The Hudson Yards, Manhattan, New York

Hudson Yard the Edge

Welcome to the Hudson Yards! New York City’s newest edition to Manhattan and spans from 43rd street all the way down to 30th street. It’s also located on the western part of the island and is currently going through a major reconstruction meant to reshape the area into a more modern residential and commercial area. This has actually lead to the area being seen more as a modern Millionaires Row because of the massive upscaling the neighborhood is going through. The lead developers of this reconstruction project is Oxford Properties and The Related Companies, however most of the planning, funding, and construction was set up under agreements by the State of New York, City of New York, and Metropolitan Transportation Authority (better known as the MTA). There are also a number of foreign companies are large investors as well. This reconstruction is being done in order to expand the business district that is originally located in Midtown Manhattan. The redevelopment is being done right over the Long Island Rail Road train storage yard, located over the West Side Yard. The city plans to revamp this area into a what can be considered “the next step into the city of tomorrow”. While this can be seen as just fancy talk they are actually delivering on there promise. The Hudson Yards has only recently opened and despite opening right before the pandemic hit, it is doing well and slowly building its reputation within the city.

The Hudson Yards was designed by a number of architects who all had their own vision as to how they wanted to create the Hudson Yards. The main architect firm was lead by Kohn Pedersen Fox, who helped design the entire plans for the site. Other architects involved are Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill (SOM), Thomas Heatherwick, Foster + Partners, Roche-Dinkeloo, Diller Scofidio + Renfro. All these architects helped design the major buildings there, including office buildings and residential space. The office spaces in the Hudson Yards are occupied by well known companies such as CNN, Sidewalk Labs, BCG, and even a fashion company Tapestry. Construction of the Hudson Yards began in 2012 and the opening was in 2019 on March 15th.

The Hudson Yards was previously looked at in order to build a brand new stadium that was meant to be the home of the New York Jets. Not only the new home of the Jets but the stadium was also meant to host the 2012 Olympics. This stadium was actually in development since the early 2000’s and was named the New York Sports and Convention Center, the shorter name being the West Side Stadium. Despite the plans eventually falling through because of legal and political disputes there was still a clear vision. Eventually there was an agreement between the local government, the MTA, various other investors, and the state of New York. This agreement eventually led the way for the development of the Hudson Yards that is known today.

The redevelopment and reconstruction of the Hudson Yards was funded by multiple corporate and private investors from all over the world. One of the primary investors is the Mitsui Fudosan Group, a Japanese real estate developer that has bought stake from New York City before. Mitsui’s had acquired the Exxon Building back in the 1980’s and has now invested up to $1.25 billion into the Hudson Yards. This investment is the largest overseas project by a Japanese real estate company in history. Following the Mitsui Group their are also a number of investors via the EB-5 investment Program, which allows foreigners, whether corporate or private, to invest a minimum of $500,000 into New York City real estate. Most of the investors via the EB-5 program are from Chinese based companies, not just in the newly built Hudson Yards but in many other New York real estate. This has actually sparked some controversy within the city however it is undeniable the good that the Hudson Yards does for New York City.

The new additions to the city via the Hudson Yards are meant to provide New York with new financial incentives. There is now a 3 million square foot commercial office space, 24 million square feet of new office space in total, in the Hudson Yards. 1 million square feet of new retail space and 200 retail stores along with dining and a 24 hour market, Mercado Little Spain. Among these these new stores include Dior, Dunhill, Faherty, Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, and many others. The Hudson Yards also features an abundance of new jewelry shops such as; Marli New York, Messika, Monica Rich Kosann, Panerai, Pandora, Tiffany & Co, and many many more. There are also a number of health and beauty stores in the Hudson Yards, not just a Duane Reade, but stores such as Keihl’s, Molton Brown, M.A.C Cosmetics, Sundays, Sephora, and so many more. Sundays provides more than just beauty-care but also practices self-care and a “..wellness-inspired nail care…”. This is one of the many entertainment services that are provided by the Hudson Yards for its visitors. Some of the other forms of entertainment provided are done so by companies such as; Genesis Studio, Strictly Cycling Collective, The Conservatory, and a number of more. Most of these shops are spread around the Hudson Yards and in order to find were everything is they have a directory online. Finally there’s also 2 million square feet of new hotels, including a new headquarters hotel for the Javits Convention Center.

