For nearly fifty years, an elevated freight train transported goods from New York City's factories and warehouses along Manhattan's west side to the train yards of 34th Street. The last train to run these tracks was in 1980. Since that time, the historic freight line has been a source of debate for local Chelsea residents. Many advocated for its demise while others nostalgically appealed to keep the historic tracks.
The High Line remained standing as a ruin of the industrial age. In 1999, The Friends of the High Line was founded to advocate for the preservation of the dilapidated rail line. Today a beloved public park permeates the urban landscape.
Purple ironweed (Veronica glanca) and Scabiosa seed heads
The old rail is still visible in many areas along the path.
While planning our trip to New York, various sources recommended a visit to The High Line. Truthfully, from the reviews and photographs I was not quite interested. However, the trail happened to cross our path. After experiencing the public park on a glorious summer's day, I realized what was lacking in the descriptive accounts, a passion for nature. Much of the flora is native inviting wildlife for food and shelter. As we strolled the revitalized urban green space, birds dashed, butterflies whirled as bees hovered for nectar. The trees waved poetically in the breeze. Perennial blossoms danced as grasses sifted the air. There is something for everyone from flowers, trees, and sweeping views of the city and harbor to public art installations. The urban landscape became like wallpaper, an artistic backdrop to the life flourishing along the tracks.
Hibiscus moscheutos, swamp-rose mallow
Eupatorium and Crabapple tree
Gayfeather (Liatris) gone to seed
Spectacularly the mass plantings are arranged for every season. A seasonal change is just beginning. Do not miss the glowing grasses in the evening sunlight as autumn beckons her wildflowers to bloom and tree leaves to blush. If I lived in New York City, I would definitely visit The High Line as often as possible in every season.