The High Line in New York City keeps getting better and better. When the first portion opened in 2009, residents and tourists were in awe at the genius of the re-imagined rail line and with each expanded section the landmark gets better and better. The park now runs from Gansevoort Street to West 34th with expansions north planned. The introduction this spring of the Whitney museum of Art only adds to the allure of the neighborhood.
The Whitney Museum of Art specializes in American Art and has a full activity guide for children to keep them actively engaged. I grew up studying the Calder circus mobile and it now holds a prominent space on floor 7. The kid’s guide has suggested activities on each floor. For the Circus the after telling the history of the artwork, the guide asks which circus performer would you be and then gives a space to draw yourself as the performer. There are plenty of benches to sit and look and draw, and each floor has a terrace with fun multicolored seating. The guide has lots of fun ideas for activities from creating a graffiti tag to drawing with your less favored hand. The art combined with the insightful guide help make the Whitney a huge hit for kids.
Gansevoort Market opened in October 2014 and is right down the block from the Whitney. It is the perfect place for a familymeal, with over 20 different vendors selling food from all over the world. The vendors offer the variety New York’s melting pot is famous for from Ed’s lobster rolls to Palenque Columbian food to savory Bruffins, and of course New York pizza, there is definitely something for everyone. There are also tables and a terrace to sit and enjoy the food. All members of a family could get food from the same concession or share lots of different types, and save room for dessert as there are definitely amazing options here.
After lunch head up to the Highline, the entrance is right at the end of the Gansevoort Street. The Highline currently stretches to 34th street, which is about a 1-mile walk but with so much to stop and see it is worth taking slow. The Highline is a beautiful elevated park built on an abandoned rail line. There are tons of activities along the highline from traffic vantage points to water play to art installations, not to mention vendors selling all sorts of delicious treats. With views on one side over the Hudson river to New Jersey and other of all of western Manhattan on a clear day the Empire States building is even visible. The Highline has been developed using the most sustainable practices available creating a public green space that many other cities around the world are using as a model. The park itself is more of a walkway than an open park but given the narrow space available the beauty and impact is astonishing. There are multiple access points if you get tired but walking from beginning to end is worthwhile as each portion has different points of interest.
Currently on West 30th Street, there is an art project that will inspire and amaze children and adults. The Collectivity Project is an installation of 2 million white Lego bricks on large shaded tables where children and adults are invited to build cityscapes. Children must be supervised by adults and must leave what they build but watching groups join together adding to one another’s building is a true lesson in community building. The project created by the artist, Olafur Eliasson, has been installed in Albania, Denmark, and Norway. It is currently in New York and open daily from 10am until 7pm and will remain until the end of September. The area for the Collective Project is covered making it a shady calm area for a rest stop.
New York is too big for one fantastic family day post, it will require many in the future. It is not a city anyone could see in one day, but this neighborhood could certainly make a fantastic family afternoon, one my family has done often, and ideally should be done in the near future while the Collectivity Project can be experienced.
Details: The Whitney Museum of Art, 99 Gansevoort Street, Open Sunday, Monday and Wednesday: 10:30-6pm, Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 10:30am-10pm; Gansevoort Market, 52 Gansevoort Street, Open daily: 8am-9pm; The Highline, Open Daily: 7am – 11pm, Gansevoort Street Entrance; The Collectivity Project, through September 30, open daily, 10am – 7pm, 30th Street and the Highline