Apart from all the shops they have available at the Hudson Yards there are also a number of outdoor areas that you can visit as well. Development of the Hudson Park & Boulevard (Bella Abzug Park) was planned all the way back in 2005 and has lead to a new, 4 acre system of tree-lined parks and open space. This development was done in order to help transform the area from its old industrial neighborhood to new, pedestrian-friendly mixed-use district. The new additions to the park include, grassy areas, walking paths, farmers markets, and even outdoor movies. The park will also honor the civil rights activist, Bella Abzug (1920-1998). Bella Savitzky Abzug was a lawyer, social activist, U.S. representative, and feminist.

With the area expanding there was also a demand for an expansion of the subway line in order to get transportation into the Hudson Yards. One of the train lines that was expanded in order to accommodate for this was the 7 track. The line was extended from Times Square (42nd Street) to West 34th street and 11th Avenue. This was done in order to make the 7 subway line just a 10 minute walk from the Hudson Yards. They also added new ventilation buildings in the area in order to help keep the subways safe. The new additions meant that a new platform would be needed in order to support the buildings and parks.

Construction of the Hudson Yards

The city has built a 13 acre platform on both the Eastern Rail Yard and the Western Rail Yard. This platform is being supported by 300 Caissons which can take the weight of the platform, the buildings, and the people walking around. The platform itself took a very long time to complete due to the nature of the build and the surrounding area. The platform being built over the railway they could only build for around 2 hours at a time.

The expansion of the railroad was done to help with the influx of visitors, with so many new people coming in the neighborhood there needed to be a manageable transportation service. Most New Yorkers opt to use the MTA subway system which is why the city had chosen to expand it. However despite it being the most used system in New York it is not very reliable at times. Luckily New York has an abundance of different high luxury transportation companies. New York City car services are every where in the city however there are only a few good limo services in New York. While you can opt to use an app based transportation companies, often times those vehicles are dirty, have unvaccinated drivers, and aren’t even registered as licensed drivers in New York. Luckily their are car services in New York that operate on a much more serious level, working as black car service rather than just a regular service. An example of this is My Destiny Limo, who constantly check all of their drivers for any health issues, clean their vehicles every chance they get and, like most limo services in NYC, can go for long distance trips out of state. Often times these companies can go as far as New York to New Jersey, New York to Pennsylvania, and even New York to Connecticut. Some limo services will take you even further out, New York to Washington D.C., or even New York to Massachusetts. So if you’re worried about finding a way to get to and around the Hudson Yards, no need! New York has plenty to offer.

The Hudson Yards may have had controversy during construction and despite its difficult planning and funding it still serves as a vision for the city of tomorrow. Not just as with its technological wonders and fascinating artistic structures but it also leads the way to new housing projects. The Hudson Yards has its own affordable housing plan which allows people to sign up for a lottery that gives them a chance to live in the new buildings in New York City. This is another great way New York City is getting more people to visit the Hudson Yards. With all the stores and plazas in the Hudson Yards anyone can find something to do in the Neighborhood.

SoHo, Manhattan, New York

Great view of SoHo at street level with Manhattan in the background

Located in Lower Manhattan, covers 0.3 miles of Manhattan and has a population of over 18,000 (as of 2019). SoHo has been at the forefront of national and international chain stores, trendy boutiques and is the location for many different lofts belonging to artist and their art galleries’. SoHo also has a massive historical significance and is an example of Inner-city regeneration. The area of SoHo was actually named that because the area is located “South of Houston Street” and was conceived in 1962 by Chester Rapkin. The boundaries covering the neighborhood are actually quite interesting, it is agreed that the Northern boundary is Houston Street and the Southern boundary is Canal Street. However where things get complicated is when deciding the Eastern and Western boarders.

During the colonial era the area of SoHo was used as part of a grant, this grant had farmland given to freed slaves. This established the first ever black settlement on Manhattan Island, marking a historic moment for New York City. During the American revolutionary war SoHo became an area with numerous fortifications. After which the area of Soho mainly lie dormant, no development and a lot of the area had to be mortgage because of the war. During the mid 19-century the section began to remodel itself and changed its entire aesthetic. tearing down the Federal and Greek revival homes and made way to a new style of building, this includes solid structures of masonry and cast iron. The area slowly began to reinvent itself, new grand hotels began to go up in the city, new commercial establishments where opened. The streets themselves became lively and the addition of new theaters and food destinations helped its growing popularity. The area itself began to change and it caused the middle-class to be driven out of the area and made way for the small manufacturers. This includes locksmiths, book publishers, makers of fine china, cabinet-makers, makers of glassware, and many more.

