Return to the High Line, Jul 2009 - 17

The High Line in summer of 2009. Photo by Ed Yourdon

The High Line is the distressed skinny jeans of public parks, the gourmet taco truck of urban tourist attractions, and as such, it represents the high-water mark of the hipster aesthetic, which venerates poverty and decay as signifiers of authenticity. Thirty feet in the air, winding through the remains of one of the last blue-collar work sites Manhattan, the High Line is a monument to gentrification, a showcase of what can happen when hip young college graduates invade an impoverished area and repopulate it with art galleries and fancy restaurants. But here’s the truly amazing part: it all works.