Saturday 2nd April
It was a wet morning so we delayed breakfast. Following this we explored the High Line. This is an elevated park and walkway recently opened on the trackbed of the railway that linked all of the docks and wharves along the Hudson River with the processing plants in Lower Manhattan and further north along the Hudson Valley. It is a steel structure that was built in the 19th century to separate rail traffic from road traffic and pedestrians. As there had been so many accidents when trains crossed west side roads a section became known as “Death Avenue”. On our first visit to NYC nearly 30 years ago this elevated railway was beginning to be run down as cargo ships became bigger and moved to larger terminals in New Jersey. At the same time the British, American, French, German and Dutch transatlantic liners stopped operating so there was no need for a railway to resupply these big ships.
The High Line gives one a close up view of the Meat Packing District, Chelsea with its textiles, fruit and vegetables and Art Deco hotels as well as the major redevelopments near Penn Station where the walkway ends. It is very cleverly restored and the rusting railway lines are hidden by flowers, bushes and trees which are providing safe areas for birdlife.