Our last full day in NYC took to the westside of Manhattan and an incredible undertaking for New Yorkers yearning for greenery.
The one-mile long Highline once cradled an even longer elevated railroad that ran up New York’s waterfront on the Hudson River. As the early twentieth-century decline of trains prevailed, the city ceased operations of the railway. Then it became a rusting steel eyesore until 1999, when local residents formed a nonprofit group to restore the track. But instead of transportation, it’s now used as a beautiful park and recreation area for city residents.
Apparently, this is only part of the restoration the group has planned. There is more to the track, and eventually it will also be converted into a park and public space area.
Near the southern end of the Highline is the Chelsea Market. The girls and I are big Food Network fans, and we heard about this place because its headquarters are here. So of course, we had to make the pilgrimage to see where the channel gets some of its culinary inspirations. It’s a foodie Nirvana, with plenty of artisan bakeries, organic produce markets and tempting aromas trying to entice visitors into each business.
Later on, we met my friend and fellow copywriter Sue and her daughter Naomi for lunch near Rockefeller Center. They were in town to spend some time after Naomi’s junior year at a college in New Jersey. It’s always great to have an unexpected meet up with friends in a faraway place. I normally only see Sue, who lives in California, at an annual conference in Florida every October, so this was very cool.
Afterwards, we headed down to Battery Park (once again on the double-decker bus, once again getting our red and purple earbuds) to glance at the Statue of Liberty. Up until that point, we debated whether to take to ferry over and see the great lady up close, but our ordeal at the Empire State convinced us that seeing her across New York Harbor would suffice. And the girls heartily agreed. Even with the construction and fenced-off areas dominating the park, we enjoyed just sitting down on a plush lawn under some tree shade.
En route, we passed by the Wall Street charging bull:
A big regret: We could’ve stopped at the Brooklyn Bridge and walked across it. But it was just too darn hot. Now I wish we had.
But we did sail under it later on, because our final New York tourist activity was taking that Circle Line tour that we declined in the face of the massive downpour two days earlier. Before we returned to the 42nd Street pier, the girls and I headed to Eataly, a humongous Italian food market in the Flatiron district, while RAS headed back to the rental for a bit. This was on my New York list, and I’m glad we made the effort to look at every kind of pasta, marinated vegetable, bread and roasted meat you could ever find in Italia.
The only problem? Since it was a Sunday, half of Manhattan was there, too. Purchasing anything would’ve almost been equal to our patience exercised at the Empire State. My thought about getting a gelato on the same quality level as those I had in Tuscany went abruptly out the door. OK, save it for next time.
When we arrived at the Circle Line tour, we took our places in a row of folding chair seats inside. As it turned out, everyone migrated to the outside bow, where the views of Manhattan took on another dimension. Unfortunately, that meant a not-so-great view for us.
But even with the crowd that we couldn’t quite navigate, it was still spectacular. So I will send you off here with some fabulous vistas of the Big Apple skyline: