When I was younger, one of the tunes my Mamgu would sing to me was The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond, an old Scottish song about two captured soldiers who fought alongside Clan MacGillivray at the Battle of Culloden in Bonnie Prince Charlie‘s uprising of 1745.
O, ye’ll tak’ the high road and I’ll tak’ the low road,
An’ I’ll be in Scotland afore ye.
For me and my true love will never meet again
By the bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomond.
This was tumbling around my head as I stepped onto The High Line on the western edges of Manhattan today, an old raised rail line that’s been converted into a garden and walking path a couple of stories above street level.
There’s a similar trail in Paris – the Promenade Plantée in the 12th – which is built on top of a viaduct, but the real distinctive factor of the High Line is that it’s really just been placed in the middle of the urban sprawl with very little extra fuss. You’re walking side by side with people going about their daily business on the street below and the High Line appears to function as a minor detour for people who were walking that way anyway, rather than a dedicated tourist attraction.
It comes down a little way to a viewing area above the road at a couple of points, and passes over the Chelsea Market, which I also popped into and was also fantastic; I’ll be returning there. I quite liked the little fishbowl view this afforded from street level, which really confused a couple of passers-by that clearly hadn’t yet heard of The High Line (I told them what was going on.)
As ever, more pics on my Flickr feed. Enjoy.