Street view of the SoHo neighborhood in Manhattan, New York City
Street View of SoHo Manhattan, New York City.

This shift led to many more middle-class residents moving out of the neighborhood, this led to a 25% drop in population between 1860 to 1865. Then came the Civil war and the Panic of 1873 which led to large textile firms and other merchandise companies to move into the neighborhood. The area began to develop very quickly after this and soon that section of the city became the wholesale dry-goods and mercantile trade center of Manhattan. However, as the center of the city began to move uptown the quality of the area in SoHo declined rapidly. Soon the area began to become vacant and housed a lot of empty buildings. This was the direct effect of World War II, after its end the textile companies that previously resided within SoHo moved down south. This left many buildings empty and where either repurposed or torn down to make way for parking lots, garages, repair shops and gas stations. In the 1950’s the area became known as Hell’s Hundred Acres, this was due to the area essentially becoming an industrial wasteland. SoHo at the time was filled with nothing but sweatshops and small factories, however because they only ran during the day time at night the area would be empty and lifeless. In the 1960’s a resurgence in interest occurred in the area, and suddenly artist began to move back in leading to a change in the SoHo area.

With the new influx of artists and residents looking to expand their creative minds the area itself needed to become much more “livable”. This brought upon the birth of the Cast-Iron Architecture throughout New York City, Cast-iron was quick and cheap to make and was perfect for a resurgence in a previous hellish area. Currently there are 250 Cast-Iron buildings in New York City and most of these are in the SoHo neighborhood. The cast-iron design is actually a façade and was actually a ploy to make the warehouse structure more visually pleasing, in reality, cast-iron was very brittle. The architectural style of cast-iron buildings was inspired by Classical French and Italian architecture. While these architectural designs would usually use stone, cast-iron was favored due to its “easy to mold” nature, that when combined with neutral colored paint, such as beige, it can become something with a visual similarity. The iron itself made the material very pliable and could be molded very easily despite this it is still a very strong metal. This meant that the window frames within the buildings could be made with significant height, this allowed for more sunlight to fill the rooms that were rented out to artists and the such. At one point, cast-iron was seen as more viable then steel, it was also believed that it was fire proof, all of this was not correct. The truth is that cast-iron has a set of big problems, one of these being that when exposed to heat the material would buckle. in addition the cast-iron material would also crack under the cold, this meant that in the event of a fire, the sudden change in temperature when trying to put out the fire can cause buildings to collapse. at one point in the 1960’s the SoHo area became threatened by a project that would have built a highway directly through the neighborhood, destroying most of its historical significance. This caused major uproar among the community and led to multiple architects and historical preservation movement fighting against the highways construction.

The Interior of SoHo apartments feature an Industrial design and a lot of open air.

Finally after the proposal to essentially destroy SoHo simply to build a road was put away, artist began to come in. Many artist favored the industrial style buildings because it helped motivate and inspire their work because of how open the space always was. However this cause problems among the city and specifically with its zoning laws and the fear that the building may be needed again for manufacturing. This led to the city creating the Artist Tenant Association and then the SoHo Artist Association. Instead of keeping the area strictly industrial the city opted to allowing artist to live within their work quarters under certain permits. The SoHo area had then finally received landmark designation as the SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District in 1973.

SoHo Began to change in the 2000’s and in 2005 became a victim to gentrification and the entire area began to change. Former artists that lived in SoHo began to move to Chelsea during the 1990’s, as of 2013 only a few art galleries remain in SoHo, this includes, William Bennett Gallery, Martin Lawrence Galleries, Terrain Gallery, Pop International Gallery, and a few more. SoHo became very pleasing to be people due to its location, living spaces, Architecture, and its known reputation of being favored by most artist led to more people coming in. The combination of struggling artists, repurposed industrial buildings, unique architecture, and exquisite fashion made SoHo a popular destination for both tourists and buyers. SoHo has many different shopping chains around the neighborhood however most of these shops are in the Northern Area. Those who Manhattan visit frequently know that despite the area, SoHo is always scattered with street vendors trying to vend you anything from purses to jewelry and even off brand clothing.

