Night Walk : The High Line Park in New York City

Every day you are rushing to jobs or gigs or interviews for jobs or gigs, negotiating the path through the rough loud place you love, New York. It’s tempting to stay inside your apartment or a bar at night – especially when the sun goes down so early, but you can actually have a great time for free if you take a walk along one of Manhattans newest thoroughfares. The High Line Park has been open since 2009 and after many visits we’ve decided that this vast path of urban infrastructure is one of the most successful of the city’s public works. It is a work of art, if you can excuse a bit of gushing. And it’s work of art you can sit inside – or stroll, or jog, or dance, or steal a kiss. Not hog-kissing, don’t get carried away you kids!

The High Line Park (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Viewed from the High Line at night, the city is close enough to touch but still out of reach, the winding path of the former shipping rail guides you through canyons of warehouses that loom to both sides and allow you a look inside. Distant buildings form mountain peaks in fluorescent reds and greens and blues jutting behind the buildings in your foreground, holding up the sky with triumphal color and illuminating a diorama of the city before you while the Hudson River glistens alongside. You have a front seat to see architectural design of many schools and gaze down upon the creeks and streams of lights below without worrying about dodging traffic or crossing a street – or paying the high rent this island demands now.

In summer months the landscaping is tamed-wild lushness, with a wide variety of plants, tree, flowers, and tall waving grasses.  Even in the off-season, the burnished hues and rusty textures bouncing in the cold breeze make sure the natural element takes a central role in a city which celebrates the man-made. The welcoming handsome furniture is integrated along the walkway to accompany, support, and even to facilitate lounging. What is amazing is how you can be firmly in the middle of an urban footprint and yet experience a sense of being in a serene environment.

The High Line Park (photo © Jaime Rojo)

On a recent evening there were few people walking and sitting in the hidden niches while we strolled up the High Line. People talk, gaze, and of course, take photos. In a semi enclosed underside of a warehouse a lone cello player filled the air with an achingly rich timber that reverberated directly through us like waves of amber.  Just one guy playing his instrument. Where are we, on top of the world? Yes, it’s New York again.

John Baldessari “The First $100,000 I Ever Made”. (photo © Jaime Rojo).

From the High Line Web Site : “High Line Art, presented by Friends of the High Line, today unveiled The First $100,000 I Ever Made, a new work created by legendary artist John Baldessari for the 25-by-75 foot billboard next to the High Line on 10th Avenue at West 18th Street. This is the first of three works to be presented as part of a new series called HIGH LINE BILLBOARD, thanks to the generous support of Edison Properties, the owner of the property on which the billboard stands. The First $100,000 I Ever Made will remain on view until Friday, December 30, 2011.”

The High Line Park (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The High Line Park (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The High Line Park (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The High Line Park (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The High Line Park (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The High Line Park (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The High Line Park (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The High Line Park (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The High Line Park (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The High Line Park (photo © Jaime Rojo)

No Sleep AKA Werds. The High Line Park (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The High Line Park (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The High Line Park (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The High Line Park (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The High Line Park (photo © Jaime Rojo)

To read BSA feature on the High Line Park at day time click here

To learn more about the High Line Park and how to help click here

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