Last week, I attended a media preview and party for the opening of Hudson Yards, a complex of luxury condos, luxury retail, and even luxury “public art” more than a decade in the making.
Believe me when I tell you the reports thus far are true: this is another mall for rich people. Yes, it's beautiful. Opulent. Exorbitant.
The developers describe it as the “new heart of New York City”—a laughable statement that would make any true New Yorker’s eyes roll, most likely because we’re also jaded but also because that kind of tagline is both unnecessary and inaccurate. Perhaps New York described it best as a “billionaire’s fantasy city”—complete with an illo calling back images of the Emerald City and the Yellow Brick Road of The Wizard of Oz.
It serves as a public space in that it's nice to walk around in, and perhaps more of that will present itself with the opening of the giant honeycomb that looks like it should be a castle on the map of Westeros.
But even the food courts and restaurants are not affordable or even splurge options for most New Yorkers—probably not even most tourists, who will likely show up here more than locals.
All of that said, it makes for nice Instagrams.
More from Thursday night’s Hudson Yards opening: a packed, invite-only party for the ribbon cutting of New York’s first Neiman Marcus. Was anyone asking for this? Maybe. It does serve as a fancy department store anchor for a fancy mall, but then again, aren’t malls dying off like dinosaurs? (I’m just fortunate they weren’t offering any special discounts considering there was an open bar and passed Champagne among all of the Dior shoes, Burberry plaid shawls, and Chanel handbags.)
Also, a new West Side "outpost" of Estiatorio Milos. I'm pretty sure I got into this party by accident, sort of wandering in behind a few caterers. But the cheese table was nice.
I was on the guest list for the opening of Wild Ink, a 175-seat space on the fifth floor of 20 Hudson Yards, designed by the same creative minds behind the latest interiors at The Berkeley and The Savoy in London. More on that one next month.