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The High Line

Today was the first real spring-like day in New York this year, so Meg and I celebrated by exploring the High Line. I took some photos (click on the photo below for more):

The High Line in New York City

The High Line is an elevated railway that has fallen into disuse and disrepair, currently running from 33rd Street to the Meatpacking District on the west side of Manhattan. Before setting off, we checked on the Web for directions on how to get up there and found that some friends of ours, Jason, Alison, and Jake, had documented their High Line excursions, complete with directions. If you’re interested in trying it yourself sometime, I would note that the south entrance/exit to the High Line appears to be closed (new fence, locks, barbed wire), so prepare for a round trip back up to 33rd Street.

Reader comments

natalieFeb 29, 2004 at 10:05PM

Jason, may I suggest saving the files at a smaller size?

Most of them are over a MB in size. You should be able to get them down to around 20kb or so.

Nice photos, but Im not viewing the rest until they are resized - you are killing my connection!


AnilFeb 29, 2004 at 10:41PM

Lisa's been up on the high line, too, with some nice pictures. She went up with Michael>. Now I am even more jealous because I *still* haven't gotten to go up. Thanks for the pictures, though, a good reminder that I should get up there.

amandaFeb 29, 2004 at 10:49PM

You should take some wildflower seed up with you the next time you go. Looks amazing.

Witold RiedelMar 01, 2004 at 5:50AM

We were just talking about going up there a few days ago, and the censor in my head kicked me right away and suggested that I should not try because of reasons that still tell me that I should not try...
Glad you guys went. My favorite photographs are #3, in which we are reminded that whenever trains change directions, the wheels roll over some beautifully sculpted metal objects... (easily beats the "elegance" of an HTML link, doesn't it?) and #16 mainly because it somehow shows how New York grows almost organically by including previous artifacts, not by discarding them...

jenMar 01, 2004 at 5:58AM

Fantastic pictures - make me want to jump on a plane and get walking. What's the deal if you get 'caught' up there? Does anyone care? (if I get caught and I'm a Brit visiting NYC, I don't really want to end up slammed in the clink by the NYPD!!!). Oh, and do you 'use' anything to make your slideshows? Or did you code it yourself (I think I know the answer to that?!)

Persistent TruantMar 01, 2004 at 6:29AM

Joel Sternfeld has also been up there with a camera.

These works and others see Sternfeld nominated for the Citygroup Photography Prize, which can be seen at The Photogrpaher's Gallery in London.

More of Sternfeld's excellent large-format work can be seen at Bill Charle's site.

JosephMar 01, 2004 at 6:38AM

There is a beautiful book of photography of the high line:

Walking the High Line, by Joel Sternfeld.

When I get to NY one day (I'm presently on the other side of the world), one of the first things I plan to do is walk the high line. Thanks for the pics, Jason.

(Oh look, Persistent Truant has said much the same. I'm gonna click "post" anyway.)

RobertMar 01, 2004 at 8:11AM

Jen, it is illegal to visit these tracks without permission. You might get some sort of permission easily from either contacting the Friends of the Highline, the Mayor's Office, or some of the historical societies, business associations etc.. But no one really bothers with them. I don't think any of the bloggers listed here bothered with any paperwork. If you are caught, it is up to the NYPD to decide what to do. If they are in a good mood and you do not fit any of their racial profiles of people whom they would shoot first and ask questions later, then you are free to go with just a warning. If they are in a bad mood, or you fit one of their profiles, then you are in trouble. They might jail you in the city, or hand you over to INS and INS can jail or fine you and ban you from entering this country again.

KJCMar 01, 2004 at 8:16AM

Nice photos...but doesn't anyone take vertical photos anymore? It seems to me that some photos (like this one would've been better as vertical.

spygeekMar 01, 2004 at 8:47AM

KJC: They don't fit nicely in an online photo gallery.

Todd W.Mar 01, 2004 at 9:48AM

...but doesn't anyone take vertical photos anymore?

One of the wonderful effects of the Photoblog Tyranny. I have knelt to it's power myself. Though, as highlighted in the recent NYC photoblogger session at the Apple store, infrangible occasionally flouts the "no vertical photos" rule.

donald tettoMar 01, 2004 at 12:46PM

I routinely take vertical pictures (for a photoblog) -- and I don't see why anyone else shouldn't. It strikes me that what is most important about the visual layout is the next and previous buttons; as long as you hard code their positions you should be good. (Eliot often takes vertical photos and deals with his navigation in a much more brilliant way). In any case, even in kottke's gallery, a vertical photo should be good because you retain access to the static next/previous links above the photograph. The idea that photoblogging should so influence the photography though is an interesting one, perhaps better suited for the below thread.

In any case, thanks for these pictures. I had actually read an article about the High Line recently (where? I don't know -- it called Highline redevelopment 'any architect's dream'), but am glad to see your fine collection of photos. (Particuarly the rust/bolts one: nice!) Definitely something I'd like to make a daytrip to the city for -- although I'm quite chicken -- I have too many run ins with security guards just walking around town.

MikeMar 01, 2004 at 5:27PM

Wow, I don't think I've ever seen High Line photos where the grass was so drab and straw-like before. When I went up, there was a foot of snow on the ground, and I decided I wanted to go up for all four seasons this year -- but I may have to add a fifth to the list.

It's nice to see what I was walking on.

The Manhattan Mini Storage ad (#12) is much more interesting when the sky is blue.

NedMar 02, 2004 at 8:47PM

There's an article in the latest issue of The Next American City about the High Line (table of contents here), maybe that's the article Mr. Tetto had in mind?

rgMar 03, 2004 at 3:26AM

Joining the fray, a photo of mine from the High Line, but far more interesting: a video interview of Joel Sternfeld upon it.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.