We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
NYC offers countless sights and countless sensory delights - many of them free (someday I may make a list of our favorites for those readers with vehement New York-ophobia - they just never did NYC right), but we have come to make strolls on the High Line an annual pleasure. This July, the perennial beds were wonderful to see. Why can't we make gardens this interesting at the farm?
Well, I thought the idea of making the High Line trail out of the old elevated railroad which was built to bring animals from the Hudson ferries to the slaughterhouses and meatpacking factories (the now-popular and fashionable Meatpacking District) was foolish was stupid (from the West 30s to Gansevoort St.), but I have been wrong a few times in the past. Only a few times.
More pics below the fold -
We parked in a garage at 25th St., then grabbed beers and/or cappuccini at 23rd next to one of the stairways up.
Can any reader ID this cool plant?
New residential construction everywhere in NYC. It's a very rare place where taxes can be so confiscatory, and the government so Lefty, but still be a boomtown. Opportunity and excitement and vitality trump momentary bank account in this town.
We hopped off the High Line to walk through Chelsea Market, right across the street from NY's Google office. It's an entertaining and rustic urban mall, really:
Cool place, inside the old National Biscuit Co. factory. The lobster joint was busy
Then back up on the trail to the end at Gansevoort St, pausing briefly to gaze at the Statue of Liberty way out in the harbor
The trail heading south ends at Gansevoort St. Get off and wander around the old meat district. Ragazzas, young lovers, and pretty people everywhere, lookin good.
We strolled over to the first real restaurant in the district, Macelleria. Lively Italian meat place, with the old meat hooks and meat trolleys still there. Try the veal pork chop. Also good, the carbonara. Or anything else. Our team loved the watermelon/arugula salad with goat cheese too.
Then a nice walk uptown on ground level back to the car. Best government job in the world? Horse-riding NYPD.
Echinops or Eryngium, I cannot tell because the flowers in the photo are still green and haven't hardened their colors. Due to the height of the plant, I'd guess Echinops. The common name for them is Globe Thistle.
Great border thistles, both.
Also fun for dramatic, semi-arid borders are the giant, purple Cardoons. Big silver finger-leaves and elephantine flower stems topped with 5" diameter, purple flowers.
I'm sure you've eaten them on your travels to Southern Europe. They make a good pasta substitute in lasagnas.
In 1847, the City of New York authorized street-level railroad tracks down Manhattan’s West Side. For safety, the railroads hired men — the "West Side Cowboys" — to ride horses and wave flags in front of the trains. Yet so many accidents occurred between freight trains and other traffic that Tenth Avenue became known as "Death Avenue".
After years of public debate about the hazard, in 1929 the city and the state of New York and the New York Central Railroad agreed on the West Side Improvement Project, which included the High Line. The 13-mile (21 km) project eliminated 105 street-level railroad crossings and added 32 acres (13 ha) to Riverside Park. It cost over $150 million, about $2 billion in 2009 dollars.
The High Line, then a portion of the West Side Line opened to trains in 1934. It originally ran from 34th Street to St. John's Park Terminal, at Spring Street. It was designed to go through the center of blocks, rather than over the avenue, to avoid the drawbacks of elevated trains. It connected directly to factories and warehouses, allowing trains to roll right inside buildings. Milk, meat, produce, and raw and manufactured goods could be transported and unloaded without disturbing traffic on the streets. This also reduced pilferage for the Bell Laboratories Building, now the Westbeth Artists Community, and the Nabisco plant, now Chelsea Market, which were served from protected sidings within the structures.
The train also passed underneath the Western Electric complex at Washington Street. This section has survived until today and is not connected with the rest of the developed park.
The growth of interstate trucking in the 1950s led to a drop in rail traffic throughout the nation. In the 1960s, the southernmost section of the line was demolished. This section started at Gansevoort Street and ran down Washington Street as far as Spring Street just north of Canal Street, representing almost half of the line. The last train on the remaining part of the line was operated by Conrail in 1980 with three carloads of frozen turkeys.
$150 million c.1930. One wonders how they found that kind of money for this project and what percentage each of the participants had to kick in? Did it ever pay for itself?
Anyhow, it would have been interesting to see it used for its intended purpose back in the day.