The last stretch of New York’s High Line opens Sunday, completing one of the nation’s most distinctive urban transformations: abandoned elevated rails that have been turned into a linear oasis of flowers, grasses and trees.
That last, half-mile section finishes the 22-block walkway that over five years has helped drive the hip gentrification of the Chelsea neighborhood on Manhattan’s West Side. Luxury condos, galleries, restaurants and boutiques have all but pushed out the industrial grime around the old freight route that once delivered goods to warehouses, meatpacking and manufacturing plants.
“The High Line has changed the dynamics of the city,” says Laurance Rassin, an artist showcasing his paintings and sculptures to visitors along the three-story-high walkway. “If Picasso were alive, he’d be painting on the High Line.”
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