What is the New York Highline?
The high line is a New York promenade located in the pleasant district of Chelsea. It is quite simply an old railway line in height, rehabilitated in green walk. There are benches all along to rest a little and admire the sunset.
A real haven of peace 2,3 kilometers long in the heart of a city that never sleeps. You can walk there quietly, go jogging or have a romantic aperitif. The view from the high line over Chelsea and the Meatpacking district is simply magnificent! Moreover, the promenade is not only popular with tourists but also a good number of locals.
The history of the New York High Line
Originally, the high line was, as I mentioned above, a railway line. Indeed, in the 20th century, the district of Chelsea knew a very intense traffic, between the carriages, car, pedestrians and others. 10th Street was even called the "street of death", so dangerous had it become and a source of accidents. It is for this reason that the city decided to create a railway line 10 meters height. The work of the high line was thus done in 1930, and the trains circulating there made it possible to transport foodstuffs and other goods. This greatly facilitated movement in the neighborhood, and warehouses were created along this railway line.
However, over the years, the train was abandoned in favor of the truck, and the high line saw its last train pass around 1980. Then, this railroad track fell into neglect and there were even plans to destroy it. But the residents waged a struggle to keep it, and a green promenade project was born in the late 1990s.
This is how the latter was rehabilitated and transformed into a superb suspended promenade. The then New York mayor, Michael Bloomberg, approved the project in 2004, and work began. And in 2009, the highline as we know it today was born! Since then, more than 10 million people who went there to gain height while taking a green break!
A real ecological project
In addition to being very pleasant for everyone, did you know that the high line is a 100% green and ecological promenade? Indeed, the promenade has first of all a wide selection of plants and flowers of all kinds, including many native species. Of gardeners and horticulturalists keep a grain of salt every day, and that's one of the reasons walking the high line is so fun! Besides, if you are interested in plants and gardening, you can consult the flowering calendar on the high line's website. You can also find a map to locate the different species of plants and flowers. And if you have a few questions, you can easily get in touch with the horticultural team!
Then know that no pesticides are used, everything is 100% natural ! As when it is snowing, a non-toxic salt is used to remove snow. Everything is done to ensure that the vegetation persists in a healthy and natural way. It also helps to preserve the many birds and insects that have made their home there!
And then, the wood used on the whole promenade is Ipé, known to resist up to a hundred years!
Finally, the lights installed along the promenade are LEDs oriented towards the ground, in order to limit the light pollution to which large cities such as New York are subject.
High line New York: things to do
Enjoy the place
If you are wondering what to do on the high line, you will be surprised! Indeed, the place offers several various activities that will entertain you and relax.
Also, and first of all, I invite you to enjoy the place. Take a stroll, relax on a deckchair in the sun, admire the view, observe the plants and birds that are there. Stay there until sunset without hesitation, to admire the pretty colors invading the New York sky.
And then, don't forget to bring something to make a picnic, because the place has tables and chairs provided for, so you might as well enjoy it! And if you are not very picnic, then go to the restaurant which is located north of the high line!
Take an urban planning course
For example, did you know that you could take an urban planning course there, given by a architect ? What to learn a little more about the city and in particular about the famous district of Chelsea.
Take a guided tour of the high line
In addition, every Tuesday in summer, at 18 p.m., the Tuesday Tour. The latter is a guided walk on the high line, led by a volunteer. The latter will tell you in detail the history of this railway line which has become a pleasant green promenade, and you can ask him all your questions. So do not hesitate, and go to 14th Street, in front of the elevator to get on the high line. That said, I recommend that you get there a little early, as the group is limited to 20 people, and these small tours are quite popular! So prefer to be there to 18h, in order to be sure to be able to participate, even if it is common for two volunteers to be on site, thus allowing the creation of 2 groups of 20 people.
Otherwise, if you are a large group, there is also a private guided tour up to 40 guests and costing between $ 250 (12 people) and $ 600 (40 people).
Then, events are frequently organized around the themes of gardening, art, history, and many others. Of art exhibitions are sometimes even organized on the high line, so keep an eye out! Not to mention the yoga classes or dance shows that take place on the high line when the sunny days are here… In short, you will without any hesitation find something to do on the high line during your stay in New York!
