There is no place on earth like New York City. It is quite a city and I’ve been lucky to have visited on three separate occasions over the past six months.  If you have never been, It is hard to describe New York City. It is so busy, overstimulating, overwhelming and congested with people from all over the world that as much as I love it, it also wears me out. Just walking a few blocks down the streets of Manhattan is enough to make my mind swirl and go into overdrive trying to process everything I see. The people. The places. The restaurants. The shops. The poverty and the wealth to the extreme. The homeless living in the dirt of a noisy street right outside of Prada. The brand new Ferrari pulling up curbside at a small cafe in Little Italy to eat. It is sometimes amazing and other times overwhelming.

In my early twenties I had the opportunity to live in Chicago for five years, right in the heart of Lincoln Park, and I also lived in Paris for a semester abroad during college. While both cities are large and amazing in their own right nothing compares to the sheer size, concentration of people and magnitude of New York City. I am not sure I could ever live somewhere so intense, invigorating and so over the top without going mad. (I loved living in Paris and Chicago by the way).

In big cities I need to find space and solitude which is a rare commodity. In Chicago, I had Lincoln Park and the lakefront. In Paris, I lived right across from Parc Montsourris in the 14th and found tons of green spaces throughout the beautiful city. In New York, there is an awful lot of concrete jungle outside of massive Central Park. So you can imagine how utterly delighted I was to find the High Line during my past visit in April.

The High Line is an urban park-like oasis in the heart of Manhattan and ingeniously built on an abandoned, elevated railroad track high above the street below. It is an extraordinary concept and example of inviting nature into urban planning.

Desperately wanting an escape from the madness of a Friday afternoon in Manhattan, we took our kids to walk on the High Line trail after lunch at Chelsea Market. It was crowded yet there was plenty of space and even benches and chairs available to sit on and relax. I can only imagine how beautiful this place must be in the summer when New Yorkers desperately crave time outside in nature. I guess I’ll have to come back again and see for myself. In the meantime, here are a few shots I took of this extraordinary place. I would spend a lot of time here if I lived in New York.

The High Line is a 1.45 mile-long elevated park built on an old railroad line called the West Side Line. Jetting high above the city, beginning in Hell’s Kitchen and traversing through Chelsea Market and other neighborhoods, this tree-lined urban walkway is rather amazing and extraordinarily innovative in its design and concept.   

I can’t wait to come back again!

This post was inspired by the Weekly Photo Challenge: Extraordinary.


  1. Great post. Really made me miss NYC. Lucky you with the frequency of visits. I’d never been until I was about 38 and then went three times in three years and I live in Australia!! I always stay in Meatpacking when I visit so the Highline is always central to my plans. I even turned up bang on opening a couple of days during summer and jogged it which was lovely. I’m glad I found your blog via the Photo Challenge and it’s a definite follow from me 🙂

  2. I can understand how you loved Chicago and Paris. Chicago is one of my favorite cities. Unfortunately, my time in New York was for work, so I did not get to see very much.. Would love to go back for fun at another time.

  3. I’ve only been to High Line in spring and fall, so would also love to see it at its peak one day. I agree with you–such a gem of urban planning. I hope it’s part of a movement. I see it in DC, this new push to make the pavement less cement and more garden and a community.

    1. Me too! Yes I’ve seen more green spaces in DC too. Here in Minneapolis, we are exceptionally green for an urban city. We are ranked one of the most green cities in the US and are up there with Portland for bike trails. We also have a park every 6 blocks in the entire city and many large ones and tons of lakes right in the city. It makes it much more livable for me.

  4. I like the ad for the parking space – “so you cant parellel park, it will be our little secret”! It could just as well be ( for me) so you dont like reverse parking? lol

    1. That will give you a reason to go back Irene! You can then have lunch too at Chelsea Market which is really amazing too and right in the heart of the High Line.

  5. What a gorgeous day to photograph. My sister lives in NYC fifty years. She’s taken me to the High Line several times. So cool to see your good looking galley of it.

      1. Hiya, how are you today, check out my new blog post in an hour. Nominated you for the starlight bloggers award. Cheerio.

  6. Great post and a perfect read for me since, as I type this, am on a bus on my way to visit NYC just for the day (I live in DC, so this is no small feat 😀). I love NYC and take every opportunity I can to get there! Everything you said about it is true, but I love the energy that greets you as soon as you hit the streets. It’s a photographer’s playground! The High Line is a marvel though – as you say, a wonderful respite (though it too can get crowded!)

    1. Wow have a wonderful time! We took the train from Union Station in DC as we were in Virginia visiting my in-laws. It took a long time to get there but was wonderful!

  7. The High Line is a nice escape in NYC, but I fear it’s now getting as busy up there as in the streets below! You’ll have to check out The 606 next time you are in Chicago!

  8. Nicole, I’ve only been to NYC a few times in my life and each time I felt the same way you did. “In big cities I need to find space and solitude which is a rare commodity” perfectly describes it. While I enjoyed all the big cities “stuff”, I soon felt that I was in unending canyons of towering buildings filled with mass amounts of humanity…and for good reason. I longed for green space and even a small oasis of quiet. Another blogging friend recently wrote about the High Line and loved it, too, so it was fun to read your thoughts about it and see your photos. I think NYC will always remain for me “A great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.”


    1. Thanks Janet for the comment. Coming home made me grateful. I do love NYC but it is just too big, busy and stimulating for me. Most of the time I stay way on the Upper East Side around 92nd street which I feel comfortable with and is more tranquil. It is also a much different trip with children! I enjoy living a slower paced life in Minneapolis with the kids. We can still live in a city and have an urban experience but also a yard and lots of nature. Even living in Lincoln Park right now with kids would be hard for me (and outrageously expensive so I wouldn’t be able to be a stay at home mom in that case!). 🙂

  9. My daughter and I walked the Highline in the spring. What a marvellous idea. I will say it was absolutely jammed with people but it was a bright sunny weekend day.

  10. The High Line was one of my very favorite parts of NYC. We did go in the summer and the flowers and trees were beautiful. 🙂

  11. You’ve made me absolutely homesick with this beautiful photo tribute! After Chicago, I lived in NYC for 13 years, You are right, there is no place like it anywhere. Inbetween my Atlantic and Pacific sailing adventures, I walked the High Line at least once a week and found great peace there. Your photos capture it beautifully

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.