Atop the Big Apple

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By Karen Hendricks

New York City is one of my favorite places on earth. I’ve been very blessed to have the opportunity to visit numerous times over the years, and we even enjoyed a family vacation there several years ago. Last week, as a small business owner, I was very thankful to receive a scholarship to attend a conference–which doesn’t sound all that exciting–but actually it was very enriching and energizing. I was in desperate need of a change of pace, due to this long, frigid winter. Thanks to my husband’s support at home, I enjoyed four days in the Big Apple, where it’s always fun to make new memories and discoveries.

One of those discoveries was The High Line, a former elevated train line that’s been converted into a pathway and park. It stretches for about a mile, running north/south, on the lower west side of Manhattan. It’s urban renewal at its best! Right in the heart of New York, it provided time “off the merry-go-round.” And I can’t wait to share it with you–our Off the Merry-Go-Round readers–and the rest of my family on a future trip.

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Entrance to The High Line

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Now, I should disclose that I absolutely LOVE walking in New York. I almost always travel there by train, as a car is really is hindrance–I don’t like to drive in the city especially during busy weekdays, and parking fees are astronomical during weekdays as well. If it’s raining more than a drizzle, I might hail a cab. But otherwise, I choose a hotel that’s central to the locations I’m planning to visit, and then I walk everywhere I need to go. Comfy shoes are a must.

The High Line aligned perfectly with my walking route, to and from my conference. So up I went every day, taking several flights of stairs to access The High Line, which gave me a fun, new perspective on the city. Looking out across rooftops, walking alongside towering buildings–both modern and old–with a bird’s eye view of city streets… it was incredible. Even though it was winter, and the path was lined with snow on either side, it was still beautiful. The park-like setting featured gorgeous trees and intriguing sculptures, with plenty of benches where you could relax and soak in the view. There were plenty of visitors during my walks to keep me company–it was a popular, happening place!

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I’m anxious to return on a warm summer day, when trail-side gardens are in full bloom, for a visit with my family. I think kids would especially enjoy the awesome views and new perspective above the city streets. And one huge benefit to walking on The High Line–especially for families with young children? You can actually walk continuously for a mile, without stopping at crosswalks and traffic lights, as you normally do in the city. However, you should make frequent stops on The High Line, simply to admire the views… there are many just waiting to be discovered.

Enjoy a few bonus pics below… And tell us: What family-friendly and/or budget-friendly destinations have you discovered in New York? Please share your tips and ideas below! 🙂

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I spy… the Empire State Building

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View of the Hudson River

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A light mist put a touch of gloss on the city streets below

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A snowy, snarled street… with a peek at the Hudson

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A little boy’s dream… bird’s eye view of a construction site

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The former rail lines gleam within the walkways…

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The High Line’s route

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I was intrigued by the design, shape and shine of this building!

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A former warehouse reminds visitors of a past life in the city…

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Looking down 22nd Street…

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Sculpture provides energizing color and shape against a building’s structured backdrop…

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One last intriguing skyline view…

If you enjoyed this article… you might also like:

Up for Family Adventure? Try Biking on a Rail Trail

And click here for The High Line’s website

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5 thoughts on “Atop the Big Apple

  1. Great post Karen! I share your love for NYC! I was just there for a class a couple of weekends ago and can’t wait to go again soon! I could walk forever in the city! So much to see.

    • Hi Robyn, so we both believe in the motto “I ❤ NY!" Walking in the city is not only great exercise, but you're right about the sightseeing–it's always fun to explore. Plus there's always people-watching, too! So glad you were able to visit recently too.

  2. I can not wait to visit ~ beautiful pictures … thank you so much for taking the time to share all of this!

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