Archive for July, 2010

High Line, New York City: 10th Avenue Square

July 4, 2010

The High Line has quickly become one of our favorite spots in New York City. In a city that likes to walk and schmooze, it’s where New Yorkers and visitors of every stripe come to hang out, catch a breeze off the Hudson River, and promenade.

One particularly comfortable spot, physically and socially, is 10th Avenue Square.

It’s a kind of amphitheater with 10th Avenue, directly below, as the focus. You can sit at deck level or choose a spot farther down. Viewed through a series of huge windows, the parade of cabs, trucks, and other vehicles accelerating away north on the avenue becomes strangely compelling. You feel sheltered, and yet have a great view of the people and the city around you.

What’s really cool is that this multi-layered space has been designed to be highly accessible. There are stairs, but the floor is actually a gently graded ramp that goes all the way to the bottom level in a series of wide turns.

The wood floor and benches – are they teak? – are friendly too, and pleasantly warm in the sun. The result is a wonderful public square where people go to read, socialize, hold hands, and enjoy the city – in it, yet above it.