On April 15, 2019 a fire broke out beneath the roof of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Since I had seen this magnificent structure in my early twenties I found this horrific news very upsetting. I was grateful that we had scheduled an outing to the recently opened Hudson Yards on the West Side of Manhattan. It was a welcome distraction because this creation of a “brand new neighborhood” was overwhelming. I have 10 pages of typed research notes that I plan to break down into bite-sized points to give you a quick overview of this astounding venture. Here goes:
The view from the top of The Vessel: the Hudson River and the active rail yards that this entire project is built over
WHY IS IT CALLED “HUDSON YARDS?”
The term “Hudson Yards” refers to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) rail yards along the Hudson River between 30th and 34th Streets BUT it also refers to an entire area being redeveloped that stretches as far down as 28th and as far up as 43rd.
HOW FAR WEST DO YOU HAVE TO GO?
The new Hudson Yards is located between 10th and 12th Avenues from West 30th to 34th Street. You can get there via bus, (we went on the 34th Street cross town) subway, (the #7 subway connects to Times Square and beyond from an eye-catching new station) or taxi/black car. Also, the Midtown ferry terminal is at 39th Street, the Pegasus Heliport at 30th with both at the West Side Highway.
WHAT – EXACTLY – WILL YOU FIND THERE?
Let me warn you. If you go during the day you’ll see a lot of construction still going on. There is scaffolding everywhere, cranes looming and hard hats shouting BUT once you actually enter one of the buildings at Hudson Yards you’re safe. Right?
Because I’m a Columbia grad I receive many of their publications. This photo of The Shed (left) and The Vessel (center) appeared in Columbia magazine, Summer 2019 with this caption: A competition for “trailblazing projects” was held and over 900 hopefuls applied. Only 52 were chosen. Five were Columbians. (I think this is terrific)
NOT IF YOU CALL HUDSON YARDS “A MALL!”
If I’ve seen this once, I’ve seen it 50 times – it’s a “vertical shopping experience, a urban retail center, a seven-story shopping center” that covers 1,000,000 sq. ft. and has more than 100 stores plus 25 cafés and eateries. It is NOT a mall. Gotcha!
IT’S ALSO A NEW $25,000,000,000 NEIGHBORHOOD
When completed it will have office buildings and luxury apartments. Or, as one executive explains, “It’s about 14 acres of open space with 40,000 people a day working at Hudson Yards and 4,000 residences. We are urban planners. We build cities – so we consider the retail center part of the whole neighborhood.”
ONCE INSIDE, HOW DOES ONE GO FROM FLOOR-TO-FLOOR?
The escalators are arranged in a way that ensures you will have to walk around and pass more shops to get to the next set of escalators. There is no single spot where a set of escalators will take you all the way up. (H&M on 34th Street has the same thing. It really annoys me.) There are also elevators if you want to go directly to a specific floor.
A fabulous view from the Fifth Floor at Hudson Yards
WHAT ARE THE DAYS AND HOURS WHEN YOU CAN VISIT?
The shops and restaurants are open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 9 pm and from 11 am to 7 pm on Sunday. Note: these hours seem very short for New York; this is “The City That Never Sleeps.”
The Conservatory – stunning orchids and greenery – all the “real” thing
In the window: a glam touch to a sleek vehicle – seen at Hudson Yards
IS THERE ANYTHING SPECTACULAR IN THE OFFING?
Yes, it’s called, “The Edge” and will be the “highest outdoor deck in the entire Western Hemisphere.” You’ll be able to stand on a glass floor located on Floor 100 and look straight down to a bustling neighborhood that is 1,100 ft. below. Then you can go up to Floor 101 and sit at a 10,000 sq. ft. bar. You’ll be in a mood for a drink. Trust me.
STAY TUNED, NEXT WEEK WE’LL TELL YOU MORE.Shaun Nelson-Henrick
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