More to see on the longer High Line
The ribbon was cut last week on the long-awaited second section of the High Line, revealing a lush green lawn, prime lounging spots and a less-industrial feel than the original stretch of the famous park built on abandoned railroad tracks 30 feet above ground. The new section ends at 30th Street, adding 10 blocks and doubling the length to one mile. The park meandering through some of Manhattan's hippest 'hoods is already a superstar attraction, with 2 million visitors a year. Here are some High Line secrets and unique features to look for -- or not.
1. NATURE American holly trees, pussy willows, magnolia and winterberry bushes are High Line newcomers in the second section. So is reclaimed teak seating that includes the curved, block-long radial bench starting at 29th Street. The new section also has 4,900 square feet of lawn from 22nd to 23rd streets. And, yes, you can sit on it. That's the point.
2. ART INSTALLATIONS You'll experience Julianne Swartz's "Digital Empathy" project at 11 locations throughout the park, including water fountains, bathroom sinks and elevators. A computer-generated voice will recite poetry and messages of concern, support and love like "You are a winner." A plaza at the High Line's 30th Street terminus hosts Rainbow City, a collection of colorful striped inflatable sculptures, through the summer.
3. VIEWS From the High Line you can see the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building and Chrysler Building. You might even catch a high flier through the screen windows of the Trapeze School New York at 30th Street.
4. RAILROAD TRACKS Hundreds of feet of actual track run the entire length of the High Line. Some of the track sits above the pavement, with flowers poking through. Other pieces are embedded in the park's concrete-planked walkway. The path, with its gently sloping benches and narrow water fountains, was designed to evoke High Line track.
5. THE GOOGLE BRIDGE When Google moved into the space once used by Nabisco, its workers took to using an ornate steel bridge on 15th Street that connects the upper floors of two buildings.
Note: When near 13th Street, you might not want to look up. The Standard Hotel, with floor-to-ceiling windows, has become famous for guests engaging in hanky-panky.