Find out in advance about the events planned during your stay by consulting the calendar on the official website of the high line.
Access to the New York high line
In order to get to the high line, you will have several options. Indeed, there are many entry points that you can find on the map below.
- West 16th, 18th, 20th, 23rd, 26th, 28th, 30th et 34th Streets
- 14th Street
- Gansevoort Street
If you can, choose to go through the 10th Avenue Square entrance. The bay windows overlooking the street will surprise you for sure. You can see all the New York hustle and bustle happening just below and it's quite a unique sensation!
Also, note that the elevators are located at the entrances located on 14th Street, 16th Street, 23rd Street and 30th Street, and the washrooms are at 16th Street as well. And if you're thirsty, you'll find free water fountains at Gansevoort Street as well as 16th, 18th, 23rd and 30th Streets.
Also, note that access to the High Line is free and accessible to all, since elevators are available.
The rules of the high line
In order to ensure good conservation and comfort of the premises, a regulation has been put in place for everyone's attention. So, know that you are not allowed to walk your dog on the high line (urine being harmful for some plants present on the high line).
Then, rolling machines such as skateboards, bicycles and rollerblades are not allowed. You are also asked to pay particular attention to plants that are so well maintained. So don't expect to be able to walk or lie on the grass, let alone pick up flowers as a souvenir! Prefer the benches and deckchairs provided for this purpose, and take pictures instead of picking plants, it lasts longer and it's much better!
Finally, if I strongly advise you to have a picnic or have an aperitif on the high line, I inform you that thealcohol and cigarettes are forbidden ! And of course, throwing your waste elsewhere than in the trash is completely prohibited! So follow all these instructions, and everything will be fine for everyone!
High Line New York: timetables
The hours of the high line differ depending on when you are going there. For example, in winter (December to March) the promenade is open from 7 a.m. to 19 p.m. In the spring, the hours are extended a little, from 7 a.m. to 22 p.m., and in the summer you can even stay until 23 p.m. ! And from October 1, the hours decrease again, going back to 22 p.m.
Take a walk in the artistic district of Chelsea
Discover the artistic side
After discovering the high line, I advise you to go for a walk in the Chelsea district, which is one of my favorites. And if you like contemporary art, don't even ask yourself the question: go for it! Indeed, Chelsea is full of small art galleries: there are around 200! And it is also in this district that the famous Gagosian Gallery.
Don't miss the Chelsea Gallery district, the art gallery district that offers around 200 small galleries of contemporary art housed in former warehouses, including the famous Gagosian Gallery. The good plan: stroll there on a Thursday evening in summer, where many galleries remain open, for your greatest pleasure.
And if you like architecture, it's atIAC Building as well as at 100 Eleventh Avenue let it happen! These two buildings are none other than the offices of famous architects Frank Gehry and Jean Nouvel. You'll find them face to face, between West 27th Street and West 28th Street. A must-do for any architect or architecture lover!
Spend a day like a local
Are you greedy and looking for something authentic? So go for the famous Chelsea Market, where you will find a whole bunch of delicious options to take a little break. Cookies, lobster, brownies and other delicacies await you!
Finally, if you are more of a sporty mood or traveling to New York with children, go to you Chelsea piers, located along the Hudson River between West 17th and West 23rd Street. You can do a multitude of sports activities, such as yoga classes, Beach volleyball, rock climbing, baseball or whatever. And if you get hungry when you leave, don't panic! Restaurants are also located there, to satisfy all your desires!
So, ready to discover this little green gem in the heart of the city? Go for it, you will have the chance to admire the hudson river, the city around, and even the shores of New Jersey! So don't forget your camera, and open your eyes wide to capture every magical moment offered.
And for more information, do not hesitate to consult the official site of the high line and that of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. Moreover, know that you can make donations to the association « Friends of the High Line ». The latter aims to maintain and preserve this pretty walk, so make a nice gesture!
Finally, if you can, I recommend you stay at the Maritime Hotel, located in the heart of Chelsea. Cozy, comfortable and unique atmosphere guaranteed! A little cocoon in the middle of the anthill, in a way!