaves in the wind. The sirens and noises from the traffic, so ubiquitous to Manhattan, suddenly start to feel very distant. For a moment you might forget that you are sitting in the midst of this densely populated island.
Remember to take a deep breath before you jump back into the fray!
Things to do near The High Line
The southern and middle part of the High Line goes right through the Lower West Side and Chelsea, so there are many things to do and see in the park’s surroundings. You will find an abundance of shops, restaurants, cafés, and bars in the vicinity. These are a couple of things I think you should not miss:
Visit the Whitney
In 2014 the Whitney Museum of American Art moved from its location on Madison Avenue into this building designed by Renzo Piano. While I have not yet had the chance to visit the museum at its new site, I have been to the old one, and the selection of art they had on display was stunning. If you are interested in American Art from the 20th and 21st century, this is a must see when you come to New York.
The Whitney Museum of American Art,
99 Gansevoort St, New York, NY 10014, USA
The Whitney on Google Maps
See More Art in Various Chelsea Galleries
Between W19th and W26th Street on the Hudson River Side you can find many art galleries that are worth checking out, like Marianne Boesky Gallery, Hauser & Wirth, David Zwirner, Lehman Maupin or the Gagosian. Find a more extensive list of Chelsea art galleries, including more details and addresses, over at Time Out Magazine.
Marianne Boesky Gallery
509 W 24th St, New York, NY 10011, USA
Marianne Boesky Gallery on Google Maps
Hauser & Wirth
548 W 22nd St, New York, NY 10011, USA
Hauser & Wirth on Google Maps
525 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011, USA
David Zwirner on Google Maps
536 W 22nd St, New York, NY 10011, USA
Lehman Maupin on Google Maps
522 W 21st St, New York, NY 10011, USA
Gagosian on Google Maps
Buy some Artist Books at Printed Matter Inc.
While you might not be able to afford most of the art on display at the art galleries in Chelsea, you might be able to purchase an artist book at Printed Matter Inc. The store is full to the brim with various books and printed publications, each of them an artwork in itself. You can spend hours browsing the store, and it’s worth coming back, as the stock is continually rotating. If you don’t have any space left for books in your luggage, don’t despair. They also sell tote bags, as well as postcards.
Printed Matter Inc.
231 11th Ave, New York, NY 10001, USA
Printed Matter on Google Maps
Have a Snack at Chelsea Market
Chelsea Market is a vast indoor food hall can be super packed, but it’s worth a visit nonetheless. Grab a bite at one of the many food stalls – we tried the Tacos atLos Tacos No. 1, and they were very decent. Or, shop some delicacies to cook in your Airbnb or bring back home, or find some souvenirs in one of the non-food shops.
Chelsea Market – Food Hall
75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011, USA
Chelsea Market on Google Maps
Browse the Shelves at Calliope
Calliope is the store of jewelry designer and Instagram Maven Caroline Ventura and her husband, Michael. In the store, they sell all kinds of contemporary and mid-century items made by artists and designers from around the world. Browse the store to find books, art, furniture or lightning and more. Also if you are lucky their super cute dog, Darryl might be there to greet you at the store.
349 W 12th St, New York, NY 10014, USA
Calliope on Google Maps
Eat at Empire Diner
The Empire Diner is an iconic New York City with a beautiful Art Deco Exterior and a lovingly restored and modernized interior. They serve classic American fare and prepare everything with high-quality ingredients. Try the Burger, the Sourdough Pretzel Fried chicken or the New York Pastrami Sandwich. Also, don’t miss out on the cocktails! As it’s a rather small space, you might want to get a reservation in advance.
210 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011, USA
Empire Diner on Google Maps
Have Drinks at the Jane Hotel
When the evening has arrived and you still find yourself close to the High Line, head to the Jane Hotel for drinks. The whole hotel is unique, and if you are into the movies of Wes Anderson, you are in for a treat. While you might find better drinks in Manhattan, it’s the interior that makes this bar so very special.
The Bar at the Jane Hotel
113 Jane St, New York, NY 10014, USA
The Jane Hotel on Google Maps