While newscasters motivate chionophobics to essentially loot markets, bodegas and hardware stores for things they may need in the event of catastrophe resulting from an impending nor’easter, I took the opportunity to enjoy Sunday’s tropical 40 degree calm-before-the-storm on the West Side of Midtown and Lower Manhattan.
High Line Park, aka the High Line, has been on the short list of things to check out since I moved to New York. It’s just been too damn cold. But with no warmth in sight, I figured the day was as good as any to stroll along the elevated pathway that connects 34th street to the Meatpacking District. While I’ve heard that it’s usually highly trafficked, the pending doom of a few feet of fresh powder combined with some pretty brisk pre-storm wind helped persuade many tourists to find other things to do – great for me.
Bundled up, it turned out to be quite the comfortable walk – taking in all of the crosstown views one could possibly handle. The High Line is an “up-and-coming” stretch of the West Side. While vantage points offer landscapes of decades old buildings and infrastructure, there is a ton of new construction carving the skies above the elevated park (multi-million dollar condo buildings for the most part). But in between these towering steel skeletons are stretches that still offer the charm of old New York.
Artists have found the walls of century old walk-up apartment buildings to be excellent canvasses for illustrating their visions. Graffiti, street art and other creative installations dot the High Line in a sort of unintentional, sensory massaging pattern that stretches out your rubber-neck as you trot along.
When you finally make it to the end of the 1.45 mile long path, your left with two options – walk back or descend into the heart of the Meatpacking District. Either is a fair choice as you’re bound to see things you missed on your walk downtown, but if you’re a foodie, shopper or simply thirsting for culture the answer is quite clear.
Meatpacking is mecca for trendy restaurants, designer fashion and cobble stone streets. In the early 1800s it was home to Fort Gansevoort, and then became a commerce hub for meatpacking (hence the name), but today it’s a go-to place for brunch with friends and parties with strangers – with a little high end shopping in between.
It’s one of my favorite places on the Lower West Side, but on this day, it only briefly held my attention. I was on a mission to take in a proper NYC sunset.
I snaked my way through the Village, into Tribeca and on down to Battery Place where I caught the tail end of the sun’s descent. This particular sunset didn’t have the powerful punch of spectral colors as others I’ve had the privilege of witnessing, but it was therapeutic in it’s own right. Mission = sort of successful.
With the day’s light fading and the temperature dropping, I packed up my gear and began the 4.5 mile trek home. Even in the cold, I like to walk this city. There is always something to see.
I stopped briefly to pay my respects at the 9/11 memorial and then b-lined up Broadway to charge the cameras for the incoming snow.
New York, in a blizzard, a photogs dream.