A doctor's appointment-gone-wrong left me with about a hour to kill yesterday between appointments. I decided to take a walk on the High Line, a relatively new park that is a creative transformation of an abandoned elevated rail line into a beautiful open space.
Short history - the High Line was originally built in the 1930s as part of Robert Moses' West Side Improvement Plan, which eliminated dangerous at-grade railroad crossings along Manhattan's west side (which was mostly industrial) by raising the rail tracks into the air, like elevated subway lines. By the 1980s the line was abandoned and eventually became an eyesore overgrown with weeds.
These photos show just some scenes of the park itself - the creative use of the space to create seating areas, lawns, plants, trees and pedestrian paths. You'll note that there are some rails embedded into the pedestrian paths. I'm assuming these are original to the structure. For more information, including historical photos, visit The official website of the High Line and Friends of the High Line. For more information about Robert Moses, I recommend The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York, by Robert Caro. It's over 1,300 pages, but it's a fascinating read