Walking the High Line
Fuji X100 | 1/640 sec, f/2.8, ISO 800
This weekend we spent an entire morning walking along the beautifully designed High Line, an elevated park that runs through the west side of Manhattan. Arriving at the park’s Ganesvoort street entrance, I was very happy to see dramatic morning light sweeping across town.
The High Line was once an elevated rail system, supporting freight trains that ran cargo between warehouses and processing facilities in Manhattan’s meat packing district. It’s been several decades since the railway has been used for that purpose, but to preserve the structure as part of New York’s rich history, it was recently overhauled for reuse as a public park.
We arrived early enough to be among only people there in the morning, and it was so peaceful and serene:
Vendors were still setting up during sunrise. Blue Bottle Coffee? Yup, this was going to be a good day.
As we continued walking and shooting, people began trickling into the park, mostly runners as well as the occasional couple doing a photo shoot with their photographer. And speaking of photography, I couldn’t have asked for better morning light for photographs. There was brilliant light and shadow all over the place that morning.
I absolutely love the park’s design. The landscaping was inspired by the wild, self-seeded plant life that once grew on the High Line when it was no longer in use as a rail system. Parts of the original tracks have been reintegrated into the landscape, giving the park a sort of post-apocalyptic look, as if nature has claimed this part of the city as her own, though there is obviously a lot of control to the “chaos.”
Long, concrete “planks” form most of the High Line’s smooth walkways. Our walking progress was extremely slow as I was stopping just about every other second to take pictures. There’s just so much to photograph up there, and my camera was just loving the “wild nature meets man-made structure” theme that permeates the park and creates fascinating visual contrasts.
Speaking of the camera, these images are all from the Fuji X100. Compared to my DSLR, the X100 is just about weightless, and a joy to carry around and shoot with on the nearly 3 mile walk from one end of the park to the other and back.
Without my camera strap, I was fearing for my camera’s life a little here.
Another interesting, visually contrasting element of the park is the neighborhood it sits in. As you walk along, you see decades-old factories and housing mixed in with ultra-modern high rise buildings that run along the High Line’s path.
The park features a large public lawn, which was unfortunately off limits the day we visited. I love the viewing platforms that extend from the path, allowing me to basically step off the High Line to get a better view of the park, soak in sweeping views of the city’s skyline and buzzing streets, or people watch while kicking back on one of the many benches placed along the walkway.
Ok, so I think that’s enough yapping from me. I’ll let the photos tell the rest of the story:
The High Line is a must see if you ever find yourself in New York City. I’m pretty sure it’ll be on my to do list every single time I visit!
Coming up, more posts from photo walks in NY over the weekend, meeting three amazing Shibas (well, technically four), and the best coffee I’ve ever had on the east coast, or possibly anywhere for that matter. Stay tuned!
Fuji Finepix X100: Provia Film Sim (JPEG output)
Black and Whites processed in Silver Efex Pro 2