We stayed at a hotel close to Penn Station. And also close to the High Line, that elevated rail line which, over the past decade, has been transformed into a park. And, which, in turn has helped to turn Manhattan's west side into a huge construction zone for luxury apartment houses, boutiques, and restaurants.
It offers an unobstructed walkway of about 1.5 miles above the city's traffic...if not an "oasis," a stretch of trees, tall grasses, flowering plants above the clamor of the streets. The steel rails of the old railroad flow along the walkway like a quiet brook. Benches, small theater spaces, lookouts, art and sculpture form eddies to entice walkers to slow down and drink in the atmosphere.
But what "the city" is about is people. Probably someone from Mumbai or Shanghai would not be impressed. But the sheer rush of people, morning and evening, hustling, moving with some internal energy...for someone living in a smallish town in Colorado...well, that is the real astonishment of being in New York.
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