The west-side High Line has new things to come this spring as it will soon be extending its green paths uptown to 30th Street. There’s no official date announced but it’s sometime this spring. The High Line is open to the public until 10pm and this summer there will be food services offered by High Line approved vendors, additional visitor services and events for all to enjoy.
Grab your telescopes and join star-gazing fun at the High Line Tuesday nights. The Amateur Astronomers Association of New York‘s will have high-powered telescopes on had with instruction and generally will be offering lessons on what goes on in the sky above New York City. So come by at dusk and join both amateur and professional astronomers every Tuesday night during High Line’s Star Gazing Event. Unfortunately, the first ever Star Gazing night this year was cancelled due to bad weather, but the next one is scheduled for April 19th. Let’s all hope for a clear night.
Before it was abandoned
Food was carried into New York City with the use of large freight trains which ran besides pedestrian and vehicle traffic starting in the mid 1800’s. As most could imagine, there were many unfortunate and sometimes fatal accidents along 10 Ave. giving it the nickname Death Ave. The city and state recognized this huge problem and decided to lift the rails 30 feet above the street level traffic. The tracks were built bisecting avenues and giving the freight trains the ability to directly go inside warehouses and factories. This eliminated 105 street crossing and the trains no longer interfered with street level traffic. These trains continued to make deliveries until the last train ran frozen turkeys to one of the remaining warehouses in 1980. The tracks were then used by club kids in the 80’s and were home to many of New York Cities homeless up until recently.
Here comes the Food Vendors
Visitors have often requested that the High Line offer both food and beverage options in the middle of it all. I’m sure there is also a need for the High Line to make some revenue to keep things looking nice. The Friends of the High Line Association announced this March that it would be taking proposals from any vendor would like to fill out an application. According to the High Line the vendors would be chosen by them after prove that they will be appropriate for the High Line Environment. It will be interesting on who will have the honor of being a part of the High Line landscape.
In their words: “Friends of the High Line is looking for partners who will create food that is as thoughtful, creative, and interesting as the High Line itself and who want to build a strong partnership and active collaboration with the High Line.”
The choice of vendors will be localvore in nature and ideally will encourage connections between one another and the land around them. It will be interesting who gets in on the action and how it will enhance the overall experience of walking the High Line. It sounds simple and a bit utopian. Hopefully, it won’t mean eyesore scenes like people waiting long lines for a half melted ice cream cone, dirty barrels filled with trash. The present tranquil environment of the elevated parkway may get lost amongst the hotdog wrappers and vest touting maintenance person equipped with a broom and bucket. I’m not sure why people just can’t pack a lunch or just walk a few feet to get something to go. They do mention on there website that the revenue accumulated will benefit in supporting the Friends of the High Line – aka they need to have a revenue stream to keep the money flowing.
Bird Watching, walking tours and more….
Those along with new walking tours, more art work to view from the pathway and festivals with will come and go throughout the season give visitors plenty to do and see on the High Line. Here’s what is in store so far this season. The prices are a bit steep for me but the bird walk does sound interesting.
The High Line offers activities for budget minded visitors like myself. The main one is the numerous temporary Public Art installations that are featured along the High Line. These come in all shapes and forms and usually give those who notice a different perspective of the space around them. My visit the other day and included listening to the bell chimes in the 14th Street passageway. They are a part of the Public Art installation created by artist Stephen Vitiello. My favorite things to do in NYC is visiting Public Art installations throughout the city when ever possible. The Public Art projects along the High Line and throughout the city are one of the unique features of New York City and literally can’t be missed unless you don’t realize that is what it is.