Have you been to The Shops at Columbus Circle? How about the stores at Brookfield Place in Battery Park City? Or the mall at Queens Center? Maybe King’s Plaza Shopping Center on Flatbush Avenue?
Then you’ve basically been to Hudson Yards, the multibillion-dollar cluster of skyscrapers and Instagram picture takers that just opened on Manhattan’s west side.
There has been a lot of hullabaloo about the massive construction project that led to what the developers call New York’s newest neighborhood. It’s certainly an engineering wonder: multiple structures built above a decked-over rail yard. It includes new, mostly luxury housing, a high-tech performance space, park and art areas, and an extension of the 7 train — that part was paid for by the taxpayers, a big chunk of the way toward what a New School analysis estimates is close to $6 billion in different forms of public aid for the project. Supporters say, wait for the new business this will gin up when finished.
The shopping center, however, is open to be wandered. It’s expensive.
As in: A black T-shirt with nothing on it in a store called Adriano Goldschmied costs $88. Actually, the hem is visible. The material’s nice.
Or: the store called LovePop selling pop-up cards, like things someone gets with a present and then throws out. An Eiffel Tower card costs $15.
If none of that entices you, you’ll probably soon be headed to one of the other major attractions now open at Hudson Yards: the Vessel, a vase-like collection of 154 woven flights of stairs. You can wait in line for a free ticket and climb for the view.
On the approach, the chrome-colored structure designed by Thomas Heatherwick and Heatherwick Studio looks a little like a hive and also a mask from an “Avengers”-type movie.
But climbing the Vessel is something to do, and maybe it will become a beloved icon.
Underneath it, Barbara Lister, 77, summed up the sculpture and the hustle and bustle of people by calling all of it “fabulous.” We stared up at the Vessel. The structure’s reflective sections showed the images of all the people down below, wandering, gazing up, a comforting ballet of togetherness on the first day of spring.
That view was immediate at least, and nice if you’re on a budget, different from the mall. Lister, who lives in the London Terrace Towers in Chelsea, didn’t think she’d be pulling out her wallet there. She said shopped at the Salvation Army.
Mark Chiusano, an editorial writer for amNewYork, writes the column amExpress. Sign up at amny.com/amexpress.