The New Hudson Yards on opening day

Wandered around Hudson Yards today. It opened last night, but today’s Saturday and it was sunny, and there must have been a hundred thousand people there.

Long line to get into Snark Park, a large room featuring columns. Some of the columns are hollowed out and have fake fur or mirrors or other features inside them. The idea is that people will pay $28 each to take selfies there.

It’ll make a fortune.

The Vessel was much more impressive than I had thought it would be. Although I have no interest in climbing up and down lots of staircases, it is a beautiful structure. The exterior appears to be polished sheet copper, very reflective and beautiful to look at in the afternoon sunshine. A really fun place for selfies, by the way!

Speaking of stairs, note the exterior staircase pic with lots of pebbles on it. There was a pebble covered yard with stairs leading up to it that were already covered with pebbles despite the fact that it was the very first day. It didn’t look like a good place to take a tour group up or down, for the slip and fall risk.

It being the first day, the mall was crowded. Oops, it’s not a mall. It’s ‘The Shops’, like the mall at Columbus Circle that is also not supposed to be called a mall. The music was loud. They had speakers on stands every 50 feet or so. There were security guards and other people who clearly were dressed for other jobs, standing and directing traffic. It was that crowded.

Restrooms are on the third, fourth and fifth floors of the mall. Granted, the place was crowded today, but I think the men’s room was badly designed. You walk in through a 3 ft wide open doorway. Men are going in and out through the same doorway. To the immediate right when you get inside is the built in wastebasket for the hand towels. On the immediate left are the sinks. Then there’s another three foot wide doorway that leads to two urinals and two stalls.

Guys were going in and out through both doors as other guys walked right in front of them, back and forth, to wash their hands and throw away the paper towels before turning to go out through the doorway. So there are people moving in 4 directions at once, within a foot of a doorway that isn’t wide enough.

Why not a few waste baskets under the sinks? That would eliminate the crossover and facilitate traffic flow.

Again, remember that it was the very first day, a Saturday, and there was a huge crowd. I hope the restrooms will be okay for tour groups.

There was, however a line of at least 30 women. Maybe 50. If the women’s room has four toilets, as the men’s room as 4 places to pee, that’s not going to be enough. Architects should understand that public places should have larger women’s rooms than men’s rooms. It’s the right way to go.

The Shed is just to the south of The Vessel. We know it’s supposed to contract and expand. But it’s not like an accordion. It’s more like a smaller box that slides out of a bigger one.

Check out the photo of one of The Shed’s wheels. It is almost as tall as me! There’s a track leading from that wheel toward the main building to its west. It would be an awesome sight to see that thing move into or out of its building.

Guys with hard hats and neon sweatshirts were still working in the area around the Shed.

After all those construction detours, after Whoopi Goldberg having been forced to be driven too slowly in her limo, after years of noise, dust, Rent-a-fences and mud, it is a beautiful place. Go enjoy it.

UPDATE March 19

It came out on March 18th that the owners of The Vessel claim the rights to every photo made of it. That is, professional photographers might take photos of it but their photos belong to the owners of the structure.

Photographers will not receive payments if the Vessel’s owners use their photos.