Thursday, June 23, 2011

How to get to the Highline

Start at the southern tip of Manhattan, just beside the ferries to Staten Island. You'll find yourself in a garden.

Technically The Battery Bosque is the part beneath the plane trees and The Gardens of Remembrance are along the water, but both blend rather seamlessly into one another. 

The plantings are memorable, the Bosque's benches are often empty, and flowers, tourists and hungry New Yorkers share the space.

I have never visited the monuments. They do not attract me.

Alliums attract me.

You must head north, along the Hudson, and you never leave the garden. It changes names all the way, and its character changes, too. You pass huge, open, sunny lawns, hidden crescents of grass, hedges of bayberry and walk under avenues of tall locust trees in the South Cove.

In June you will find ripe juneberries. In April you will find the trees in white bloom.

You can walk beside the water or thread you way through the greener shade.

Along the length of The Esplanade that stretches all the way to the North Cove, there are gorgeous shade plantings.

And by the time you do reach the yachts of the North Cove, you'll be thirsty. We thought about beer at one of the outdoor tables here, but as Vince said in his Frenchified English, It would cut our legs.

We're heading for the Highline, remember?

The World Financial Center Plaza, beside the, hot hot...the sun beating down, glass all around amplifying the heat. Yes, loud heat. Tantalizing water. Would a cold beer really be so bad?

Tilia (linden) blossoms hanging high over the hot pavers, their scent held tight in each flower. They only breath out at night, when the city near them becomes enveloped by their perfume.

Walk on, past the parks to the left, on the water, that we do not visit, past Tear Drop Park in its cocoon of highrises, ever north.

In the shade of a building lilies bloom.

Monarda grows against a backdrop of construction at Ground Zero.

Now beside the West Side Highway, sandwiched between the broad Hudson and the eight lane highway, the garden has not been interrupted.

And within the continuous garden which is now the Hudson River Park, there are three choices for walking: The highly trafficked running and bike path, which most people choose, beside the busy highway, the river promenade beside the water, or this raised and undulating boardwalk, flowing between grasses. Was it packed? No, it was empty. The bike lanes were packed. Lemmings.

Well, we're not there yet. Maybe tomorrow. Rest your feet. Bring a camera. Pack a cold beer.


  1. urban hiking! what a lovely thing to do on a summer day. jealous .from my cold southern hemisphere

  2. what's the expression? it's not about the destination but the journey? congrats on a successful journey. you made me smile.

  3. Sigh, Battery Park to World Financial Center was always one of my favorite walks. The boardwalk further north looks amazing. Can't understand why nobody chooses that path.

  4. Sweet tour. I've got a lot of love for these parks. Nice to see them through your eyes and lens.

  5. Astilbes and Monarda, two of my favourites! My Astilbes (Red, White and Pink) are coming into flower as we speak.

    This walk is definitely going on my list of things to do when I come back, hopefully next year!

  6. I'd like to visit someday. The High line is on the list. Massively love that first shot with the Staten Island ferry, make a great poster.

  7. Am loving this virtual walk. Would love to do it "live" someday. thanks for taking me along.

  8. I love how you capture both the beauty and the ugly of the city through your lens. Flowers and condom...what a combo!

  9. You are my favourite tour guide
    - very special.

  10. Love this Marie. I'm currently writing a story for our botanical garden's newsmagazine to accompany a November symposium on Urban Trees and the City. The keynote speaker refers to NYC, among others, as exemplary in their treatment of the urban forest. When I walk this virtual path along the Hudson with you, it's easy to see why that is so!

  11. You have an incorrectly labelled photo in Flickr: the plant with silver-blue flowers and spiky bracts is an Eryngium; no Echinops are visible in the frame.


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