Heading north from the Falcone Flyover, High Line visitors descend a ramp which returns them into the park’s standard vernacular. Concrete pavers reemerge on the rail platform, and continue in a generally straight path for a few blocks. Wildflower Field, as this segment of the park is called, is populated by a variety of native grasses and flowering plants that bloom at various points throughout the year, providing a changing band of colors and smells to be admired by the public. This section, however simple in its architectural representation, touches on the complex history of the High Line and its various iterations, reflecting the native flowers that became the subject of Joel Sternfeld’s photographs and eventually helped save the High Line from demolition. After being engulfed in leafy canopy, Wildflower Field provides a respite, a place to contemplate the visitor’s journey as well as that of the park.
THE CUTOUT – at 30th Street
The current extent of the High Line leads us to 30th Street, where the Cutout exposes the past and possible future of the park. Pedestrians are once again raised above the rail line, except in this case, the original structure is exposed beneath aluminum grating at their feet. The somewhat disorienting experience serves as an explicit reminder of the beauty of the original elevated freight line, and reveals some peeks down to street level and traffic below.
All photos © Inhabitat