Life In The High-Rise
March 22, 2019 10:16 AM   Subscribe

It’s a very different, and more disquieting, achievement to create a high-rise district on a plinth so sealed-off and yachtlike that nobody need ever leave.” On March 15, after 12 years of planning and six of construction, the Related Companies (which is actually just one mammoth real-estate company) will open the gates to its new $25 billion enclave, Hudson Yards -an agglomeration of supertall office towers full of lawyers and hedge-funders, airborne eight-figure apartments, a 720,000-square-foot shopping zone, and a gaggle of star-chef restaurants. Live Blog of the first day of opening by The NYC Eater (start at the bottom) “It is always a little sad to see what the people rich enough to have everything actually want. ” Hudson Yards Is An Ultra-Capitalist Forbidden CityUnlike a real neighborhood, which implies some kind of social collaboration or collective expression of belonging, Hudson Yards is a contrived place that was never meant for us.” Hudson Yards Has $4.5 Billion In Taxpayer Money. Will We Ever See It Again?
posted by The Whelk (84 comments total) 47 users marked this as a favorite
 
Also, if you take a picture of it, Hudson Yards automatically claims all rights to that image:
“If I create, upload, post or send any photographs, audio recordings, or video footage depicting or relating to the Vessel,” the document reads, “I grant to Company and its affiliates the irrevocable, unrestricted, worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free, sublicensable, and transferable right and license to use, display, reproduce, perform, modify, transmit, publish, and distribute such photographs, audio recordings, or video footage for any purpose whatsoever in any and all media (in either case, now known or developed later).”
posted by octothorpe at 10:25 AM on March 22, 2019 [9 favorites]


I think it should be rebranded Fiddler's Green, either officially or unofficially. Welcome to the land of the dead, don't forget your tower sanctuary is surrounded by the living dead, people who just want to survive.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:25 AM on March 22, 2019 [13 favorites]


I just started reading Ballard's High Rise and the first thing I noticed about Hudson Yard is the lack of balconies. In High Rise, the units seem to all have balconies, which provides the ability to see what your neighbor is doing to some degree. The main character knows his neighbors primarily by what they do on their balconies. They've managed to make Hudson Yards MORE alienating than the high rise in High Rise.
posted by tofu_crouton at 10:30 AM on March 22, 2019 [28 favorites]


Despite controversial Vessel photo policy, visitors kept Instagramming - The policy has been 'clarified'

As Hudson Yards Rises, Broken Subway Escalators Make for Steep Climbs

A Look Inside Mercado Little Spain, the Colossal José Andrés Hudson Yards Food Hall

Hudson Yards, Jake Bittle, The Point
The assumption here, shared by innumerable critiques of contemporary architecture in urbane left-leaning publications, is that the buildings fail aesthetically because they are built with bad social intentions. One new Brooklyn development, according to Zach Webb in the Baffler, “produced a metastasizing cancer by quickening gentrification, eroding the complex fabric of neighborhoods to the status of mere way stations, and advancing a homogenizing tide of bleach wood and incandescent bulbs,” while another Baffler writer, Kyle Paoletta, deplored the “bland, shoddy architecture … rolling in along with that tide of bright young coders and consultants.” Journalist P.E. Moskowitz, in their book How to Kill a City, expanded on this line of thinking, showing how in four cities around the country the “discreet, dispersed, and hands-off” process of gentrification was accompanied by “cheaply built concrete condos” and green frosted glass—further evidence that “extraordinary amounts of money, forethought and policy are required to make a place feel so monotonous, sterile, and vulgar.”And in Current Affairs, Brianna Rennix and Nathan J. Robinson declared that “for about 2,000 years, everything human beings built was beautiful,” but postmodern architecture had been led astray by such intellectual malaises as “the fear of beauty” and “the fear of tradition.” (The skyscraper, they argued, should be somehow “abolished.”)

