. . . and metal, skin and ivory birds
go steaming up to rousseau's vines
they go steaming up to brooklyn bridge
steaming, steaming up the jungle line . . .
Before I went I decided to treat myself with a new guide book as our old D&K one is out of date. The Insight Guides New York Select seemed quite classy. I was totally taken with the idea of The High Line on page 88. It's basically a long, thin park in the sky. By re-using a disused railway trestle on the West Side you can walk above the Meatpacking District and other industrial neighbourhoods. At 17th Street we looked across to the Statue of Liberty, at 18th the Empire State Building was in view.
It's a wonderful and inventive use of the old railway line and I was totally enthralled. As I'd made everyone go and find it and walk it, I'm glad that it was as impressive as it was. Part of it was closed down and crawling with workmen - presumably to prepare for Spring and Summer when it will be in full bloom. The way that old rails and sleepers have been utilized is masterful.
As you can see, there was snow - we woke up on President's Day to a huge fall of snow which had mostly gone by the following day. By Wednesday - the day this still from my little video was captured - the sun was out and we were quite hot.
Whilst there are a lot of plants growing there naturally, the public have taken to planting trees and flowers there too. With lots of areas to sit and some breathtaking views, I'm assuming that commerce will hustle its insidious way in and there'll be cafes before long - no bars, of course!
Give the people an opportunity and they will respond - a genuine case of "Big Society" methinks.
What an absolutely beautiful thing to do.