I recently visited a park in New York City called The High Line. It was, by far, one of the coolest places I've visited in a long time. The park is built on a section of the former elevated freight railroad along Manhattan's West Side.
The High Line was originally constructed in the 1930s to lift freight trains off Manhattan's streets. From 1934-1980 trains carried meat to the meatpacking district, agricultural goods to the factories and warehouses of the industrial West Side and mail to the Post Office. (http://www.thehighline.org/)
In 2006, construction began on the old railway to create a unique park. It was redesigned, incorporating some of the original tracks into the design and planted with naturalistic plantings as an elevated park running through the West Side neighborhoods of the Meatpacking District, West Chelsea and Clinton/Hell's Kitchen.
Since it was late August when I visited, there were many different types of grasses growing, in addition to Ecinachea, Rubeckia and Asters. All the plants are allowed to grow freely, to simulate natural plants growing around abandoned train tracks.
I loved how the old train track elements were worked into the design like under the benches (above, left) and peeking out among the hardscape and plantings (above, right).
Here is another image with the tracks and plants nestled together:
And another of the late summer plants growing along the park:
The Section 1 of the park begins here at Gansevoort Street and continues to 20th Street. Section 2 is due to open in 2011 and will continue to 34th Street.
If you happen to be visiting New York City, I highly recommend the High Line. Its an easy walk and every season offers something beautiful and unique to see both in the park and in the bustling streets below.