SoHo is insanely popular all over the world because of its artsy style, unique architecture, lively streets, and the endless stores to shop in. This means that there is a strong desire to travel to the neighborhood in New York and this creates demand for transportation. New York City is no stranger to transportation and has no shortage of it either, however with so many different car companies it can become difficult to know which is the best transportation company for you. If you are simply trying to get from one point to another then any black car service can help transport you to your destination. However when in SoHo, most tourist and visitors prefer going around the neighborhood for multiple hours. Luckily there are certain limo companies in New York City will let you rent out a car with a driver for multiple hours at a time for a certain price. These New York City black car services have different vehicles available to you, from Cadillac Escalades, to Tesla’s, to even Sprinter Vans. If you are coming in out of the borough then no problem! every single car service in NYC goes throughout all 5 boroughs and some even into New Jersey. However, if you are coming in from out of state then you have nothing to worry about either, certain limo services will go out of state for clients wiling to pay. These transportation companies can go out as far as New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Massachusetts, and even Washington D.C..

The Washington Monument

Distant view of the Washington Monument

Located within the National Mall in Washington D.C., the Washington Monument is an obelisk built in order to commemorate George Washington. The monument itself is located east of the reflecting pool and the Lincoln Memorial and is one of the world tallest obelisks, measuring at 554 feet and 7 inches tall (not exact height). The Washington Monument once was the tallest object in the world from 1884 to 1889, it was then overtaken by the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

The Washington Monument has fifty American flags surrounding it, one flag for every single state. However, these are just American flags and not the state flag, every single flag is flown 24 hours a day. The monument itself is made of marble, granite, and bluestone gneiss and is actually the worlds tallest object that is mainly made of stone. In 2011 an earthquake that had hit Virginia had reached a magnitude of 5.8 and had actually damaged the Washington Monument. Certain blocks where dislodged and cracks had been found on several stones, the inside of the monument was also damaged. Inside there where numerous stone chips, pieces of stone, and paint chips that had come undone and practically littered the floor of the inside and the stairs. This immediately sparked not only a reconstruction but also renovation of the inside and outside of the Washington Monument.

Construction of the Washington Monument
Construction of the Washington Monument

The Washington Monument is located in Washington D.C. and is one of the most recognizable landmarks in American Culture. However one of the main issues when visiting any landmark is transportation and finding a way to get there without any problems. If a visitor is coming overseas then obviously they would have to take a plane to the U.S. in order to visit the landmark however once in the country you have to find a way around. This is why its good to have different options, you could resort to public transportation such as trains or buses but those can present a problem if you don’t know where you’re going.

Luckily there are plenty of different ground transportation companies that allow for quick and convenient travel that is hassle free and relaxing thick and through. If you need a car service in Washington D.C. then there are plenty around that will provide you the service you need. There are also car services from airports if you need, this includes car services from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and car services from Washington Dulles International Airport. However, if you are out of state and do not want to take a plane to Washington D.C. then there is no need to worry, there are plenty of ground transportation companies that can take you to Washington D.C.. This includes whether you are coming in from the outskirts of the city or if you are coming in from a different state entirely. For example you can take a car service from NYC to DC and it would be no issue at all.

The Washington Monument is a national wonder and it stands as a symbol to American culture. The Washington Monument has appeared in many different forms of media and is one of the most recognizable monuments in the world. While it may not be the most “unique” structure in the world, it still stands tall in American history and should be seen by anyone who visits the country.

LaGuardia Airport

Ariel view of LaGuardia International airport

Located in East Elmhurst, Queens New York City, and covering over 600 acres of land LaGuardia Airport is the third busiest airport in New York City and the 20th busiest in the world. The airport is actually named after the 1953 New York City mayor, Fiorello La Guardia and is mainly used for American Airlines and Delta Airlines. LaGuardia Airport is the least upkept airport of the main 3 in NYC, outdated facilities, lack of cleanliness, a cramped design for the building, poor customer service and is among the worst airports in the United States. This has actually caused the state to begin a reconstruction project for LaGuardia Airport that began in 2016 and is scheduled to be completed in 2022. LaGuardia Airport currently has four different terminals and 86 gates in total, the terminals themselves are all connected via different buses and walkways.

