23.04.2017 - 23.04.2017 22 °C
The high line was a railway once, that was built in 1930 above the street to connect the factories in midtown with the port downtown, on the west side of Manhattan. It was decommissioned in 1984. For many years developers and conservationists fought over the fate of the obsolete track and in the end the conservationists and local communities got the permission to renovate the track and turn it into a park. The project starte din 2001 and was completed in 2014. The result is a track of several kilometers parallel to the Hudson river.
Sunday was the most beautiful day of the whole stay in New York. The sun shone most of the day, temperatures rose to 20+ degrees. On Saturday Vishakha and I agreed to walk the line.
In 2001 Vishakha was a young university graduate desperate to find a job in Singapore. She had finished her studies in Bangkok, where her father worked as an FAO (United Nations) expert. I was looking for a Thai speaking underwriter. She failed miserably in the Thai test but eventually I recruited her a few months later and she grew to become a leading seanior underwriter. Eventually she left Euler Hermes and now she moved with her 2 sons to New Jersey as trailing spouse of Raj, who works for an international bank. We kept in touch after I left Euler Hermes, but the last time I saw her was in Singapore more than 3 years ago.
I met the whole family in a Starbucks near the Line, climbed the stairs up to the track and tried to divide our attention over the sights and the conversation. Vishakha on top helped Raj to monitor the two boys who displayed a high velocity and a lively social interaction.
The track is never boring. The track itself is straight but the designers have, well, designed multiple diversions, viewpoints, seating arrangements, gardens,…that change the feel every 30 meters. The track is built between buildings that also have their own personality, and every 100 or so meters there are views on the streets and the Hudson. It was the first sunny Sunday of the spring and it was crowded – but the traffic was still fluid enough to be friendly.
We went down at the end of the track and continued to the next blog entry, but in the evening Shin, who joined us later, and I walked the Line at dusk in the reverse direction, and there was much less activity by then. Johnny Cash should have seen this in his lifetime. Sadly he couldn’t make it.