Friday, January 20, 2017

Walking the High Line in New York

We walk over to the Standard Hotel to check out the ice skating (and potentially participate), but get sidetracked by the High Line, an elevated walking path on the West Side of Manhattan.  The High Line was originally opened for trains in 1934, travelling down the center of blocks to carry goods to and from Manhattan's largest industrial district.  The last train ran in 1980 and the argument about whether to demolish the elevated line or not ran for years in the courts.  In the early 2000s, an effort began to save and reuse the line, resulting in the High Line walking path, the first section of which opened in 2007.  Yes, the High Line is not a holiday experience, but it's a true New York experience! We walk from Times Square (47th street) down to 14th street and cut over to the Standard Hotel, at the lower end of the High Line, climb the stairs to the trail, and start walking north.

 Starting at the lower High Line, near 14th street

 The path continues along and through buildings

 Continuing more blocks north

 Art along the path
 "Smart Tree" by Nari Ward

About 30th street (16 blocks north from where we started), the High Line turns west and heads to the Hudson River, with New Jersey across the way.

 Looking toward the Hudson and New Jersey

We turn around at the Hudson and walk back the 16 blocks to the Standard Hotel and check out their rink.  It's really small (we knew that part) and only occupied by kids and their parents (we didn't know that part).  We pass on the skating.

Ice rink at the Standard Hotel

Inside the hotel, we're back in full holiday experience with extensive holiday decorations, and, oh no, Laura is taken hostage by the frozen holiday monster!

Laura (or monster) at risk

But, eventually Laura is released, after the monster pays me the reverse ransom, and we head into a holiday treat at the hotel, a Biergarten, full of happy people, good food, and hot drinks (the monster must have known that Laura needed something warm to drink or, maybe, expected us to bring one back, too bad).  We go for the hot rum and cider.  Unfortunately, we already had lunch, the bratwurst and hot pretzel plates look really good (and me, with all that ransom money to spend)!

Biergarten at the Standard Hotel

Warm again, we head out into the winter weather for our walk back to Times Square, stopping for a minute at Babbo Restaurant near Washington Square Park to beg for a  reservation and they tell us to come back early and try for a seat at the bar (good advice, as we'll see in a few hours, we've been trying to get into Babbo for years, but could never get a reservation).   As we continue toward Times Square, we run across a real treat, someone playing a piano in the middle of Washington Square Park, next to Babbo and Otto Enoteca.

Winter ad hoc concert in Washington Square Park

And, we continue "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" (no snow, but it is really cold).  

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