This past weekend, I had a chance to visit two beautiful public spaces in Manhattan—the High Line and Hudson River Park. I saw the city through another lens, transformed by environments that combine nature with thoughtful design to create havens for city dwellers.
On the High Line, one sees the city from a new perspective. Built on former elevated railroad tracks on the lower West Side, the High Line meanders several stories above ground. Elegant plantings provide a charming immediate environment, while views of the Hudson and the surrounding cityscape yield surprising and lovely longer-range sights.
One can see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island shimmering through a window of buildings and a pedestrian bridge.
New and old construction along the High Line adds interest. It's uplifting to see the Meatpacking District and Chelsea in a new light.
Hudson River Park is a great place to walk or bike on a warm summer day in Manhattan. A cool breeze comes off the water and the old piers have been re-invented as parks and playgrounds.
Ancient pilings have been left in place, forming sanctuaries for fish and wildlife.
Across the river, the skyline of Jersey City looms impressively.
And a look back at Manhattan yields a striking view of the Empire State Building.
I love the energy of Manhattan. When I walk among the city's skyscrapers, I'm amazed at what human beings have accomplished. But when I visit the city, I also long for space, sky, and greenery. The High Line and Hudson River Park offer a unique combination of the man-made and the natural.
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