Taking the Highline…

This is a long overdue post… A few weeks ago, a fellow mom with a toddler and I decided to spend a lazy Sunday in the city. It was a refreshing change of pace especially since I no longer work and no longer make the daily commute into the city. I had begun to miss the charm of the city that I had long forsaken having been over exposed to it’s daily grind. I now donned my pretend to be a city dweller hat, and drove into the city. The beauty of going into the city on a Sunday was the plethora of parking available. God Bless who ever instituted free parking on Sunday. The suburban and pregnant mom in me wasn’t really digging trekking into the city in unknown weather on the MTA. I know its not GREEN, but give me a little break this time… my pregnancy exzema has been creating all sorts of havoc on my life… I won’t even go into the $180 I dropped for some facial relief… but it’s that bad… the idea of sweating it in the subways of NYC — no thank you… with an unpredictable 2 year old none the less…

Not knowing what we were really in for since I hadn’t been in the city for a while, leisurely that is… we cautiously made brunch reservations for 10:30 at Jane’s … They were ever so accommodating for 2 moms and their 2 year olds… giving us ample extra napkins, refilling our spilled bread basket with the most scrumptious strawberry butter I could eat by the tubful…. Ava and Jake devoured their eggs… stole food from their mommy’s plates and ran circles around us as we caught up…

While the thought of delicious Vanilla French Toast and fun catch-up with a fellow mom-ista was enticing enough… the real gem of the day was visiting the newly opened Highline Park. Having worked at an architecture firm in my past, I had followed the interesting and long-winded history of the Highline. Some of my friends even submitted ideas into the design competition that yielded its final construction. While none of them won, it was interesting to see that many of the entries all had a similar concept, a “green” park in the sky… Now parks are parks, in and around the city they all look the same… every now and then a park might get refreshed… but the overall look still remained carbon copy. So I was eager to see what everyone was jabbering about…

A stroll along 10th Avenue and a kind conversation with a “Friend of Highline” guided us up to 16th Street where we were able to take our stroller sitting toddlers up the elevator to the Highline… When the doors opened on Park level we knew instantly this wasn’t any ordinary park… Filled with wild flowers and a beautiful mix of old and new, industrious and modern, I appreciated just how everything worked in harmony with one another. The Highline, a once forgotten and abandoned railway, fit beautifully into the city landscape and the growing neighborhood districts. Once unstrapped, my daughter hopped out of her stroller and went running off to explore… being ever the nonchalant mom that I am, I love just letting Ava run where ever her heart desires…after all where exactly could she go?! In front of me or behind me… I could see all around me. She loved climbing the slope of the park benches, although I don’t quite think that was the design’s intentions and was intrigued by the sculptural drinking fountains… I appreciated the beauty of the water running off the fountain and into the grates below to water the nearby plants… she got a closer look at the wild flowers… She stood at the railing watching the taxis fly by and the bus drop off more visitors… ran to an empty lounge chair to imitate the rows of sun worshippers on deck… Little did she know that the chairs sat on the old rail tracks… lined with gorgeous FSC certified Ipe wood… Up and down the Highline she went with her mother and “Aunt” chasing after her… wishfully eyeing the gelato cart (what else would you expect on the Highline?!), we whisked her off for another treat… a visit to Chelsea Market…

Her Aunt, having her son fall asleep enjoying the peace and tranquility on the Highline, craved a latte and I was excited to introduce to this NY native (?!??!) and HUGE Food Network fan (double ?!?!?!) to Chelsea Market, just outside the Highline entrance. I admit to having only discovered this gem a few years ago myself, but it has become one of my favorite stops in the city. I miss the old flower shop inside, but love smelling the fresh baked bread waffling out of Amy’s, tasting sinfully rich brownies from Fat Witch, and getting my seafood fix at the Lobster Place. You also can’t beat the occasional run in with Bobby Flay and Morimoto (who we spied running through this busy Sunday afternoon). Being still on a budget, I splurged on only one thing… Jonah crab claws with the Lobster Place’s famous cocktail and mustard sauces… Ava made herself comfortable in front of the wishing well, tossing any coins she could find in mommy’s purse… What a wonderful and luxurious way to end a Sunday stroll in the city…

About Suzanne Chan

Suzanne is student, daughter, wife, (labor & delivery) certified registered nurse, certified lactation counselor, friend, entrepreneur and blogger – but the job she's most proud of is mother… She shares her journey on this blog and The Disney Files. Read more about her here.

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