One of the most asked about attractions in the city these past few years has been The High Line, a repurposed old rail track that has a boardwalk built up around it. There's art, plants, trees, water fountains and peaceful areas to sit down to rest, read a book, people-watch or have something to eat.
The history of the structure dates back to 1847 when the tracks were on the street level, delivering dairy, meat and produce to factories and packing plants on the West Side near the Hudson River. The trains crashed so often with traffic (first horse carriages, then cars) that 10th Avenue was dubbed “Death Avenue” and because of that, the tracks were elevated in 1934 to avoid accidents.
The last train went through in 1980 and The High Line was left to the weeds until a massive rezoning effort and the nonprofit "Friends of the High Line", which runs the park, turned things around and made it into a hugely popular attraction. It now runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues.
At 13th Street in the Meatpacking District, look west for a line of large metal brackets on top of an adjacent building. The brackets once anchored meat hooks along one of the High Line’s widest sections, where trains pulled off to unload. It was once home to more than 250 slaughterhouses.
The High Line is free to visit and summer hours are from 7am-11pm daily. Early morning is least crowded. To see maps, history, event calendar, tour info and more, visit:www.thehighline.org