The implication of this aesthetic moralism is that even if rents have been rising across the entirety of New York, buildings from before the Seventies (or thereabouts) are remnants of the “real” city, whereas newer buildings are signifiers of its destruction. What existed before whatever exists now was always better because it was built by, and for, better people. In mourning this “old New York,” Baker, Moskowitz and others have invoked Jane Jacobs, the apotheosized urban theorist of what makes cities function and thrive. A self-described “city naturalist,” Jacobs argued neighborhoods should be walkable, affordable, well-connected and oriented around public space for commerce and recreation. Her ideal was heterogeneity: the proximity of different elements to each other was what produced the friction that made cities such wonderful places to live. “Jacobs’s ‘intricate ballet’ of the streets is being rapidly eradicated by a predatory monoculture,” says Baker. Hudson Yards is the ne plus ultra of the phenomenon he credits with the city’s destruction; the towers, he says, “look like battling Transformers.” And they contain clothing stores more likely to be frequented by readers of WSJ.com or theSkimm than Harper’s subscribers. “What is the point,” he asks, “of paying a fortune to live in a city that is more and more like everywhere else?”



But is this epitaph accurate? New York may have changed, but neither the presence of three hundred more chain restaurants nor the construction of Hudson Yards is enough to make it “more like everywhere else” than it was thirty years ago. The feint of Baker’s elegy is to assume that everything new is aberrant and everything aberrant is new. But the history of New York has always been defined by the audacious reinvention and repurposing of space and structure, and many of the buildings Baker might now seek to bless with landmark status were aberrant in their day.
Critical Round-Up: Hudson Yards

"Hudson Yards is a billionaire's fantasy of the future of city life"

At Hudson Yards, the future isn’t now
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:32 AM on March 22, 2019 [16 favorites]


The review from NYT architecture critic Michael Kimmelman has some great graphics, which you should look at even if you don't want to read another review. (He is skeptical: "I wondered who would want to live in an architectural petting zoo.")
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 10:33 AM on March 22, 2019 [12 favorites]


As a Londoner I knew nothing about this but the minute I saw the name Thomas Heatherwick I wondered if it would be about ludicrous initiatives that result in a colossal waste of public money, massive blame dodging, bizarre celebrity endorsements and deliver utterly no benefits. Oh hang on, those were the Garden Bridge and the new Routemaster...
posted by fallingbadgers at 10:37 AM on March 22, 2019 [5 favorites]


This makes me think of Todos Santos from Niven/Pournelle's Oath of Fealty, a novel that they clearly meant as utopian but read, at least to me, as dystopian.
posted by octothorpe at 10:38 AM on March 22, 2019 [8 favorites]


I sure "don't" hope this place ends up like the Renraku Arcology.
posted by Reyturner at 10:39 AM on March 22, 2019 [6 favorites]


More evidence in support of the aphorism:

Queens is the New Brooklyn
Brooklyn is the New Manhattan
Manhattan is the New Dubai
posted by lalochezia at 10:40 AM on March 22, 2019 [31 favorites]


“No one has ever given a gift like this,” he crowed to Fortune in 2016. He may be right. There are not many opportunities to erect such a grotesque monument to a rich man’s vanity.
posted by el io at 10:42 AM on March 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


Are they holding beauty pageants for goats yet, in Manhattan? Then it is not the new Dubai.
posted by Oyéah at 10:42 AM on March 22, 2019


"Are they holding beauty pageants for goats yet, in Manhattan?"

They used to, but for now you'll have to travel to Staten Island.
posted by el io at 10:49 AM on March 22, 2019 [9 favorites]


I went there on Sunday out of curiosity and it is gross and unnecessary. I really don't understand how anyone thought a mall was a good idea in 2019. Do we really need another Cartier store in NYC?

It was packed with people, but no one seemed to be buying anything except food. The elevators kept breaking and there were long lines of people waiting to get up or down. There were no stairs that I could find. It's impossible to get to the higher floors directly, and the escalators are in a different position on each floor, so you have to wander through the halls of stores to get to the restaurants.

