New York City, NY
United States
Hudson River Park at former Pier 49, between W 11th and W 12th Street New York City AIDS Memorial since 30 November 2008
without names
New York Gets Waterfront Design Right
Is this how you think of New York City? Wood walkways, colourful flowers, tall grasses, warm lights? I’m not talking about the High Line, which has become one of the city’s top economic assets, drawing people from around the world to experience New York in a unique way from atop a former elevated railway. Steps away on the west side of the island, Hudson River Park is often overlooked by visitors as a must-see New York attraction.
The experience is thoughtfully designed to consider the needs of many and curated to deliver special moments along the way. The defining feature is a bike path adjacent to the highway with an additional path for running and walking along the water’s edge. In between is surprisingly lush landscaping. A variety of plants and tall grass introduce texture and a softness in strong contrast to the concrete and glass high rise buildings just across the street. A wood, boardwalk-like meandering path makes you feel more like you’re in the Hamptons than Manhattan and contemporary wood benches add a dash of sophistication.
And there are moments for reflection. Near Christopher Street, there is a poetic AIDS memorial that would resonate with anyone: “I can sail without wind, I can row without oars, but I cannot part from my friend without tears.” Photo © Wendy Gold OpenCity Projects

4 January 2012
Wendy Gold, small town, Ontario, Canada