Opening night of Hudson Yards was big and busy. But that was to be expected for the elaborate — and highly anticipated — new retail, dining, and art destination on Manhattan’s west side. The multi-billion dollar development (also home to corporate offices and residential spaces) is a new neighborhood for the city, and its biggest face-lift in years. Naturally the night drew some big names, Anne Hathaway and Maggie Gyllenhaal among them, curious about the results.
“This area has been very weird and confusing in that it’s always been desolate,” Coco Rocha mused of the new locale, which was built atop the old train yards between 10th and 12th Avenues. “[Given] the history of this city you’d think that there would have already been sky-rises here. [But] I’m excited for the neighborhood… I think they really did a fantastic job.”
Busy crowds are not uncommon at massive shopping centers. Queuing up to get on the escalator, wandering in and out of stores, and admiring window displays is all pretty standard mall behavior. But it’s not too often said crowds wander about with champagne in hand, while a star-studded red carpet goes on outside. It seemed as though each individual retailer was hosting it’s own bash on opening night, the biggest of all being the Neiman Marcus party, which featured a surprise performance by Liza Minelli and Charlie XCX.
“I’m looking forward to discovering it,” Billy Porter said of the space. “I’ve watched it go up. I’ve watched this city sprout up, and I’m really interested to come and explore it. I haven’t read a whole lot about it on purpose.”
It seems there is a little something for everyone at Hudson Yards. Elie Tahari said he was most excited about the shopping center, but also to run up and down the Vessel, the new public art installation. Alice + Olivia designer Stacey Bendet is interested in the curation of the space and the art exhibits. Meanwhile Nicole Miller can’t wait to try the new restaurants. “I’m a total foodie,” she said, noting that she has already eaten at Legacy Records. “I’m always sad to see old New York go,” she added. “I live in Tribeca and I’m sad to see the change. I’m sad to see the change in SoHo. I’m too much of a nostalgic person…but train yards? It’s ok.”