I’ve been doing some heavy traveling over the past year, and of course, like any good blogger, I’ve been documenting my travels through photos and words. I’ve wrestled with the idea of sharing these travels here on Exploration: Hawaii. The main struggle, well, being that the name of this site is Exploration: Hawaii.
It was 2am, and I was dealing with jet lag after returning from recent travel to Japan. I realized that Exploration: Hawaii isn’t necessarily just about Hawaii. Instead, it’s a great place for me to share my experience and explorations of the world with a unique, Hawaii perspective. Plus, there was already precedence on this website in regards to out-of-state and, even out-of-country stuff. So there.
That said, why not begin with one of my favorite cities: New York City.
Elevated above Manhattan’s West Side is the High Line. The High Line is best described as an elevated public park, repurposed from a central railroad known as the West Side Line. The original High Line opened in 1934, and ran from 34th Street to St. John’s Park Terminal, at Spring Street. The last train ran on the High Line in 1980. Repurposing the railway into a park began in 2006, with Section 1 (Gansevoort Street to West 20th Street) of the then new park opening in 2009.
This was my fourth trip to New York City, but my first time walking the High Line. It was definitely an experience. After an extremely satisfying meal at The Spotted Pig, we walked over to Gansevoort Street and walked the High Line all the way to West 30th Street. From there, you can see the incomplete portion of the High Line. Eventually, the elevated urban park will extend to West 34th Street, connecting the Meatpacking District and West Chelsea with the future Hudson Yards neighborhood.
Of course, we have nothing like this in Hawaii, since we have no history of elevated railways. Not yet, at least. As you walk along the High Line, you get a bird’s-eye views of the Meatpacking District and West Chelsea. The northernmost section of the railway runs through Hell’s Kitchen. Random pieces of art is scattered throughout the urban park. Of notable interest was the industrial refrigerator (or vending machine) installation by Josh Kline, known as Skittles. Also viewable from the High Line is the colorful mural of the iconic couple kissing in Times Square on V-J Day by Eduardo Kobra. Maybe in the year 2120, when the fancy Hawaii Rail Transit is old and decrepit will we see something like this in Hawaii. Let’s hope not. New York City can pull this off. Hawaii, not so much. Not even 100 years from now.
It’s the urban lines, though, that I appreciated the most as I walked the High Line. The vertical lines that jet up from the old buildings in the Meatpacking District, to the horizontal lines that pave the repurposed railway. It’s classic, it’s historic, and it’s so New York.