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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Seven Facts You Did Not Know About NYC’s High Line Park

We’re just a few days away from the Spring Big Adventure! As we inch ever close to this Saturday’s Spring NYC Big Adventure, we wanted to drop some knowledge on you about arguably the most interesting and scenic park in the New York City Park System: The High Line. Built purely from community interest and some dedicated souls, we’re eager to get down to the Chelsea/ West Village/ Meat Packing District sections of town to walk the walk.

So, in advance of this Saturday’s visit, we present seven facts about the High Line Park that we think you’ll find quite, er, elevating. Some High Line trivia for you: 

1)   Some history, In 1847, NYC had street-level railroad tracks down Manhattan’s West Side. "West Side Cowboys" were put in place to ride horses and wave flags in front of the locomotives rolling heavy with Cargo.  Due to endless accidents between freight trains and street traffic , 10th Avenue became known as "Death Avenue”. Yikes.

  2)  More History, The High Line opened to trains in 1934 and ran from where Madison Square Garden stands today to Spring Street. It was designed to go through the center of blocks, rather than over the avenue and connected directly to factories and warehouses, allowing trains to roll right inside buildings.

   3)  When the park opened in June 2009, It attracted more than 300,000 people during the first six weeks. Now, many as 20,000 people visit the park every weekend.

   4)  Leave the football at home: Rules prohibit “throwing or moving objects of any kind—Frisbees, balls, etc”. Most because one errant softball of the side may lead a 12 car pile up as your wayward ball shatters a taxi windshield.

  5)  One section has been opened, but two more stretches all the way up 34th street to complete a 1.4 mile loop are expected to be completed. Phase 2 opens sometime in 2011. Rejoice!

6)   Stole the idea from French: The city of Paris successfully converted a similar rail viaduct into an elevated park called the Promenade Plantée. However, the American version has been such a roaring success that projects similar to the High Line are in early stages in St. Louis, Philadelphia, Jersey City and Chicago.

7)   (and most important) When one hears nature call when one is  on a 30 foot train trestle far from modern conveniences, it is good to know that restrooms are located at the 16th Street access point.

More info and details can be found here: High Line park official site 

And for all NYC Park Info, look here:New York City Department of Parks and Recreation

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