The apartment and office buildings are unremarkable, and I don't see the appeal of living someplace where I have to choose between going to a completely different neighborhood to eat or shop or doing all my eating/shopping in a mall that looks like a Las Vegas casino.

The fact that this project was taxpayer-funded is obscene.
posted by elvissa at 11:00 AM on March 22, 2019 [34 favorites]


I think this whole place is full of sycophants, suck masters for the destruction of the planet, for personal gain. Maybe the whole place will implode, or it can become public housing, when the city realizes effectively, The Hudson Yards, is not a part of the city, or for the city, and the city paid a lot for it.

Pfft! Just kidding, much.
posted by Oyéah at 11:02 AM on March 22, 2019 [4 favorites]


Thanks for a great post. I'll be spending much of my weekend down this rabbit hole.
posted by mumimor at 11:12 AM on March 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


...no one seemed to be buying anything except food...

The same thing has happened in DC's first and only downtown luxury mall. As this article explains, "Stepping into CityCenter can feel like hitting the mute button on the energy and noise of the surrounding streets ...because of how luxury retail works. Luxury stores do not need to be crowded to be successful..."

These stores are catering to the 0.1 percent. There aren't many of those people, but they each spend so much that the store don't need many.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 11:13 AM on March 22, 2019 [7 favorites]


These stores are catering to the 0.1 percent. There aren't many of those people, but they each spend so much that the store don't need many.

I thought the 0.1% could have private showings and personal shoppers and such. Why would they even need to go to a mall, empty or otherwise?
posted by soren_lorensen at 11:15 AM on March 22, 2019 [7 favorites]


it declines to blend into the city grid.

This is ever-so polite.
posted by chavenet at 11:17 AM on March 22, 2019 [5 favorites]


I understand why it's gone, but I sort of miss the junky dive of a neighborhood that used to ring the yards. I have memories of some good bad bars out that way.

Why would they even need to go to a mall, empty or otherwise?
Because it's fun and social; the same reason people don't just shop online for everything. also because all the people with money now grew up in the 80's, when hanging out at the mall was cool
posted by phooky at 11:22 AM on March 22, 2019 [4 favorites]


Nobody will actually live in Hudson Yards. The luxury apartments will set empty 10 months out of the year, at least the ones that haven't been bought as investment vehicles
posted by SansPoint at 11:23 AM on March 22, 2019 [14 favorites]


From the outside it looks like the distant evil fortress in the skybox of a distopian videogame.

I pretty much assume nobody real actually lives there and it’s just a manifestation of pure monied capitalism, haunted by the ghosts of international finance.

Ah well, at least you guys dodged Amazon.
posted by Artw at 11:24 AM on March 22, 2019 [8 favorites]


I had no idea about any of this but I found this particularly barf-y: Milos in Hudson Yards Purposefully Obscures How Pricey It Is

posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:27 AM on March 22, 2019 [7 favorites]


Can I be honest and say that I don't really understand what "Hudson Yards" is? Like, I remember when it was just... the train yard and pretty much the only reason to ever go over there was Javits. So I thought it was a "neighborhood", but people talk about like it's a building? Or a mall? I'm so confused.
posted by Automocar at 11:28 AM on March 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


I’ve lived in Dallas, and that mall is pure Dallas.

