The High Line

An Iron Snake.

In the 19th century, a gold rush happened along the tracks of the newly built railroad, linking the US East Coast to the West Coast. With land grabbing, exclusion of people and their ancestral way of life, construction of new cities, arrival of new settlers, the Iron Horse brought fortune to a few and “progress” to all.

In Manhattan, the West Side worked during all of the 20th century thanks to the High Line, an elevated railroad track. It snakes from warehouses and industrial buildings, through the meatpacking district and cheap housing for the waterfront workers to the undeveloped railroad yards of Penn Station.

By the end of the 20th century, the old industry died. The railroad tracks of the High Line shut down. Emptied lots became parking lots.

Time for the 21st century, time for a new gold rush: The High Line is converted into Park; the Iron Snake comes back to life. Tourists are its new blood.

With land grabbing, exclusion of people and their ancestral way of life, construction of new hotels, office towers, luxury condos by starchitects, arrival of new settlers, the Iron Snake brings fortune to a few and “progress” to all.