I received a few comments on my recent story about The High Line via Facebook that I wanted to share:
From Simone (NYC): As a New Yorker, I personally don’t believe locals use the High Line as their green space. It is set up for the tourists and creates another attraction in the city. As you said though, Central Park is set up for rest and recreation and proper green space. Personally, I think the High Line has made good use of an ugly carriageway that hangs over Chelsea.
From Kate (NYC): I think in order to fully appreciate the High Line, you need to think like a New Yorker. Most of them chose to live in this city at one point of their lives, and that choice had nothing to do with anything green. The most outdoorsy New Yorkers get is when they go to the Hamptons or Upstate a few times a year and it’s mainly to show off, take pictures, check in on Foursquare, and enjoy the fact that they’re away yet still on the East Coast. What we like is: design, having something way cooler than anything in other cities, and anything that makes this city slightly more livable and less ugly. Also the sweet disbelief that this city actually thought about its residents and made something for them contributes greatly to our appreciation of the HL. The High Line is not a substitute for a park, or a forest, but it’s the “outdoors a la New York.”
From Brian (Philadelphia): Why would anyone in their right mind want to think like a New Yorker?
The last comment made me laugh out loud (the Philly/NYC rivalry is still alive!).
I smiled when I read the first two as well. That’s why I travel – to see how other people live their lives and what they value and what their daily thoughts are – and it’s really nice to get that kind of candor from two locals. Even though cultural differences exist and we may wonder how another person can even get out of bed in the morning (see Brian’s comment), you’ve got to respect people who take pride in their place of residence.
The High Line wasn’t for me – but I’m just one man with one opinion – and I encourage everyone to visit places and make up their own minds.
Cheers to all three of you, thanks for reading.