The High Line

I met Ashley, an old Pine View friend who just moved to the city for graduate school, in Madison Square Park around 6:30 and we headed west forever to see the new High Line Park.  We entered at 20th Street and 10th Avenue and ascended the stairs to a really lovely park suspended above the streets but still intertwined amongst the buildings of Chelsea. Phil met us at the park’s entrance and then we proceeded to walk along the freight line to the southern exist at Ganesvoort.

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You can count me as a fan of the park.  The evening was really beautiful, cool, and not humid, and there were droves of people walking around the High Line.  The track is really unusual: a mix of the modern with straight lines and colors from the palette of the Empire (yes the Star Wars Empire) mixed with large swaths of seemingly wild and untamed growth.  Yes I am sure the wildflowers were cultivated but they are still beautiful and poke randomly from amongst the park path.  Also, I love how the High Line snakes through buildings, as though it were a living thing amongst the urban grit of the West Side.  I think this park is a really bright light in the neighborhood; hopefully they will finish the other sections soon!

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The High Line has been under construction for forever, it seems, and I’ve been following it loosely over the years.  I’m really pleased that I was in the city for the opening of the first section of the park.  I was also extremely pleased to spend a lovely evening with two of my favorite people.

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After we left the High Line we cut through the Meatpacking District into the West Village.  We stopped at City Bakery (technically their “green” bakery called Birdbath) to split a pretzel croissant.  Apologies for no pictures, we sort of massacred it, just know that pretzels are awesome and croissants are awesome so a pretzel croissant is awesome squared.  Also awesome is the website devoted to the pretzel croissant.  You should really look at it–not only are there pictures of the pretzel croissant, but there are unicorns.  Unicorns people!

We then swung by Christopher Park so I could snap some photos of the George Segal statues, which I was unable to see during Pride last Sunday.

The park is located right in front of the Stonewall Inn.
The park is located right in front of the Stonewall Inn.

We were extremely hungry at this point and so went to the West Village location of the Hummus Place for hummus and, yes, those awesome green mojitos.  I got hummus with whole chickpeas and a hardboiled egg, and Phil and Ashley each got hummus with fava beans, pine nuts, and a hardboiled egg.  We split some stuffed grape leaves as an appetizers.  All insanely delicious, all extremely satisfying.

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So fresh so green!
Grape leaves in mint sauce.
Grape leaves in mint sauce.

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We left the Hummus Place and continued our night with a walk into the East Village.  We cut through Washington Square Park and, oddly, ran into some of Phil’s friends, including Nora and Barbara who I had met at the Prospect Park picnic from a month ago.  Washington Square Park was packed with people and musicians and potsmokers all milling about around the fountain.

The fountain in Washington Square Park at Night
The fountain in Washington Square Park at Night
Triumphal Arch
Triumphal Arch

We headed to the east village to Dessert Club ChikaLicious, the more casual sister of the nearby ChikaLicious Dessert Bar, which, according to SeriousEats, has the best vanilla softserve in the city–and you all know how much I love softserve.  I got a fudge sundae with chocolate syrup, little crunchy pastry thingers that they put in greek desserts, toasted pistachios and little chocolate crunchies.  It was fairly delicious: the vanilla softserve was delicate and flecked with vanilla beans, and of the perfect softserve consistency.  Phil got a vanilla bread pudding which was so-so, Ashley got plain softserve and seemed happy.  I’m glad I went all out: the chocolate crunchies were awesome and I really liked the texture of the pastry crunchy thingers.  The pistachios were an odd touch but they did give a bit of mild saltiness to the dessert.  Another dessert conquered–and after all the walking we did tonight I feel minimal guilt!

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We then headed around the corner to Kim’s Video so Phil and Ashley, who are both giant film buffs, could poke around the obscure videos for awhile.  While hanging out at Kim’s Video I was hit by a giant wave of exhaustion, so I decided to call it a night.  Phil and Ashley both went to meet some friends in the village and I went home to try to go to sleep early so that I will be well-rested for tomorrow’s festivities.  Of course it is now 1:15 but what can you do–I needed to provide my readers with oodles of pictures!  Tomorrow, the 4th of July, one of my favorite holidays, because it is all about hot dogs and shiny fireworks.  Awesome.  I hope that y’all have a great holiday!

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The Empire State Building, lit for the 4th of July.

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