Ouch. But yeah.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:31 AM on March 22, 2019 [4 favorites]


It’s what used to be a bunch of holes in the ground next to the Javits center and is now a fortress of pure evil.
posted by Artw at 11:31 AM on March 22, 2019 [9 favorites]


I can't wait to revisit this story in five years an see how far Rapture has fallen into chaos.
posted by UltraMorgnus at 11:31 AM on March 22, 2019 [21 favorites]


I say burn it all to the ground and give the people responsible for building it in the first place the choice of paying the money back or staying inside.
posted by Revvy at 11:34 AM on March 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


The thing is, you couldn’t have come up with a better capstone or metaphor for an era if you tried! This whole thing, this glassy necropolis of capital, this undigested lump of turn of the century neoliberalism, is a monument to an ideaology that doesn’t know its dead. It comes at you pre-haunted, a pre-ruin. You can hear the documentary narrator saying “but alas, the project was built for a kind of city that was already gone..” the only good thing about it is an example that just building new units won’t decrease rents and the potential to become a really interesting ghost town in a few years.

Hudson Yards is dead (undead undead undead)
posted by The Whelk at 11:36 AM on March 22, 2019 [50 favorites]


I saw the Hive, or whatever that thing is called, when I walked the High Line last May and honestly it looked awesome.

Too bad they want to be their own dystopian enclave instead of joining us regular or even semi-regular folk.
posted by lydhre at 11:44 AM on March 22, 2019


I lived in the city back when the thing was proposed. Basically the city paid to build a big slab over the rail yards so the private developer could build buildings on top of it. And the MTA extended the 7 line out to it (for who? these people don't ride the subway). Bloomberg's boondoggle for his slightly less wealthy friends, I guess?
posted by rikschell at 11:44 AM on March 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


And the MTA extended the 7 line out to it (for who? these people don't ride the subway).

It’s handy for for Javits, I guess. So empty most of the year then crowded by cosplayers for a week or so?
posted by Artw at 11:47 AM on March 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


for who? these people don't ride the subway

Servant's entrance.
posted by fatbird at 11:49 AM on March 22, 2019 [47 favorites]


The wealthy are going to need places they can seal off easily for when things go to hell.

Frankly I say let them so we know where they all are.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:50 AM on March 22, 2019 [12 favorites]


Can I be honest and say that I don't really understand what "Hudson Yards" is?

It's the name of the development that they literally built on top of the train yard. Not by demolishing the train yard, but by actually decking over it. Aside from those weird pier buildings, it's the only greenfields development thats happened in Manhattan since... well, whenever they ran out of space in Inwood, I guess.

The project is closely related to the transformation of the former Post Office into the Moynihan Train Hall, which is basically an effort to slightly unfuck Penn Station. (The Post Office was built contemporaneously with Penn Station, and designed by the same architects, and has track access because at the time of its construction most of the mail traveled by train. So it's not an especially crazy idea or anything.) Part of the funding for the Train Hall is coming from the sale of the air rights over the tracks to the developers who built Hudson Yards.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:52 AM on March 22, 2019 [10 favorites]


The Whelk: "The thing is, you couldn’t have come up with a better capstone or metaphor for an era if you tried! This whole thing, this glassy necropolis of capital, this undigested lump of turn of the century neoliberalism, is a monument to an ideaology that doesn’t know its dead. It comes at you pre-haunted, a pre-ruin. You can hear the documentary narrator saying “but alas, the project was built for a kind of city that was already gone..” the only good thing about it is an example that just building new units won’t decrease rents and the potential to become a really interesting ghost town in a few years.

Hudson Yards is dead (undead undead undead)
"

Makes me think of H.G. Wells' quote when seeing New York for the first time, "What a ruin it will make!"
posted by octothorpe at 11:56 AM on March 22, 2019 [22 favorites]


I saw the Hive, or whatever that thing is called, when I walked the High Line last May and honestly it looked awesome.

