It’s a bit hard to imagine building an entirely new neighborhood in the heart of Manhattan where it seems as every last bit of space is already occupied- but that’s exactly what New York City just did. Nestled between Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, Hudson Yards New York is the trendiest new neighborhood in NYC. Covering 28 acres with 14 acres of public open space, much of Hudson Yards New York was debuted on Friday March 15, 2019. We were able to explore much of what was open so we can give you a glimpse into what this new neighborhood looks like!
*Feature Photo Courtesy of Related Oxford
Public Square and Gardens
The Public Square and Gardens is the heart of Hudson Yards, NYC’s newest lower west side neighborhood. With expansive parks, gardens, and ample shaded outdoor seating, the Hudson Yards Public Square and Gardens is dubbed “the smartest park in town” featuring incredible technology that allows for the growth and sustainability of over 28,000 plants and 200 mature trees. A underground cooling system featuring an intricate network of cooling tubes and giant fans propelled by jet engines will help keep the plant and tree roots at a sustainable temperature while a 60,000 gallon underground tank will collect rainwater to be used to irrigate the plants and trees in the park. Plants and trees were chosen specifically to attract hummingbirds, butterflies and bees as well as other migratory birds. The Public Square and Gardens is meant to be a natural haven in the midst of the city- a gathering place for people who live, work, and play in Hudson Yards.
The Vessel is an outdoor art installation designed by Thomas Heatherwick and Heatherwick Studios that anchors the Public Square and Gardens. Standing 16 stories tall, The Vessel is a interconnected web of 154 staircases and 80 landings, designed to lift people up and bring them together as they explore the sculpture and see the city from a new perspective. The Vessel is truly incredible to explore, with stunning views of the unique architecture from the inside and great views of the city from all levels. Visiting the Vessel does require ticket reservations, however, the tickets themselves are free and simply serve to spread out the number of visitors in the structure at any given time. It’s not often you get to experience something that is uniquely New York for free- but Hudson Yards prides itself on it’s beautiful public spaces and The Vessel is meant to be enjoyed by all! To read more about The Vessel, you can click here for our full review of New York City’s newest landmark!
The Shops at Hudson Yards
We’re not a shopping family. We couldn’t be anything farther from a shopping family. In fact, to be completely honest, many of the luxury brands people come to New York City to shop for make me squirm. Why anyone needs a $1,400 pair of shoes is something I’ll never be able to comprehend. The Shops at Hudson Yards are full of these types of stores. If you’re looking for luxury shopping, The Shops at Hudson Yards is the hot new place to be. On floors one through four, you’ll find stores including Coach, Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Tiffany & Co. Floors five, six and seven are the flagship Neimun Marcus- selling luxury fashion from the world’s top designers along with unique interactive experiences, concierge services and gourmet dining.
So if we’re not a shopping family in any sense, and particularly not a luxury shopping family- why did we love The Shops at Hudson Yards so much? Because while it is most certainly a shopping mall for the city’s elite, The Shops at Hudson Yards are also much more than just a shopping mall. What really caught our attention were the number of art displays throughout the first four floors. On each level, hallways are utilized for art installations- and there are some super cool, interactive pieces that our boys absolutely fell in love with. Their favorite was the sequin fabric wall, which is nothing short of a stroke of genius! It’s simply a large wall covered with square and rectangular patches of sequined fabric. When you run your hand across the sequins one way, it turns one color. Go the other way and it switches colors. The wall was bright and inviting and there is something oddly soothing about running your fingers back and forth across the fabric. Kids and adults alike flocked to the wall to draw. After nearly an hour (yes- an hour!) we had to pull our boys away!
While The Shops have many high end stores, there are also more typical retail spaces including H&M and Zara, along with a number of next generation retail concepts such as The Conservatory, MUJI and 3DEN, not seen anywhere else in NYC. Our boys were drawn to M-Cro, the pop-up shop for the Swiss scooter company Micro Kickboard. Micro designs truly unique scooters for all ages with fun new concepts like scooter bikes for toddlers and scooter suitcases for adults. In case you are wondering- yes, it is entirely possible to purchase two scooters and get the home on the plane despite the fact that you flew to NYC with only three carry-on backpacks! More on that later!
Restaurants and Dining
The Shops at Hudson Yards offers some of the finest dining in New York City. With restaurants such as acclaimed Chef Costas Spiliadis’ Estiatorio Milos, Chef Thomas Keller’s TAK Room and Kāwi, the newest restaurant from Momofuku, there’s no shortage of fine dining at Hudson Yards.
