The Un-High Line.

I guess you could say it’s been spoiled by success. Strolling the enormously popular High Line of late has not exactly been a walk in the park. So slow. So crowded. And it is having the very breath squeezed out of it by the ever encroaching Hudson Yards project, which, for better or worse, is changing the landscape of far west Manhattan.

So we took a different route the other day. “Head west, old people!” And just a little north.

We slipped beneath the West Side Highway at 70th and Riverside Park South last Saturday morning and discovered Pier i Cafe, which is sort of a cross between a restaurant and a backyard picnic. The vibe is a cheerful tableau of brightly-colored umbrellas, lawn chairs, paper plates and a joyous assembly of baby strollers and dogs amid views of the Hudson River.

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The menu is promising: lots and lots of food options and on the drinks side, a beer-lover’s paradise plus plenty of rosé and wine coolers all exuberantly chalk-drawn on blackboards. Although I must admit that once you put a Caesar salad on a paper plate, it loses a bit of its mojo. As Shakespeare might say, you come here not to praise Caesar, just to get a bite to eat.

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But who cares about the food when this is your dining companion at the next table:

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And while you might come for the snack, you stay for the walk. That giant among men, Central Park visionary Frederick Law Olmsted, designed Riverside Park’s in the 1870’s when it looked like this:

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It looks a bit different today, but no less charming, and, at least when we visited last weekend, no crowds!

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We saw lots of willows, a few stone cairns and vestiges of a bygone railroad yard – but very few people. It was lovely.

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Last Saturday there were girls in bikinis sunning themselves lazily along the walkway, but the weather has changed. A twenty-degree temperature drop tells me that summer has exited stage left and autumn is on the way. I hear it gets a bit brisk over on Riverside in the bitter months, so if you’re planning a walk, you might want to do it sooner than later. Pat a dog on the head and say hi to the Hudson for me.

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About polloplayer

Empty nester searching for meaning of life through the occasional chicken epiphany.
This entry was posted in New York city, Travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Un-High Line.

  1. dizzyguy says:

    Even though it is the Un-High line, it is definitely not the Low Line either. We had a most enjoyable day, as did all of the dogs and babies we saw at Pier 1. Add it to the list of things to consider doing in the city on a nice day. Next time we will head south and see what we find.

  2. Katherine says:

    So beautiful! I’m sad the High Line is no longer a hidden treasure but (I guess?) glad people have found it and are enjoying it. That was always a highlight of a NYC trip. But what a glorious day and new space you’ve found – thank you for sharing!

  3. First off I want to saay awesome blog! I had a quick questkon that I’d like
    to ask if you don’t mind. I was curious to know
    how you center yourself and clear your hhead before
    writing. I’ve had trouble clearing my thoughts inn getting my ideas outt there.
    I do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the
    first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be lost jujst trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or tips?
    Appreciate it!

    • polloplayer says:

      Very good question. Writing is hard! I have a quote somewhere from a successful writer who says it is 99% procrastination. In my case, silence (hard to come by) and coffee both help. Glad you enjoy Polloplayer.

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