As I mentioned in my prior post, the third and final section of the High Line in NYC was completed last September. It is a huge departure from the other sections … and it totally worked for me. It is known as the “The High Line at the Rail Yards” and you’ll see why that name was chosen in a few.
I highly suggest reading this before proceeding. A much more intelligent and eloquent writer really nailed it and fortunately, I was able to read it before taking the stroll. With that backdrop, it really provided the necessary perspective. My only regret is that I didn’t take the tour at sunrise or sunset. Did you see the photos in that link above? Stunning shots.
The funny thing is, as I approached the new section, my first question was “Is this all everyone says it is cracked up to be?” What would you think after this view below?
A genuine mess, right? Would it distract enough and take away from what is going on above?
My doubts were eventually lifted as I entered the “11th Ave Bridge“. It takes you in a westerly direction (towards NJ) and provides stunning views of the Hudson River. The bridge is slightly elevated to enhance said views.
Nice. I’m all in.
After crossing the 11th Avenue Bridge, you soon understand why it is known as the “Rail Yards”. Take a look at the photos below.
The Rail Yards will soon look much different as they will be replaced by the Hudson Yards which will be a series of high rise buildings home to condominiums, businesses and retail space at a cost close to … gulp … 20 billion.
Interesting factoid – the Hudson Yards were given the green light only after NYC was denied the 2012 Olympics and missed out on the relocation of the New Jersey Nets to the west side of Manhattan.
To the naked eye, the old rail lines along the walk appear to still be suffering from neglect. Looks like a bunch of weeds run amok; Queen’s Anne Lace galore.
However, those are actual plantings that have been strategically placed that way to evoke memories of the abandoned rail line prior to the creation of the High Line.
So you may see “unruly” but I see a genius at work. A perfect representation of “what was”. As the famed garden designer and High Line planting coordinator/ruler/overseer Piet Oudolf put it, “It’s not wild at all, it’s an introduction to the wild ”.
My biggest concern would be how this all looks/plays out once the Hudson Yards project is completed. Because as of right now, I dig the plantings with the endless mess of rail cars below. It truly evokes old NYC.
So if I had to best summarize the “Rail Yards” experience, it is cool urban-retro-neglected-garden look with modern amenities along the walk and … sick views.
Part 3 soon to come where all I will focus on is the plants.