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High Line: abandoned NYC rail becomes skinny park in the sky

Built to haul goods into New York City’s meatpacking district, the High Line stopped carrying trains in 1980 and soon became a target for demolition. But two Manhattan residents saw potential in the rusting ruin and fought to save it.

What most people viewed as an eyesore blocking views and damaging property values, Robert Hammond and Joshua David saw as a magical, secret garden in the sky. For ten years they fought to convince neighbors and politicians of the value in the weed-covered old tracks (they tell their story in their book High Line: The Inside Story of New York City’s Park in the Sky).

Finally, in 2009 the High Line park opened to the public and quickly became one of the cities most popular attractions (in just the first 10 months 2 million people visited the elevated green space).

In a nod to a park created by the people, for the people, we spent a day talking to ordinary visitors about the magic of the now not-so-secret High Line.