That's the sort of inverted dome of walkways? Yes looked really cool in a (just-pre) post apocalyptic future logans run-like world. Probably great for doing upscale drug deals, do the payoff, walk around in great visibility to avoid narcs to the pickup. Needs ad hoc ziplines.
posted by sammyo at 12:06 PM on March 22, 2019 [3 favorites]


“It is always a little sad to see what the people rich enough to have everything actually want. ”

Possibly the least important part of the whole saga, but this is so true...
posted by sallybrown at 12:07 PM on March 22, 2019 [12 favorites]


the MTA extended the 7 line out to it (for who? these people don't ride the subway)

There's 10 million square feet (!!) of office space in Hudson Yards. "Those people" do not live in Hudson Yards. Most of them don't even live in Manhattan. They commute in and take the 7 over from Grand Central.
posted by The Bellman at 12:09 PM on March 22, 2019 [10 favorites]


It's been good for my dad's business, since he has an office nearby and can sublet to construction workers. Lots of work to get this thing finished.

I dunno if I'd call it the worst thing ever, it reminds me of the IFC in Hong Kong. I don't know how the locals feel but the IFC was fun to visit. This will probably be something similar, a tourist destination?
posted by subdee at 12:10 PM on March 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


And the MTA extended the 7 line out to it (for who? these people don't ride the subway).

IIRC, the 7 extension was one of several parts of the project that came out of the failed Olympics bid, and dates back to 2005. The original plan was to extend the 7 (which happened), and also build a new mega-stadium on top of the rail yards (this obviously did not). So it can be said to safely predate Hudson Yards as a concept. (Wikipedia says it's been under consideration since 1969.)

It seems like of all the parts of the Hudson Yards project, extending the subway is probably the most reasonable public expenditure. It makes the Javits a lot more accessible, for sure. On a day-to-day basis, it also probably makes the 39th St Ferry Terminal more useful, as well as (it's presumed primary purpose of) making the new construction more accessible from GCT and points east.

Also worth noting: the extension doesn't actually stop at the 34th St station—the tunnel boring machines actually punched all the way down to 25th St. (ironically almost paralleling the High Line). Right now the tracks between 25th-34th are to be used for storage of rush hour trains overnight and mid-day, but there's no reason why that has to be the case forever.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:24 PM on March 22, 2019 [5 favorites]


And the MTA extended the 7 line out to it (for who? these people don't ride the subway).

It doesn't just connect to the Javits; it connects to all the cheap intercity buses that drop off/pick up over there. I've never attempted to measure that population, but it is real. Throughout the day there must be at least four hourly drop-off/pick-ups amongst the various companies.
posted by praemunire at 12:34 PM on March 22, 2019 [3 favorites]


I mean the original subway extension plan included another stop at 41st Street, which would’ve been better.
posted by The Whelk at 12:36 PM on March 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


From the first link:

Ross wants his tenants to feel as though they occupy the best building in the best neighborhood in the best borough of the greatest city in the world. The bestness is all. Still, this is a privatized idyll, where the concept of public good stops at the property line. West 31st and 32nd Streets dead-end at the shopping mall’s forbidding wall along Tenth Avenue. When an architect agitated for a more lavish cladding, a Related executive waved him away. “Who’s going to see it?” he asked. For the developers, the towers gather round a central stage. The rest of the city is its back-of-house.

This reminded me eerily of a FB post from a friend in 2016 that went viral, because he discussed similar shortcuts in design in Trump Tower and how his father was pointing out that that was indicative of the man:
There was a point where two sides of a planter met. They didn't meet evenly, though, so they were awkwardly slapped together with concrete.

"Details matter," he said, and pointed out other things: the wall pattern that weirdly stopped mid-way, the floor tiles that didn't quite fit together and had too much grout between them.

Then we went back into the lobby and suddenly I could see weird compromises everywhere: the paint didn't match in places, there was too much concrete there, the expensive marble ended in a way that made no sense and was replaced with drywall.

"What's up with this?" I asked.

"Trump is a fraud." Dad said.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:24 PM on March 22, 2019 [45 favorites]


But the history of New York has always been defined by the audacious reinvention and repurposing of space and structure, and many of the buildings Baker might now seek to bless with landmark status were aberrant in their day.

