Posts Tagged ‘NYC’

Walking the Highline, NYC

Monday, May 16th, 2016
Jenna Kernan at the north entrance to the Highline on 34th St. West.

Jenna Kernan at the north entrance to the Highline on 34th St. West.

Death Avenue to Urban Sanctuary 

I have to hand it to NYC Friends of the Highline for seeing possibilities in the rusting elevated, abandoned train track that once ran on above Manhattan’s Lower West Side.

“I am grass.  Let me work.”  Carl Sandburg

I finally made it to the Highline.  This is a walk I have had on my list for years and apparently I am not alone because I was one of nearly six million visitors each year.  This elevated train track, abandoned in the eighties was slowly rusting away, but along the way grass grew up.  Seeds deposited by birds, traveling on the wind found precarious purchase on the abandoned stretch.  Trees began to grow above the street between the trestles’ and along the track.

Redbud blossoms on the L track over 10th Avenue

Redbud blossoms on the L track over 10th Avenue


Originally this track delivered food to the city replacing the 10 Avenue train the past the sailors boarding houses stretching along the river and through the meatpacking district of the Lower West Side.

At the entrance on 34th Street, I greeted by a black and white photo of what looked like a cowboy preceding a train.  Having done no research beyond how to reach the park, I did not know that these men were hired by the New York Central Railroad to precede the train waiving a bright red flag to help clear the tracks of crossing pedestrians with mixed results judging by the earned moniker Death Avenue for the number of collision between iron horse and human pedestrians.

Railroad ties make for modern seating on the Highline with Author Jenna Kernan

Railroad ties make for modern seating on the Highline with Author Jenna Kernan


Built in the 1930s and defunct by the 1960s, moldering through the 1980 and scheduled for demolition 2001 but repurposed beginning in 2004 until the lower section of the elevated park opened in 2009.

I first heard of this 1.45 mile walk from my editor.  She warned me to avoid weekends as they are super crowded.  But I went on the weekend and…it was super crowded.  But it was a special opening of the spring season and there was music and dancing and food all along the way.  Not the fastest walk and definitely not a power walker.  But that’s okay because there was so much to see and do.  We strolled this lovely promenade enjoying view of the city, the street and Hudson all along the way and pausing to appreciate the clever landscaping and flowering trees.

Open space for public performance.

Open space for public performance.


Being above street level gives an interesting perspective.  I really approve of the conscious plan to mimic the plants, grasses and trees that arrived unassisted to the abandoned stretch of track.

The architecture fits seamlessly into the walk and echoes the tracks.  There are plenty of pull outs and stopping places including some innovative seating.  I admired the seats that looked like stacked rail trestles.

We reached the end of the Highline all too soon but continued our adventure through Chelsea Market and the Meatpacking District that is now a very hip neighborhood that buzzes with activity.

The south end of the park has several eateries, a store and live artist performers

The south end of the park has several eateries, a store and live artist performers

WHERE: The High Line is a public park build on elevated rail line from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues.

More Information:

Highline Website

Highline blog

Walking NYC’s Holiday Windows

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

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LITERATURE Window at Bergdorff Goodman

Each year I try to make it in to NYC to stroll past the holiday windows.  This year I’m super happy about the holidays as I have a Christmas release to help make the season even more jolly. WILD WEST CHRISTMAS is a beautiful Western anthology collection that I hope you’ll add to your wish list.

My usual route begins at the toy train sets in Grand Central at the MTA museum tucked behind the grand stairs on the west side of the station.  They include a tiny Santa hailing a cab and a stuffed King Kong on the Empire State Building. Then I visit Lord & Taylor on 5th Avenue. Continuing north, I stop at the NY Public Library for their tree and free museum exhibits. Then it’s up to Rockefeller Center, Saks and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I always peek at the gems in Henry Winston’s windows and Tiffany’s is right across 5th Ave.

Near the park are my favorite holiday windows, Bergdoff Goodman. After that, I visit the Plaza Hotel (a wonderful place for high tea) and then head east to Barney’s of New York and finally, Bloomingdales.  Then it’s back to Grand Central for their holiday gift fair in Vanderbilt Hall.

If you’d like to see all the photos of my annual trip to see the holiday windows in New York City please visit my facebook page.  For this post I’m only showing my photos of one stop on my walk.

The windows at Bergdoff Goodman are always my favorites because of their visual interest and the complexity of theme. This year their theme was THE ARTS. This one is called Literature and it is packed with wonderful quotes and images of famous authors all in bright shades of pink. I was in heaven!

One of the embroidered pillows had a quote from French poet, Stephane Mallarme reading, “Everything in the world exists in order to end up as a book.”



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There is so much more on my facebook page.


Happy Holidays to you and yours!


Life: Dressed in Holiday Cheer

Sunday, November 25th, 2012


Cartier in Holiday Wrapping, 2012


Yesterday I took a little break from working on my current paranormal romance to make my yearly pilgrimage into New York City to see the best and brightest of the holiday windows.  I always see Bloomingdales, Barneys, Saks, Bergdorf Goodman, Lord & Taylor and Macy’s.  This year you can’t beat Bergdorf Goodman’s BG Follies the sheer flash and style.

Bergdorf Goodman’s Holiday Windows – BG Follies 2012


Lord & Taylor’s miniatures of New York charmed the crowds and me.  Macy’s windows are full of nostalgia and charm with a sprinkling of Macy’s more interesting history scattered on the windows.

Lord & Taylor Window, 2012

The cold and wind forced us in and what better place to stop than The Rock, Rockefeller Center.  The basement has lovely restaurants and a great view of the skating rink where Santa went gliding by.  He later stopped in to grab a cup of Joe at the restaurant where we were eating.  I’ve never seen the scaffolding on the tree before as the workers are stringing the lights.

Santa on Break, Rockefeller Center 2012

One of the happiest surprises of the day was seeing that the main branch of the NYC Public Library had a special exhibit on Charles Dickens.  Seeing the first editions and some of his personal affects was really special.  Did you know that he had a collection of books with fake labels above his mantle with titles like Interviews with Nobody, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.?  There is also a tin type of the inspiration for Tiny Tim on display.  This exhibit is well worth a stop if you are in Midtown.

Dickens Exhibit in the NY Public Library

I wish I could capture the buzz of the crowd, the lovely music of the Salvation Army’s band outside Saks Fifth Avenue, and the smell of roasting chestnuts that wafts from the street vendor’s cards and the mad crush of people shopping on the main level of Macy’s department store.  But some experiences must be had for one’s self.

I hope you make it to NYC this holiday and if not, than one of these holidays.