Joe does a personal and insightful critique of New York’s High Line – and what it might mean for his hometown Minneapolis:


HighThe High Line is a singular thing. It is unique, “being the only one of its kind.” It is an excellent use of an old piece of very sturdy infrastructure, very creatively designed. But really, what else can you do with it? It is a wonderful place to go out of your way to stroll. Apparently Minneapolis would kill for this kind of thing because we hired James Corner to redesign Nicollet Mall in to Nicollet Mile. Because downtown Minneapolis doesn’t have good strolling streets, we have to import them. We have to “High Line” them because we’ve done it to ourselves by creating skyways and inward facing buildings, leaving little reason to stroll our streets in the first place.

Then I realized that as cool as the High Line is, my wife and I also visited Bryant Square Park for the first time while there. I showed her the breathtaking underpass entrance to Prospect Park, and together we jogged through Central Park. We also took an evening stroll under the new park under the Brooklyn Bridge. On our previous visit we spent an evening singalong of Elton John songs in Union Square Park. So, I guess this is simply personal preference, but the High Line is at least sixth on my list of favorite open spaces in New York. Still, everyone should walk the High Line, once.

Full illustrated analysis here.