Field Trip: Chelsea + High Line + Manhattan West

PART I: Yayoi Kusama | I Spend Each Day Embracing Flowers
The Kusama show at David Zwirner gallery on far West 19th Street closes on July 21, so if you missed the amazing installation of hers at the New York Botanical Garden in 2021, this will give you a fix. It is four rooms: two with monumental sculptures, one signature Infinity Mirror Room and one room of charming paintings — all new works from the 94-year-old Japanese artist. PRO TIP: We had a line at 3p on a Tuesday, so plan to wait about 20 minutes.

Walk 10 minutes north from the High Line entrance on 23rd Street between 10th and 11th to…

PART II: The High Line – Moynihan Connector
The most recent addition (it opened in June) to the High Line’s linear park is the Moynihan Connector, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and James Corner Field Operations, the latter of which are designing Hudson River Park’s Gansevoort Peninsula. The connector starts at the Spur at 30th and 10th Avenue, then follows two bridges that hover over 30th Street moving east from 10th Avenue, then make a left up Dyer. The Woodland Bridge on 30th is steel and concrete with spectacular planting beds along the sides. But the real piece de resistance is the Timber Bridge, 260 feet of Alaskan yellow cedar beams that were assembled at street level and hoisted into place.

I had heard of Manhattan West — it is after all, a sister to our Brookfield Place — but had never seen it and never could have imagined this place. It’s spooky: there is no grid, and you can feel that you are above grade, which I found entirely disconcerting. I can’t quite put my finger on what made me so creeped out: maybe because you know there’s no place to run? That you could be trapped? Others might find it totally peaceful since there are no cars, no sidewalks: just an open plaza in the canyon of six towers that cover 40 acres.

It’s designed to be its own little artificial neighborhood, so there are lots of places to eat there, and if you really want to make a day of it, you can do your Whole Foods shopping or try the Midnight Theatre, which has nightly spoken word, concerts, etc.

For lunch, do Citizens Manhattan West: a 40,000-square-foot food hall with 12 fast-casual brands serving lunch, including Frankly by Snap-O-Razzo, a Las Vegas-based hog dog chain; Umami Burger; and Casa Dani by Michelin-star Chef Dani Garcia. For drinks, try Hidden Leaf from executive chef Chai Trivedi from Tamarind.



  1. Thanks. I have to visit.

  2. It’s a great walk to start in the “new” Moynihan train hall, cross 9th to Manhattan West and follow this new spur to the Highland down to 12th St.

  3. The new High Line spur is great. ONLY they totally messed up, screwed up, ruined it really with that floor it’s real bumpy and hard on the feet

  4. Here’s an alternative universe question:

    If the High Line were instead used for freight trains instead, would this substantially alleviate the truck traffic in and around NYC? Would it substantially cut pollution?

    Presumably, to make this work, it would mean a lot of the buildings in the now posh High Line area would have to be warehouses and distribution centers. But there could also be various mega-stores right there which would be supplied directly by rail. Of course, deliveries to other stores throughout the city would still require local trucks.

    It could also mean all sorts of manufacturing/factories could be right there along the high line, as materials could be delivered, and goods shipped out, by rail. That could generate all sorts of jobs. Maybe this is impossible nostalgia for a time before I was born, when so much manufacturing was done in the USA, before it was outsourced overseas.

    Just speculation, but I wonder. Curious if anyone has done evaluation of such alternate uses before the High Line park was established.

    • What if a “freight car” was added to the below grade rail or subway system? A single car at the end of NJT carrying all of those Amazon Prime packages from Newark to NYC?

  5. Regarding Marcus’s comment, this seems like a pretty good background piece on West Side rail history.