Rehabilitating decrepit, rusty el tracks seemed like an out-there idea. But now that the High Line is here—all native grasses and civilized boardwalk—we never knew how much we wanted it. Or realized how it would change the way we wander the meatpacking–West Chelsea corridor. One way to pass an afternoon: reading a book, catching the breeze, coming down only for bathroom breaks (Chelsea Market’s are the nicest) and emergency sunblock (get it at Jeffrey). Or you can augment your sunbathing-and-view-admiring by recognizing the fact that you are in prime eating and shopping territory. If you commit to walking up and down the park’s stairs enough (entrances on Gansevoort, 18th Street, and 20th Street have stairways, with an elevator at 16th Street and one to come in July at 14th Street), you can justify a rich and buttery pretzel croissant from Birdbath, the green-bakery offshoot of Maury Rubin’s City Bakery, which runs the park’s two concessions. Build up an appetite investigating the neighborhood shops, then make a picnic from the offerings at Chelsea Market, or book dinner at the newly opened Standard Grill, with its three very different spaces on the ground floor of André Balazs’s Standard Hotel. The park above our heads makes an excellent axis for a day’s worth of strolling on a beautiful summer weekend. For a map of the environs, click ahead.