Wednesday, April 24, 2019

A New and Uncreative Development in New York City

In Manhattan, the far West Side has a new addition, a sprawling development, and, after visiting it once, I prefer not to see it again. The almost 30-acre Hudson Yards has finally opened -- or at least part of it has opened -- to much fanfare. But, sadly, it’s a symbol of the disparity of income that’s become worse in the U.S. Visitors wait on long lines for a taste of paella or churros, or to climb the more than 150 flights of what’s referred to as the Vessel, that’s an ostentatious, interactive piece of art. Climbing the network of sometimes narrow stairways in this funnel-shaped installation, you shouldn’t expect to find anything except views of the Hudson River (and the mall and cultural center). Meanwhile, the high-end crowd browses the floor set up for the superluxe retailers, such as Gucci, Dior and Rolex in the multi-story mall. Those with less than stellar bank accounts may prefer to browse the floors housing more ordinary retail outlets. Yes, there’s a cloud-like structure, the Shed, that serves as a cultural center for dance, concerts and art exhibitions. But Hudson Yards feels cold, uncreative, and soulless with public spaces that offer little verdancy. (Maybe that will change with time.). Tens of billions of dollars were poured into Hudson Yards to attract wealthy businesses and condo owners. Let’s see whether the Hudson Yards is able to turn the far West Side into a must-see destination.