This is a great example of sophistry. A decision is aberrant because it was undemocratic and extracts an opportunity cost from the actual communities. The fact that a city might eventually absorb and adapt to the impact of it 100 years later doesn't justify its existence and its consequences today. Why do people ger paid to write these arguments that are simply lies?
posted by polymodus at 1:26 PM on March 22, 2019 [7 favorites]


“It is always a little sad to see what the people rich enough to have everything actually want.”

I work in the whim-fulfillment-for-the-very-rich industry and can confirm.
posted by contraption at 1:29 PM on March 22, 2019 [24 favorites]


The Eater evaluation describes how I feel about the mall, which is, even disregarding the aesthetics, late stage capitalism etc., an unpleasant experience because it's such a maze. The escalators are scattered all over the place. It's not conducive to just popping in for a coffee or a little shopping; you're forced to walk through the whole place like a marble-tiled IKEA. It doesn't make sense except as a tourist destination where you'll spend the entire day. Which seems to be exactly what it's built for.
posted by airmail at 1:48 PM on March 22, 2019 [4 favorites]


But is this epitaph accurate?

Yes.

New York may have changed, but neither the presence of three hundred more chain restaurants nor the construction of Hudson Yards is enough to make it “more like everywhere else” than it was thirty years ago.

Ah, the classic "several rhetorical questions followed by an assertion without any evidence." I grew up here. It is different.

I agree that the only positive thing you can say about Hudson Yards is that it will, one day, make for an easily identifiable target. And I find myself, more and more, looking forward to that day.
posted by schadenfrau at 2:06 PM on March 22, 2019 [4 favorites]


Kim Stanley Robinson drowns it in 2140.
posted by Botanizer at 2:13 PM on March 22, 2019 [9 favorites]


it declines to blend into the city grid.

This is ever-so polite.


It would prefer not to.
posted by carter at 2:52 PM on March 22, 2019 [7 favorites]


Sooo Ballard’s High Rise was mashed up with Logan’s Run?

Cool, cool, cool.
posted by Faintdreams at 2:57 PM on March 22, 2019 [6 favorites]


Dystopian movies about the future keep vacillating between whether the city-in-a-skyrise is the refuge of the wealthy or the curse of the afflicted. Which is it? Is it both? Or does it change over time? And how do we know?
posted by caution live frogs at 2:58 PM on March 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


I am so terrified about how all these shoddily made “luxury” highrises are gonna be crumbling, mold-and-rat-infested squatters’ towers within a few years of the bottom falling out of the market. Once the rich deciding they’re no longer a great place to park their money, there will be no incentive to keep paying for facilities and cleaners and exterminators and maintenance.

Not just at Hudson yards but in downtown Brooklyn, Long Island city, etc.
posted by Jon_Evil at 3:16 PM on March 22, 2019 [6 favorites]


My fear is some kind of iron bubble, there’s so much invested in keeping the property prices up that the bottom never comes and the towers start to rot and mold away cause no one lives in them but they’re still on paper top ranking properties.

Like that happened in London, townhouses started to look like abandoned property cause they basically where. The commercial real estate term for this is luxury blight.
posted by The Whelk at 3:23 PM on March 22, 2019 [17 favorites]


Dystopian movies about the future keep vacillating between whether the city-in-a-skyrise is the refuge of the wealthy or the curse of the afflicted. Which is it? Is it both? Or does it change over time? And how do we know?

I think you're trying to imply that this duality is vaguely ridiculous. Maybe you should wait until at least two years since the Grenfell tower fire?
posted by praemunire at 3:24 PM on March 22, 2019


Even if you think mega projects like Hudson Yards aren't prima facie bad (I do, but that's not my point) - this project is a really lame and uninteresting mega project when compared to similar projects in the rest of the world. I mean it makes Canary Wharf feel natural and charming while it lacks the sci-fi utopian/dystopian vibe you get from the Roppongi/Omotesando projects in Tokyo, or even the stuff in Singapore and Hong Kong. It's just a really poorly executed version of a bad idea.