You’ll also find plenty of fast casual dining here too with restaurants like Sweetgreen, Shake Shack, and Belcampo. There are three market style restaurants as well as a number of coffee shops.
But if you know us- you know that our main stops were the ice cream shops! There are two ice cream shops in the mall and I’m not even going to attempt to decide which was better because of all the ice cream we’ve eaten (and trust me, that’s a LOT of ice cream), both of these locations were at the very top of our list of best ice cream of all time!
First we stopped at Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream. Van Leeuwen is known for both classic and vegan ice creams handmade in Brooklyn, New York. Their shop is simply adorable, adorned in a minty green with pops of pink, yellow and a soft blue. Their flavors are all labeled so it’s easy to find both vegan and gluten-free items. They carry a gluten-free cone which is a big bonus for us- so we tried a crushed cone caramel sundae with a scoop of salted caramel ice cream and a scoop of honeycomb ice cream. Honest to goodness the honeycomb ice cream was one of the best things we’ve ever tasted!
Kith Treats is located on the second floor and specializes in mixing your favorite breakfast cereal into ice cream! This was quite fitting as we were technically here during breakfast time- but Kith serves cereal, so it was okay! They start with two scoops of ice cream in a special blender-type thing and dump in a bowl of your favorite cereal. The machine then mixes them together and turns your creation into a delicious soft serve treat! They’ll then add a topping of your choice. Our boys selected vanilla ice cream with Lucky Charms and extra Charms marshmallows on top. I honestly wanted the exact same thing since Lucky Charms ice cream would be like a childhood dream come true, but for the sake of research (it’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it!) my husband and I selected vanilla ice cream with Honey Nut Cheerios and toffee topping. Both creations were seriously some of the best ice cream we’ve ever eaten!
We also stopped by the William Greenberg Bakery because we discovered that they make a gluten-free black and white cookie! It’s been three years since we had to go medically gluten-free for our youngest son and in that time we had yet to find a gluten-free version of their very favorite treat in the whole wide world. They were beyond thrilled to discover that William Greenberg makes their favorite treat and even with all of the amazing things we did during this trip to New York City, our youngest twin declared William Greenberg the very best thing we did in all of NYC!
Snark Park is a multifaceted art exhibition space located on the second floor of the mall. With immersive installations designed by Snarkitecture, the space invites guests to “investigate the familiar with a fresh curiosity.” The installation merges art, design, and architecture in monochromatic concepts that encourage people to contemplate, explore, relax, and play. “Do not touch the art” does not apply at Snark Park- in fact, signs encourage guests to touch and explore everything in the exhibit!
We purchased tickets for Monday, the third day Snark Park was open and it was the single thing our boys were most excited about exploring during our trip to NYC. Unfortunately when we arrived, Snark Park was closed for the day due to an unexpected water leak in the installation. Our boys were beyond devastated- but it was something simply beyond anyone’s control. We promised them we’ll return as soon as we can to explore Snark Park!
The Shed is an art museum located next to The Vessel in a uniquely shaped building that is set to open in April of 2019. The Shed will feature both established and emerging artists in all fields of artistic expression from painting to dance and theater to literature. It is sure to be a unique addition to the NYC art scene and we can’t wait to return once it’s open to check it out!
The Edge Observation Deck
Also set to open in the spring of 2019 is The Edge- the highest public balcony in New York City! At 1,100 feet above ground level with a large glass floor jutting 65 feet straight out into the sky, The Edge will offer panoramic views if the city like you’ve never seen before. Ticket information has yet to be released, so stay tuned as we’ll update when that information becomes available!
The Equinox Hotel
While NYC residents have a number of options when it comes to buying condos or renting luxury apartments at Hudson Yards, visitors will be able to stay at the Equinox Hotel, a luxury hotel that focuses on “redefining the luxury experience as a seamless extension of a life well-lived, elevating fitness, culture, and community for those who rest and play as hard as they work.” Featuring a premier fitness club and spa for both hotel guests and Hudson Yards residents, the Equinox Hotel will feature 212 hotel rooms placing you right in the middle of the action at Hudson Yards. The hotel is set to open in June of 2019.
With so much to see and do in Hudson Yards, you’ll want to mark this as a must-visit location on your next trip to NYC. We can’t wait to return once the remaining features are open to the public and we’ll be sure to update this post when we do!