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Monday, April 2, 2012

Eating Manhattan: Takes to the High Line (and the food trucks below the sky!)

With the High Line in my own backyard in the Chelsea section of Manhattan, it took an invite from the adventurous Kenny to get me to climb the old rusty stairs and discover a whole new world in the sky.
According the website on this newest of parks: The High Line was built in the 1930s, as part of a massive public-private infrastructure project called the West Side Improvement. It lifted freight traffic 30 feet in the air, removing dangerous trains from the streets of Manhattan's largest industrial district. No trains have run on the High Line since 1980. The last load being a few cars of frozen turkeys apparently.

Friends of the High Line, a community-based non-profit group, formed in 1999 when the historic structure was under threat of demolition. Friends of the High Line works in partnership with the City of New York to preserve and maintain the structure as an elevated public park. 

The project gained the City's support in 2002. The High Line south of 30th Street was donated to the City by CSX Transportation Inc. in 2005. The design team of landscape architects James Corner Field Operations, with architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, created the High Line's public landscape with guidance from a diverse community of High Line supporters. Construction on the park began in 2006. The first section, from Gansevoort Street to West 20th Street, opened June 9, 2009. The second section, from West 20th Street to West 30th Street, opened in 2011.

What I loved about the High Line and my visit there was the feeling of being in the city, yet being out of it at the same time. Wonderful plantings abound along with little creative art nooks and comfortable seating with panoramic views. It's a great place for a picnic or a quiet read. I'd suggest going during the week if you can instead of the weekend, when it can be super choked and way too busy. Going during the week is such a peaceful juxtaposition. :-)

On the night that Kenny and I went, it was also the celebration of the newest part of the elevated park opening, and true to their word, food trucks were on hand at West 30th street, under the Highline, offering a wide array of wonderful food including crispy calamari, Kimchi Tacos, and Baklava. We decided to try many small plates of many things to share, and were not unsatisfied. It's a great way to try EVERYTHING and not be stuffed. Local fresh brewery offerings are also usually available.

It's hard to review the trucks at West 30th, since the food offerings at the High Line do differ from Day to Day, so be sure to check the times and any food listings on their site. Plus anyone serving there does have to go through a rigorous approval process, so they know their culinary stuff. And it's just fun sitting in this refurbished area, and know that it is saved as a park for future explorers!

Check out all things High Line here:


I can say though that if Kimchee Taco is there, you gotta try it.

In addition, the High Line is always hosting some fun events. Here are a few coming up for Earth Day this month:

Earth Day celebration on April 22: Celebrate the end of High Line Spring Cutback and the beginning of spring with a day of community festivities at the High Line.

High Line Kids: Earth Day in the Sky on April 22: Families, celebrate Earth Day with live music, a giant communal mural, face painting, wildflower seed balls you can grow at home, and the Children’s Workyard Kit.

So, go ahead, claim your little piece (of Baklava maybe?) in the sky!

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