And don't get me started on how botched the food and beverage stuff is. You're giving that stuff away in the form of cheap space and capital for the build out. Why give it to people who don't need the capital? It's insane. (BTW no hedge funds out there. They don't want to be away from GCT and the boutique hedge fund building as a small floor plate. There a few in midtown and they entertain me)
posted by JPD at 3:51 PM on March 22, 2019 [3 favorites]


The stop at 41st street didn't happen because the developers in that area wouldn't ante up and the city wouldn't make them nor would they use tax dollars. It's pretty asinine.
posted by JPD at 3:55 PM on March 22, 2019


I’m trying to imply that sci-fi either shows the towers to the sky as the ultimate refuge of the 0.001% - with the crowded masses living in squalor below - or alternatively, the tower is the hellish megacity where the poor are packed in the rotting dark, while the rich breathe the free air away from the population crush of the city. You can’t have it both ways. I am looking at these towers and projecting forward a few decades. I’m frankly at a loss as to which dystopian future is in store. No implied or intentional connection to any existing infrastructure, just to the fictional depictions in sci-fi.
posted by caution live frogs at 4:06 PM on March 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


You can’t have it both ways

Why not? Fortresses and prisons are basically the same thing from an architectural function perspective.
posted by howfar at 4:38 PM on March 22, 2019 [11 favorites]


You can’t have it both ways

I mean, clearly we can?
posted by Artw at 4:54 PM on March 22, 2019 [9 favorites]


No implied or intentional connection to any existing infrastructure,

Some people might consider analysis of existing infrastructure as providing meaningful data as to how it could be used in the future.
posted by praemunire at 5:07 PM on March 22, 2019


Look, building your own wall just ensures where we put you when the revolution first comes.
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:09 PM on March 22, 2019 [4 favorites]


These stores are catering to the 0.1 percent. There aren't many of those people, but they each spend so much that the store don't need many.

We visit The Waterside Shops in Naples every once in awhile. Whenever I have a yearning to stand around and eyeball people (almost exclusively women and their teenage daughters) with more money than time left to spend it all.
posted by notreally at 6:27 PM on March 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


Kate Wagner of McMansion Hell doesn't like The Vessel very much.

In short, the Vessel is a vessel of its time, and its sheer shittiness as architecture and urbanism, itself a small part of the bigger tyranny of capitalism, at least invites us to dream of something, anything, better than this.
posted by lhauser at 7:02 PM on March 22, 2019 [7 favorites]


In some images, the Vessel looks remarkably like a literalized Dustbin of History. It's very thoughtful of the designers to put it in such a convenient location.
posted by a certain Sysoi Pafnut'evich at 8:29 PM on March 22, 2019


Mainly it looks like The Monarch’s ship under construction.
posted by Artw at 8:32 PM on March 22, 2019 [8 favorites]


It's impossible to get to the higher floors directly, and the escalators are in a different position on each floor, so you have to wander through the halls of stores to get to the restaurants.

This is the new state of the art design for these things. The goal is to make it hard to leave and force you to walk by as many shops as possible to get to where you want to go and they usually put the highest volume stores, like Apple, on the top. It's a trick they learned from casinos.
posted by jmauro at 8:46 PM on March 22, 2019 [8 favorites]


my whole feeling boils down to
posted by The Whelk at 8:50 PM on March 22, 2019


hating hudson yards is my new hobby
posted by dame at 9:31 PM on March 22, 2019 [4 favorites]


The only practical use I can see for that Vessel thing is to overrun it with an angry, chanting throng of people who could then stretch a huge banner across the top opening to convey warnings/threats to the billionaires watching from the penthouses above.
posted by contraption at 10:28 PM on March 22, 2019 [3 favorites]


"$4.5 Billion in taxpayer money".

