One neighborhood I have been fascinated by since coming to New York has been the Meatpacking District. Trendy, sleek and very downtown, I decided one afternoon to finally visit The Standard and walk The High Line fully. On beautiful Sunday afternoon at sunset, this fashionable adventure was simply one of my best moments in New York.
Annie, Jaime and I started off this visit to Meatpacking District at the famously mod Standard Hotel at the Biergarten. Before visiting the hotel, I had heard how exclusive and fashion The Standard was. So after one failed attempt at getting into Le Bain, I tried one more attempt at having an afternoon amongst New York’s glitterati. Being transported to Germany, the three of us grabbed a pint of Licher Weisse (light wheat beer) and sat at the open-air benches at the Biergarten. Tempted to eat a pretzel or sausage, I was pleasantly surprised to learn just how low key the Biergarten was. Although most people were trendy, downtown folk, the atmosphere still wasn’t uppity or exclusive. It was simply about having a pint on a hot Manhattan day.
Already nestled underneath The High Line, the three of us decided to walk the full length of this “park” to finally see what modern New York is about. Starting at the second entrance, we started walking along the super-sleek walkway, admiring the different food trucks and luxurious gardens and lawn chairs that decorated The High Line. As I mentioned in my previous mini tryst to The High Line, I was pleasantly surprised of how beautiful the walkway was, even capturing the industrial aspect of New York’s west side.
Although I wouldn’t consider The High Line a park, I would say it has the same appeal as The Cloisters. Not too far from the steel and heat of Manhattan, it is still a nice getaway, getting to overlook the Hudson and see some green for once! And some of my favorites of the Line was the ability to see classic parts of New York at a completely different angle, as seen by my photo of the Empire State Building. To me, The High Line represents modern New York. Our children will think of The High Line as we think of Central Park or the Statue of Liberty, so it was interesting seeing classic parts of New York through a modern lens.
Another fun part of The High Line was seeing all of the different apartments that line this beautiful walkway. I wasn’t sure if I would want to live along this quite public “park,” but nevertheless, the buildings were beautiful and quintessentially west side modern. This was the new New York. Looking at these accommodations, I realized just how places like Upper East Side brick stones and apartments overlooking Central Park were going out of fashion in good ole’ Manhattan. Urban renewal was the new style of New York.
Another interesting aspect of The High Line was the modern art displays. In addition to various murals on apartments nearby, I was fascinated to listen to a contemporary performance art piece with a man simply reading animal names. Although I enjoyed the different flow of art, I thought this was peculiar and a very west side aspect of this New York “park.”
But the best part of this adventure was getting to see the sunset on The High Line. Although the classic New York experiences such as the Empire State Building and Central Park are amazing, I have to say that The High Line is one of my favorite places in New York, capturing the new direction New York is moving toward, especially with the idea of repurposing old landmarks and buildings. To me, The High Line is not a park but a semi-relaxed oasis in the middle of bustling Manhattan. And with ice cream sandwiches, fusion taco stands and sleek lounge chairs, it is the perfect blend of Manhattan and nature. And let’s just say that’s my favorite part.
– Harriet White