04.10.2013 - 04.10.2013
We recompensed ourselves with a nice sleep-in this morning. Today we were spending a whole day in New York without being in time to everything. The heat hit us when we came down on 41st Street. It wasn’t just hot outside but also muggy and this fog that had enwrapped whole New York City. That was a little uncomfortable since we were spending the whole day in the city… We walked to West 30th Street and 10th Avenue to take the stairs up to the High Line in its north end walking south.
Facts about the High Line...
Situated in Manhattans Westside, the High Line was an elevated railroad that was used from 1934 to 1980. On the railroad transportation of milk, meat and other products from the butchers in the Meatpacking District went straight into the fabrics and storages along the High Line through Chelsea District to 30th Street. In 1846 the railroad running along the streets of New York and Manhattans Westside was approved. Precautionary hired horseback riding men – the West Side Cowboys - were riding in front of the trains waving flags. But still accidents occurred between trains and other traffic so 10th Avenue became known as “Death Avenue”. After several years of public debates about all the accidents they finally agreed to improve the situation by the West Side Improvement Project, including the High Line among other things.
The High Line was first opened for trains in 1934 and ran from 34th Street to St. John’s Park Terminal at Spring Street and was back then 21 km long. The High Line was designed to go through the districts instead of above the avenues avoiding the disadvantages with elevated trains. The track connected the fabrics and stores by driving the trains straight through the buildings. During 1950ies the truck transportations between the states increased while the train traffic decreased all over the country. During 1960ies the most southern part of the High Line was destroyed along Washington Street between Gansevoort Street and Clarkson Street, which was almost half of the tracks length. In 2006 track restorations began inspired by Promenade plantée in Paris forming a rectangular park extending 22 blocks from 34th Street and down to Gansevoort Street. Total length of the High Line is 2,4 km (1,45 miles). The High Line has different opening hours that vary depending on which season of the year it is. The High Line can be reached by nine entrees and there are restrooms and refreshments along the way.
We went up-stairs and started walking on the High Line. In the beginning it was almost unbearably hot, just about +30 Centigrade, foggy and no wind even though we were close to Hudson River. But it was nice getting away from traffic and just walking without being afraid getting run-over by cars or bicycles. The planted green areas made the environment relaxing and the trees gave well-needed shadows. We went the 19 blocks south as the High Line extends and we got down on Gansevoort Street. We got something to eat at a nearby restaurant. My fellow traveler got in contact with this Pierre who obviously had spotted her from across the restaurant. They ended up exchanging phone numbers and decided to meet later in the evening.
My friend and I decided to walk on our own for a while and meet up later at the hostel again for dinner. I wanted to go to this Ground Zero Museum (420 west, 14th Street at 9th Avenue) and I really had trouble finding the address but I finally found a small sign next to an entry phone. I rang and a super nice lady answered. She had a booked tour at 1pm but I was welcome to come up and visit the museum until then, in other words 15 minutes. So she did let me in and I went up the stairs to the museum. I got a little disappointed that it wasn’t bigger but there were still so many things to see. Artifacts and pictures from the terrorist attacks were displayed and you could buy books written all about 9/11. High up running all around the museum walls was a beautiful quote “Two bullets went into the World Trade Center but only love came out of it”.
Close to 1pm I left the museum and headed for the Swedish candy store “Sockerbit” (which means "piece of sugar" in English). It’s located on 89 Christopher Street in West Village and I had to walk around a lot before I actually found it. They have a lot of candy (with the Swedish names of course). They had all the typical Swedish candy there is. Not at the cheapest prices but what can you do when you’re craving for sweets? So I just had to buy some. Then I walked along 7th Avenue and window shopped all the way back to our hostel. Just further down on 41st Street they had frozen yoghurt. I bought two flavors; orange and strawberry. But the orange tasted strange and the color itself screamed artificial. Then I rested for a while at our room before my friend came back and we went out for dinner. We even bought breakfast for tomorrow since we were leaving early to Philadelphia and the Amish region.
In the evening we had pre-booked the Broadway show Mamma Mia! in the Wintergarden theatre. The show was awesome and the story had been mixed with a lot of humor and the actors were great. It became a lot of laughing during the evening. Unfortunately a group of Swedish (!) people sat on the row in front of us and blocked our view. My friend had been texting with Pierre and he was meeting us up after the show. We got to our hostel and sat down at the bar for a while. Later I felt tired and went up to the room. I wanted to be well-rested for the adventures in Philly tomorrow.