Highline & The Standard
New York's High Line park is a mile long 'linear urban park' which has been built on a section of the former elevated New York Central Railroad spur called the West Side Line. I won't bore you with the history, but in New York's industrial heyday the West Side of the city was home to the majority of the industry. To transport freight between different businesses, in 1847 the City of New York built a railway up the West Side - a track that was originally at ground level.
After many deaths at the hands of freight trains, the track was elevated and re opened in 1934, a structure that is still there to this day.
As in many 1st world cities, the heavy industry eventually died out and left and in 1980 the last train used the Highline to transport goods. The line fell into disrepair and was blocked off and inaccessible until 1999 when a local group of local residents formed the 'Friends of the highline' group and petitioned to have it repurposed as a public park. In 2004 this was approved by the city, who went on to commit $50m to it's redevelopment.
The park opened in 2011 and now hosts tourists, locals, sunbathers, school trips and anyone who wants to escape the hustle and bustle of the city below.
I really wanted to check it out and walk it's length, re-appropriation of industrial heritage is a bit of a nerdy interest of mine so while in the city I definitely wanted to see this first hand.
The section above broaches 10th Ave and W 17th street, and the gallery seating and large windows provide an 'urban gallery' for views up 10th Avenue.
At the end of the Highline is the enormously pretentious Standard Hotel, right in the heart of the Meat Packing District. They have an infamous rooftop bar that I was really keen to try get up to. Not being a guest of the hotel or cool / rich enough to buy my way up, I had to rely on following people into elevators to gain access. The view was worth it, even though I had to almost sell a kidney to afford to buy a pint.
Oh and there's a massive jacuzzi in the bar downstairs. Obviously.
You think this view is good you should see the view in the toilets. No joke. I went to go handle my business and the toilet cubicles are at the opposite side of the building and all have floor to ceiling windows, allowing you to sit at the porcelain throne while taking in the views of the West Village and Empire State from the 18th floor. Quite surreal.
I'm not on the toilet here.