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.