Next time you have a drink, alcoholic or non, raise your glass to The High Line and to those who envisioned what elevated but abandoned railroad tracks could become. Niki and I paid tribute last Thursday, Valentine’s Day, by walking The High Line even though the sun could not fully compensate for the cold wind blowing off the Hudson River. I can’t imagine ever visiting New York without a trip to The High Line.

Ilex opaca berries

Magnolia virginiiana var. australis ‘Green Shadow’

Betula populifolia ‘Whitespire’ and other trees in railroad tracks

Visiting The High Line in winter requires a different mindset because the only green foliage is that of  holly and Southern magnolia. Upon close examination, there is also some green on the branches of what I think was Acer triflorum. There is some white , supplied by Whitespire birches, the trunks of which contrast brightly against the background of the sky and nearby buildings. Some were planted among rescued railroad tracks as though they had seeded there. The tracks are there as a reminder of what this park used to be.

Hamamelis ‘Jelena’

Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’

Ornamental grasses in winter

The fringey, orange flowers of Hamamelis ‘Jelena’ were a delightful surprise. Orange also arrived in the guise of Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’. Keeping in mind that beige is a color, I looked for form and texture and found it in onamental grasses that are spiky and have feathery inflorescences.

Knautia deadheads

Hibiscus moscheutos ssp. palustris  deadheads

Perennials and shrubs have many different types of deadheads. Those of sumac are large and dense; those of Knautia are pin-headed; and those of Hibiscus moscheutos ssp.palustris are cup-shaped.

The building on the right is meant to look like it’s leaning – an ironic Leaning Tower of Pisa?

The High Line has engendered an incredible amount of construction and that’s wonderful for the city in that what was once dilapidated is now becoming desirable. However, one side effect is the gentrification is shutting the doors of many old businesses that can no longer afford the higher rents. The effect on the Line is that a park that was once in full sun is now becoming shadier. At some point, many of the plantings will need to be rethought.

We started our venture at the W. 30th Street entrance, the upper section being closed because of snow the day before, and ended at W. 10th where the new Whitney Museum is.

Andy Warhol Hibsicus Series

This was our first visit to the Whitney. We loved the retrospective of the musuem’s collection on the 7th floor. Floors 3-5 are a collection of work by Andy Warhol. I’ve never been a big fan but loved his Hibiscus Series and had to laugh at his cows.

If you are taking a trip to the Big Apple, don’t miss these special places.