The High Line is a 1-mile linear park built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. It is built on a 1.45-mile section of the former elevated New York Central Railroad spur called the West Side Line. It is owned by the City of New York, and maintained and operated by Friends of the High Line.
Founded in 1999 by community residents, Friends of the High Line fought for the High Line’s preservation and transformation at a time when the historic structure was under the threat of demolition. it has now been redesigned and planted as an aerial greenway. We throughly enjoyed the 1-mile walk along the park. It is designed in such a way that the rails and sleepers are visable between the boardwalk and plants.
As we walked along the park, we managed to get up close and personal with many murals on the buildings skirting the park. We even managed to spot one that was “in the making”.
Presented by Friends of the High Line, High Line Art commissions and produces public art projects that take place on and around the High Line. Founded in 2009, High Line Art has been showcasing a wide array of artworks including site-specific commissions, exhibitions, performances, video programs and a series of billboard interventions. High Line Art invites artists to think of creative ways to engage with the uniqueness of the architecture and design of the High Line and to foster a productive dialogue with the surrounding neighborhood and urban landscape.
Central Park is one of those places that make New York such a great place. The huge park, 843 acres large, is located in the center of Manhattan. The park boasts several lakes, theaters, ice rinks, fountains, tennis courts, baseball fields, many playgrounds and other facilities. It is also home to the Central Park Zoo and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Especially during the weekends, when cars are not allowed into the park, Central Park is a welcome oasis in this hectic city.
Central Park has an unusually rich endowment of exposed, ancient bedrock – rocks that are not only highly decorative, but also contain visible evidence of epochal events dating back hundreds of millions of years. One of the best examples of this phenomenon can be found in the mass of bedrock, known as Umpire Rock. These inlays were actually once liquefied rock from the earth’s interior before they were injected into fissures in the schist and cooled into bands of solid rock.
Strawberry Fields is a living memorial to the world-famous singer, songwriter and peace activist – John Lennon. During his career with the Beatles and in his solo work, Lennon’s music gave hope and inspiration to people around the world. His campaign for peace lives on, symbolized at Strawberry Fields.
This tranquil section of Central Park was named after one of the Beatles’ best-known songs, “Strawberry Fields Forever.” Strawberry Fields was officially dedicated on October 9, 1985 – the 45th anniversary of Lennon’s birth. Yoko Ono worked with landscape architect Bruce Kelly and the Central Park Conservancy to create a meditative spot. The iconic black-and-white mosaic was created by Italian craftsmen and given as a gift by the city of Naples. Based on a Greco-Roman design, it bears the word of another of Lennon’s songs: Imagine.
We happened to be here during the Queens Diamond Jubilee and stumbled on a Beatles (tribute band) concert in the park. Video was taken at the begining when the crowds were still slowly streaming in.
In January 1925, Alaskan doctors feared a deadly diphtheria epidemic would spread among the children of Nome. With no trains running that far north and the only available airplane sidelined by a frozen engine, the best chance of transporting the medicine across the icy tundra was by sled dog. Balto the sled dog became a national hero and his statue has nobly stood on a rock outcropping for 85 years. The sculpture depicts Balto surveying the distance, hind legs braced and a sled harness hanging from his back.
Originally designed in 1865 by Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould, Belvedere Castle was intended to be a Victorian Folly, a fantasy structure that provides a great backdrop and views, but without a real intended purpose. With its strong stone façade, grand turret and flag, the castle was merely a stunning attraction in Central Park.
This all changed in 1919 when the National Weather Service began taking measurements from the castle’s tower with scientific instruments that determine wind speed and direction. Additionally, just south of the castle, other data such as the rainfall was recorded and sent to the weather service’s forecast office at Brookhaven National Library on Long Island. Belvedere Castle is still used for this purpose today.
Named for the Italian meaning “beautiful view,” Central Park’s Belvedere Castle offers park goers exactly what its name implies. With its two balconies, it supplies wonderful panoramic views of the park and it’s landmarks.
The Obelisk, nicknamed Cleopatra’s Needle, is the oldest man-made object in Central Park. A pair of obelisks was commissioned for Heliopolis on the banks of the Nile in 1500 BC by an Egyptian pharaoh who wished to celebrate his 30 years of reign. The monuments were then moved to Alexandria in 18AD. They remained there until one obelisk was moved to London in 1879. The New York one was erected in the Park two years later and was offered by the Egyptian Khedive to America in exchange for funds to modernize his country.
When the Reservoir was built in 1862, its original purpose was to provide clean water for the city. While this function is not carried out today, the Reservoir does distribute water to other Central Park locations, such as the Pool, the Loch, and the Harlem Meer. Officially named the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in 1994, the Reservoir is famed for the 1.58 track that encircles the 106-acre body of water.
From its 86th street location, the Reservoir offers runners one of the best views of the city skyline, and allows birdwatchers a great location in which to spot herons, egrets, coots, and loons.We were surprised to see a family of racoons nesting next to the path close to the waters edge. This is the first time we’ve seen wild racoons.
Central Park’s oldest building, the Blockhouse is also the only remaining fortification of the many built in 1814 to defend against the British. It stands on the edge of a high precipice called “The Cliff.” The rugged stone structure once had a sunken wooden roof and mobile cannon that could be deployed quickly. Today, the Blockhouse is empty, roofless and securely locked.