Terminal A is known as the Marine Air Terminal, this is because terminal A used to originally be the terminal for overseas flights. However, now terminal A, like the other terminals, seems to almost exclusively Delta Airlines and American Airlines. Inside of terminal A is also a 12 foot high mural and was made as a part of the Great Depression-era Works Progress Administration. Interestingly enough Port Authority of New York and New Jersey had actually painted over the mural in the 1950’s. Port Authority also has a tendency of stopping drivers coming in to pick up fliers, this combined with the renovations being made to LaGuardia can make getting in and out of LaGuardia Airport a challenging task. However, good car services to LGA can make this trek without an issue, even nearby black car services to LGA can make it to the airport extremely quickly. Some limo services to LGA even offer services from further out then just NYC some even offer limo services from Pennsylvania to LGA and even limo services from Connecticut to LGA. Though most of the time fliers simply need a nearby NYC car service to LGA and the city has many services to offer.

Terminal B is known as the Central terminal Buildings and serves LaGuardia’s airlines the most. While American Airlines is the dominant operator for this terminal it still gives access to different types of operators. Such operators that work within terminal b are American Airlines, Air Canada, Southwest, and United. Terminal B was made in 1964 and was made to accommodate over 7 million passengers every year. Terminal B has actually been rebuilt a few times and in June 2020 a new headhouse was added. Like Terminal A, terminal b has been going through remodeling and with it operating more than just United Airlines and American Airlines it can become slightly overcrowded and traffic bound. However, just like terminal a, multiple NYC limo services to LGA are all around the city. Foreign fliers can also rest easy knowing there are also car service with meet and greet available to them if they can’t use there cellphones in a different country. Overall transportation in and out of Terminal B should be no issue at all for anyone, especially with some of the best car services from NYC being available to everyone.

Terminal C was designed by William Nicholas Bodouva and associated architects and planners. The terminal was opened on September 12, 1992, had a cost of $250 million and is 300,000 square feet. Terminal C acts as Delta Airlines main hub, however Terminal C was actually originally made for Eastern Air Lines. Terminal C has had certain gates demolished in order to be restructured and the construction of the new gates are currently underway. Terminal C, like any other airport terminal, can be rather difficult to navigate for first comers and even regular fliers. This is why it is always good to find good nearby car services in NYC, even limo services further out are available to fliers who live outside of the NYC area. sometimes even car services in Pennsylvania or car services in Connecticut are able to drive out to LGA.

Terminal D was opened in June 19th, 1983 and cost about $90 million to complete, it was also designed by William Nicholas Bodouva and his associates. Terminal D also runs directly with Delta Airlines and like Terminal C is currently going through a demolishing and reconstruction in order to make navigating the terminal’s easier for fliers. Ironically enough this construction has made coming in and out of Terminal D an absolute nightmare to navigate. The construction has forced Terminal D to be directly connected to Terminal C making it so that people who arrive or depart from Terminal D have to take a nearly 8 minute walk to Terminal C just to exit the airport.

LaGuardia Airport is used by many states around New York, the airport is also used by many different airlines. This means that most of the time even if you are going to a state that is not New York, you’re still likely to land in LaGuardia. This means that most of the time you will have to find a car service to take you outside of the state from New York City. This includes going from LaGuardia to New Jersey, a state that is normally associated with New York. LaGuardia to Pennsylvania, this includes more than just Philadelphia but the entirety of the state. This also includes LaGuardia to Connecticut, where despite its length some New York car services will go out to places even like New London. The furthest some New York limo companies will go is places like Massachusetts and Washington D.C.. However there are black car services in New York city that can provide services as far out as Massachusetts, West Virginia and for those willing to pay even as far out as Tennessee or Ohio. If you happen to need this kind of a service and don’t know where to start a good company to use is My Destiny Limo. Otherwise there are quite a few companies in New York City that can provide a good quality service for your pleasure.

In terms of transportation to or from LaGuardia airport you’re met with the standard, multiple bus routes that a visitor can take and various car/limo services. While people that travel a lot will know exactly what bus routes to take, most people opt to take a limo service to NYC. a great car service would be your best choice when navigating LGA and especially when booking a ride home.