the high line: (early) spring

May 3rd, 2013

I was so excited about my next installment in my “Year on the High Line” series. I mean, after the winter we’ve had, who wouldn’t be thrilled to welcome spring by spending the day at one of the city’s most fabulous parks?

And then I woke up to a day like most we’ve had this spring.

Chilly.

Gray.

Windy?

I was tempted to cancel, but thought better of it. There was no rain in the forecast, and I actually decided to look at this trip as a challenge. Could I find beauty and interest at the High Line even on a dreary, early spring day?

Bring it, High Line.

And in the spirit of finding yet new and different aspects of the park to discover and love, I started my day underneath the park. I walked along 10th Avenue, looking up – something I don’t normally do in my quest to get up there as quickly as possible. I enjoyed my new perspective, and the way the plantings and other features provide glimpses and hints of what’s to come.

high line, new york city

high line, new york city

high line, new york city

Much like winter, what makes the High Line compelling at this time of year is only partly about the plantings.

Of course, there were bulbs and tender perennials abloom – they looked especially charming nestled amid the gravel and tracks:

high line, new york city

high line, new york city

high line, new york city

high line, new york city

high line, new york city

high line, new york city

Trees, shrubs and vines were beginning to bud:

high line, new york city

high line, new york city

high line, new york city

high line, new york city

I love that, because of the staggered heights of the tracks and plantings, you can literally be “up in the trees”, watching them unfold through the seasons – right up close.

And then I turned my attention elsewhere.

To the ever changing and always interesting art on display:

high line, new york city

To the thoughtfully designed seating – which was completely empty (probably for the last time this season):

high line, new york city

high line, new york city

high line, new york city

high line, new york city

high line, new york city

And to the use of perspective and sweeping sight lines to create a sense of movement – appropriate for a former rail system:

high line, new york cityAs I walked I began to actually appreciate  and even enjoy –  the quiet, the space and the relative solitude. And I reminded myself that once the warm weather kicks in, the park will be packed with people, day and night, for months to come.

Spring in New York really does come in two parts, so I’ll be back next month to experience “late spring” in the park.

Hopefully without my gloves.

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