Last week, a disgruntled Chelsea resident posted fliers along the High Line Park begging tourists who visit the area to check their manners. The posters, most of which were torn down by other Chelsea residents, complained about visitors “trampling” and “taking pictures.” Naturally, most native New Yorkers guffawed at the condescending posters and replied via Facebook and blog comments that they don’t share the views of this one unhappy camper.
The High Line, a park built above a 1.5 mile-long former elevated railway train, has become a huge success since its opening in 2006, judging by the amount of visitors it attracts during late afternoons and weekends. Real estate development has also surged in neighborhoods adjacent to what was once a crumbling steel and concrete structure. Nevertheless one curmudgeon, who native New Yorkers have scathingly derided as most likely an urban hipster who probably has only lived in the city for a few months, is livid at the crowded sidewalks and photograph-snapping that has supposedly surged along the High Line’s path.
The poster continued to goad visitors into feeling guilty by asking how they would feel if “3 million people a year from around the world trampled your street,” which unfortunately overlooks two facts. First, most communities would like to have the problem of hosting 3,000,000 visitors who spend money and generate tax revenues, and second, the posters actually underestimated the actual amount of visitors who come to the High Line, which at last count stands at 3.7 million, many of whom are New Yorkers from other neighborhoods. Unfortunately, that number could even surge to 4 million next year.
No word has yet emerged on whether the offended resident who composed the poster had visited other neighborhoods around the world with camera in hand, such as Miami’s South Beach, the Marais in Paris, London’s Kensington or Beverly Hills. But judging from the TwitPics and Instagram shots posted on the High Line’s Twitter feed, the tourists, thankfully, are still coming in droves. And why wouldn’t they? The views are sublime.