Last week I had a sweet but short taste of freedom from deadlines and dissertations. After a tough month of group projects and continuous essay writing, my brain was fried and my days were blurring into one; I was in dire need of a change in location. So, of course the only thing to do was to hop across the pond for a bit of trans-Atlantic fun with the parentals in New York, New York!
As a girl of a certain age, New York isn’t just a tourist destination but an aspiration; at one point or another most girls have wistfully watched an episode of Sex & the City – or the first film, not the second – vouching that one day they will live there in a generously sized apartment with rent control, stomp those streets in Manolo’s and fall in love with a sharply dressed banker who may or may not be named Big…
While GIRLS has – quite appropriately – taken some of the shine off the varnish that Sex & the City glossed (rents are sky high, expensive clothes are still expensive and men are…well, still men) New York is still the pinnacle of cool and with a brother now living in the city, there was no better time to visit.
Having visited twice before, my parents and I were in no rush to go up the Empire State or see the Lady of Liberty up close so our first morning got off to a more relaxed start. My parents had walked the High Line the last time they were in NY in November, however, unlucky for them they got absolutely drenched in a down pour, but lucky for us the weather this time was fare more conducive to a leisurely walk downtown to take in the sights and sounds of the city.
The High Line is built upon an elevated rail line which was transformed into a public space after locals and the Friends of the High Line organisation fended off the threat of demolition. Situated on Manhattan’s West Side, the High Line runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to the West 34th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenue with beautifully maintained lawns, beds of greenery and art installations popping up along the old rail way lines. Not only that, but it happens to be a great location for people watching and fantasty real estate window shopping; two of my favourite pastimes.
Dress – ASOS / Sliders – Topshop / Jacket – Zara (old) / Bag – 3.1 Phillip Lim / Necklace – Zara
Colourful street art pops up all along the stretch of rail way, with bare walls turning into huge art canvases to be enjoyed by those simply walking by…
This was probably my favourite part of the High Line; a little slice of heaven for any keen people watcher. If I lived near by I’d spend my days off taking up residency on the stairs, book in hand, friends in tow, phone left at home just watching the world go by.
The Standard Hotel – the sight of the recent heavy weight boxing match between Jay Z and Solange
The High Line does has food vendors selling snacks and while I was tempted, my parents and I had bigger fish to fry when it came to lunchtime…more on that later…
The High Line is one of New York’s not-so-hidden gems. While perched only a few feet above the city that never sleeps, serenity pervades along the stretch with the constant sirens of the emergency services and the honks of the impatient taxis below muted among the greenery. It gives you a little insight into the cities own brand of organised chaos, its hidden crevices and the artistic flare which flows freely throughout the streets and avenues of the worlds most famous metropolis.