Places on Manhatten 3- The HighLine

by joelmckerrow



About 30 feet off the ground running right along the side of Manhatten island between there in the 1930’s was built a railway line for transporting goods. After some time it became abandoned and was left to deteriorate and deteriorate it did. But over the years up out of the ruins of this high-line railway grew grass and plants and bushes. The council wanted to tear the whole thing down as it had become not a very safe place because of the deterioration and the activities of people that were gathering there at night.

But a group of locals saw something else in it. They set up an organisation ‘Friends of the High-line’ and appealed to the council and in the early 2000’s they were granted from the council to restore the run down railway line into a few mile long garden and walkway. So this they did. Now in 2012 you can walk along, above the streets of manhatten, through a beautiful garden and through all these different creative artworks and spaces. When Heidi and I were there, there was a free contemporary dance show on the highline that we saw. The highline is this beautiful image of when creativity is used to bring restoration, or to use a more spiritual word, redemption, to a broken, abandoned, left for dead railway.

Now what a contrast this is to Times Square (in the above blog). When you see the two places as symbols and when you place them side-by-side there is two VERY different messages that they portray. One that is solely about profiteering for big business to the masses whilst the other is all about creativity as a redemptive force, ie. taking the old and calling the new out of it. Not for profit’s sake but for beauty’s sake. Not for anything more than enriching human existence sake.

I know what sought of creativity I wish to delve into with my writing and poetry.