I hope the Amazon HQ2 reversal, and the rise of the AOC generation of lawmaker might signal an end, or at least a re-consideration of this sort of thing.
posted by jetsetsc at 5:46 AM on March 23, 2019 [2 favorites]


This explains some jokes I have seen and some conversations I've had. Thank you.
posted by limeonaire at 8:05 AM on March 23, 2019


Ok, yeah, but I'm also excited to throw my money at José Andrés when I'm in the city for my 40th birthday later this year.

Could someone please explain the association between Neiman Marcus and Dallas malls? I didn't understand that reference.
posted by Ruki at 10:11 AM on March 23, 2019


Nieman Marcus is associated with big haired texas money in the heads of NYers, and it seems even odder when you consider Bergdorfs is basically a badge engineered Nieman Marcus at this point
posted by JPD at 12:21 PM on March 23, 2019 [2 favorites]


Thanks, JPD! Yeah, that is weird, given that Bergdorfs is owned by the same company.

I do have a Neiman Marcus credit card for the points (I don’t keep a balance) when I buy from the clearance section and it blows my mind that the highest tier is for annual spending of $600,000+. I cannot fathom spending that much money in a year, much less at one place. But then, I don’t have big hair or Texas money.
posted by Ruki at 5:23 PM on March 23, 2019


Thanks, I hate it.
posted by Salamander at 6:07 PM on March 23, 2019 [2 favorites]


I work a few blocks down from there and the 7 train extension has made my awful commute about 15% less awful. If they would ever consider letting the train terminate at 26th or 25th and 11th I’d be a much happier person - the tunnel was dug that far - but I think the longer-term plan was to someday extend it under the Hudson to New Jersey. Which would also probably be good for a lot of people.

I’ve watched them building the Hive (the Vessel is a stupid name and I won’t use it) from the beginning, and it was really cool watching them raise each staircase into place (and seeing the stacks of staircases next to each other by the railyards was so surreal). I got tickets to go up it the other night but it was raining so I didn’t use them. Not sure how many tax dollars I personally wasted right there, but I regret nothing.

I’m pretty sure I’m too lazy to actually enter the naming contest but in my heart of hearts I’m rooting for them to call it Mister Steppy.
posted by Mchelly at 7:58 PM on March 23, 2019 [2 favorites]


Could someone please explain the association between Neiman Marcus and Dallas malls?

Also, Neiman Marcus was started in Dallas.
posted by LizBoBiz at 7:02 AM on March 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


the towers to the sky as the ultimate refuge of the 0.001%

“You see, here, this is the part I wanted to show you. There’s been a mistranslation.”

“You mean this part? But everyone knows that line. It’s one of the founding tenets of an entire system of belief.”

“I get that, but everyone is quoting a mistranslation. That’s not what it says. It’s pretty clear, it’s supposed to read the meek shall be allowed to subsist in the ground levels
posted by Ghidorah at 7:05 AM on March 24, 2019 [6 favorites]


If developers and architects had any sense of humor or irony, life-size bronze statues of Thorstein Veblen would grace the main courtyards of these capitalist pig troughs. Gilded bronze, I guess.
posted by Chitownfats at 7:26 AM on March 24, 2019


A fleet of drones carrying flaming bags of dogshit.
posted by ergomatic at 7:58 AM on March 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


He built a mall and you can't convince me otherwise.
posted by fluffycreature at 5:26 AM on March 28, 2019


The Hidden Horror of Hudson Yards Is How It Was Financed. "The mega-luxury of this mini-Dubai was financed in part through a program that was supposed to help alleviate urban poverty."
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:21 AM on April 12, 2019 [7 favorites]


Homeless living beneath Hudson Yards welcome the new development (Edward Helmore, Guardian)
Members of the community who live in the tunnels beneath the glittering project see it as an opportunity to earn more, while others complain ‘it’s not helping us’
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:36 AM on April 14, 2019


Wait.. it’s literally on top of the tunnels from Dark Days?
posted by Artw at 6:58 PM on April 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


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