A slowly, rusty freight train makes its way down to the then Meatpacking District carrying frozen turkeys. As the small locomotive passed the rotting warehouses, abandoned factories, and rotting piers on the Hudson the narrow gauge tracks shook high above the streets of Chelsea. Once that train meekly returned to whatever hovel of a shed it came from, it ended a century of integrated industrialization on Manhattan’s West Side.
After 47 years of service, the West Side Line was shuttered. It would sit abandoned for 29 years, standing over Chelsea and the Meatpacking District witnessing the areas change from red light districts, cultural incubators, and industrial warehouses into “trendy” boutiques, hotels, and condos. It would be on a sunny, summer day in 2009 that the old hulk would be converted into the High Line Park. When the High Line opened, it seemed as if all of Chelsea came to celebrate. Nothing like this had ever been done here in the city and it was boost that we needed. When the High Line opened, the city was ending a decade that had started out with immense promise and optimism; the High Line seemed to replenish some of that sheen that was lost in the 2000s. Eleven years later and fifteen blocks longer, the High Line remains one of post 9/11 New York’s greatest achievements. Ending at the steps of another post 9/11 legacy, Hudson Yards, it still manages to provide a weirdly magical experience that sums up much of a zeitgeist in New York that we won’t see again for a while.
Taken on January 15, 2020 on a Canon T3i. #newyorkcity #newyork #hudsonyards #highline #manhattan #chelseanyc #architecture
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