The Highline

I had three precious days. Just three.

Three days between my school being closed for the summer and my kids’ schools.

Three days of freedom. Of being by myself. Of indulging in the best days I can muster. Which for me, means New York City.

When I go to NYC by myself, it’s not about finding a show to go to, seeing the sights, or even eating in the hot restaurant of the week. For me, it’s all about meandering.

I leave the train and go straight outside and start by heading downtown, but after that I have absolutely no intended direction. I let the stop lights tell me where to go. I cross when a light is green and turn when the light is red. I love approaching the city like this. It takes me to unexpected places, allowing me to see things I may not have noticed if I had a destination.

I’m bound by one thing which is the train to go home, so I know at some point I need to head back uptown and every time when I reach this point in my walk, I head to the Highline. The Highline has become one of my absolute favorite places in all of New York City. For those of you not in the area, it is a public park which was once an elevated train line which stopped running in 1980. The design of this park is stunning. It’s basically a path to walk on, but the plantings, the art, the modern design, the clean lines of this beautiful elevated walk bring an unbelievable experience of peace and an aesthetic which is gorgeous. I usually get on around 14th street and the park extends all the way to 30th, where I get off and walk to the train station.

But this is a food blog, you say.

I ย know. I’m getting there.

As I walk, there is really only one thing that can take this experience up a level. And that’s La Newyorkina, an incredible popsicle and shaved ice stand based on recipes from Mexico that will keep you coming back for more. Popsicles such as mango-chili and horchata. They are fantastic.

On my last walk uptown I thought it’s about time I got on that train as well. As I’m running Mommy camp this summer, I’m going to need to start getting some good recipes for homemade popsicles.

And so, melon-cucumber-lime-mint was the first attempt. My first batch was a little too minty for my brood so I may back off on the spice a bit more next time and sweeten them up with a little juice, but just think of the possibilities! And so easy to make: ย whip up a smoothie in a blender- any kind really- and freeze. Done. No preservatives, no weird colors and you control the sugar. Yet, they still think it’s a treat. I know there are all sorts of fancy devices to make popsicles these days, but I just go with the ol’ fashioned plastic popsicle containers and stick them in the freezer. Yes, there are appliances that “Freeze popsicles in less than seven minutes!!” but really, I kind of think a little anticipation is worth it. Sometimes it’s good for kids to wait for things. I know it doesn’t happen much these days, but patience with the payoff of a delicious treat is a lesson in itself.

A few popsicle ideas I’d like to try:

banana-coconut milk

banana-blueberry-yogurt

blueberry-peach-yogurt

cucumber-lime

strawberry-mango-basil

cherry-vanilla yogurt

I could keep going…I’ll report back on my popsicle adventures. If you have a popsicle recipe you think I should try, please let me know!

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20 thoughts on “The Highline

  1. My favorite popsicle recipe is apricot-orange with a wee dollup of cool whip or yogurt suspended somewhere in there. My grandmother had an apricot tree and we’d have fresh apricot juice (more like pulp than juice) and because it’s thick we’d add OJ to thin it to juice. It’s delicious on it’s own or frozen in a popsicle.

    I’d forgotten about popsicles!!!! Thanks for remindng me. Starting this weekend I want to have popsicles in the freezer all summer long.

  2. Ah, you’re a flรขneur! I regret that I’ve not yet been to the High Line. I will be sure to remedy on my next NY trip. Look forward to the popsicle recipes!

  3. Thanks for the great idea! I’ve been struggling to get my 2yo son to eat fruits and veggies. I’m tired of trying to trick him. He’s too smart. Then I gave him some of my smoothie in his own cup and he didn’t spill a drop and lots of nom-noms in between sips. Now that I know he likes them I’m going to try turning them into popsicles, too, for treats that are healthy ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. We’ve just started putting our extra smoothie drinks into popsicle molds. It’s brilliant! These are the kind of things that excite me these days…That, and having things on my grocery list be on sale at the store. I feel like someone has given me a surprise gift! Thanks for sharing your recipe ideas…I’m excited to try more. I’m so lazy that I hardly ever get around to making homemade ice cream, but these I can do!!
    Thanks for sharing your NYC getaway…That sounded lovely ๐Ÿ™‚
    God bless~
    Natalie (wordprocessor)

  5. Robin, I hope you loved every second of your break! I love love love the Highline. Also our popsicle makers – we have three. (!) A seriously old metal one that requires wooden sticks and makes rectangle pops, an early eighties plastic that makes the round ones I grew up on, and – yes! – a 7-minute (well, more like ten to fifteen minute) one from Williams-Sonoma … we make leftover smoothie pops almost daily (frozen berries+plain kefir+ honey, blend) and the pops are the perfect 4-pm-er for when my kids are clamoring for something before dinner … but my favorite these days is the coconut milk-plus-balsamic strawberries plus black pepper that I posted a week or two ago. It has stayed in my mind ๐Ÿ™‚ All of your combos sound great, but strawberry mango basil I will be trying pronto. Maybe with a little lemon zest, too?

    Lovely post!

    1. Oh yes! That’s right! Your coconut-strawberry- man does that sound delicious! Thanks for reminding me! And tell me- is the schmancy popsicle thing really magical? I mean, I am a little curious..

      1. It is kind of scary, actually, because I have no idea what chemicals are in it. I sort of vaguely assume dry-ice ish things … I will probably get rid of it. My husband loves it though – I had to wean him off kitchen gadgets when we met ๐Ÿ˜‰ For a quick cold fix, blender ice cream is probably better? (Or maybe when my guys are a little past 1 and 3, I will take your tack of just making them wait!)

  6. Hey Robin! The day this came out I had just bought popsicle molds and was really excited to see your new post-so many good ideas! I’ve been using my ice cream maker a lot the last few weeks after discovering Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at home-I’ve made banana chocoate ice cream, roasted strawberry ice cream, strawberry lemonade sorbet, and turned the lemon blueberry frozen yogurt and lime cardamom frozen yogurt into pops. In this weather I just dream of pops…and I just found a bunch of cucumbers in my garden so I’ll be trying your cucumber lime combo next!

    1. I have been seriously considering an ice-cream maker. Eh hem- family- if you are reading this… My birthday is coming up.. ๐Ÿ™‚ My gosh- those all sound so good!!

  7. I also love the highline in NYC and I know exactly what you are talking about with the pospsicles and shaved ice with flavor ๐Ÿ˜‰ when I saw the stand, it reminded me of my beautiful Mexico! We make the mango chili all the time and the kids love it.
    thanks for sharing Robin!!! love your blog ๐Ÿ˜‰

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