Shop the mall or scale a giant pineapple? Visitors to New York City’s just-opened Hudson Yards can do both. And while some folks question the purpose of this “mini-city,” most are embracing—or at least climbing—the massive metallic sculpture out front.
Hudson Yards is so named because the area encompasses two railroad yards of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority near the Hudson River. Once a mostly industrial area, Hudson Yards is under major redevelopment. Investors are turning this section of midtown New York into a city-within-the-city—appealing to a variety of businesses.
So now Hudson Yards offers a mix of apartments, shops, restaurants, offices, and green spaces near the Hudson River. The megadevelopment bills itself as “the cultural center of Manhattan’s New West Side.” Shopping options at the five-floor mall include Uniqlo, Banana Republic, H&M, and Shake Shack, an NYC staple.
Nearby sits the Shed, a 200,000-square-foot arts center with a telescoping outer section. Giant cogs and a shell that looks like a convertible top allow the building to become open air for concerts or plays.
But most of the buzz surrounding Hudson Yards is related to a 150-foot climbable copper sculpture called the Vessel. Some compare the Vessel’s form to a pinecone, a beehive, or a shawarma (the meat on a spit at many Mediterranean restaurants). This interactive piece of staircase art seems like a real-life M.C. Escher drawing—you go up to go down . . . and vice versa.
The Vessel is a feat of engineering and beauty. It’s easy to see that such a structure demands an intelligent designer. How much more a God who designed the entire universe with all of its complexities! (Genesis 1:1)
As an activity, the Vessel’s concept is simple. Choose from a ring of staircases and starting climbing up and around.
Besides climbing, some visitors count landings (80), flights of stairs (154), and individual steps (2,500). Math-heads discuss various calculations regarding circles and angles and pi. Others snap selfies, take video clips, or simply gaze at the cityscape from multiple platforms.
City planners say the rest of the 28-acre Hudson Yards will be finished by 2025. Still to come are acres of gardens and Edge, the highest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere. The deck will jut from atop a 100-story building—and allow visitors to leeeean waaaayyyy out over “Gotham.”
Would you enjoy such a vantage point? Or would you rather stick to stairwork?