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High Line Tour Offers Glimpse of Closed Section

By DNAinfo Staff on October 17, 2011 7:00am  | Updated on October 17, 2011 7:26am

By Sonja Sharp

Special to DNAinfo

HELL'S KITCHEN — Adam Bildersee and his girlfriend Dylah Werbner are far from the first New Yorkers to fall in love on the High Line, but Sunday they were among the first to fall in love with it’s northern frontier.

The couple, who had their second date at the popular West Side park, were among the intrepid visitors who braved tangles of bramble, rusted rails and pitted track beds on the High Line’s so-called Section Three, normally closed to the public but accessible to small groups this weekend as a part of Open House New York.

“We both really love the park,” said Bildersee, 24, who lives blocks away in Midtown West. Between them, the pair estimated they’d visited the park’s first two sections nearly two dozen times.

Unlike its manicured neighbor to the south, Section Three, which stretches north from West 33rd Street,  has been all but abandoned since the last train rumbled north here in 1980 The Friends of the High Line hope it too will one day be open to the public.

Still, Sunday’s visitors said they appreciated the ribbon of tracks overlooking an LIRR train yard and the West Side Highway, winding south from 34th Street, as a swath of untrammeled urban landscape.

“It would be nice if they kept it in this natural state, maybe just put in a path here but kept it in a state of preserved decay,” said J.R. Lettenberger, 30, who was visiting from Greenpoint. “What they have further down is nice, but they could make this like an urban Appalachian Trail.”

Werbner said she preferred the secluded Section Three to the bustling High Line proper.

“It’s more special right here because it’s more empty,” the Morningside Heights resident said. “This is just so nice and open—look at the park, how crowded it is.”