The Hudson Yards, Manhattan, New York

Hudson Yard the Edge

Welcome to the Hudson Yards! New York City’s newest edition to Manhattan that 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. So don’t be surprised if you see a few residence opting to take a taxi rather than the train. If you’re planning on taking a vacation to NY then you’ll also be happy to know that part of the reconstruction has actually gone into remodeling the railway. This means you’ll be able to access all of the neighborhood with ease! 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.

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. Though some of the wealthier masses of New York may choose to take a taxi. 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. These car services are often inspected regularly and will give you a very comfortable ride. 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.

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Ariel view of Atlantic City coast line

Welcome to Atlantic City! with a population of just under 40,000 the city itself is best known for its casinos and beaches, while also have some of the best restaurants going alongside its boardwalk. The city is actually located on Absecon Island, located south of New Jersey. its also known by neighboring states around New Jersey as a hotspot during the summer. Atlantic City has gone through many remodeling and rebuilding phases, however it now stands as one of the most popular tourist destinations on the East Coast. So if you’re planning a vacation, don’t hesitate to take a taxi down to Atlantic City for a visit.

The Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City.

The Atlantic City region was originally the home of the Lenape people, an indigenous tribe in the area. It wasn’t until early 1780’s were Jeremiah Leeds constructed their first home in the neighborhood. Leed’s had actually bought the land from previous owner Thomas Budd, who actually believed the land was worthless. Thomas Budd was a navy veteran who led multiple expeditions around the globe, including some in the South Pole. Budd’s multiple expeditions earned several features to be named after him, one of which being Budd Coast located in Antarctica.

It wasn’t until the 1850’s where the idea for a resort town would come to fruition. Shortly after in 1853, the name Atlantic City was given to the town. soon after developers would move into the area in hopes of building up the city as quickly as possible.

Atlantic City is located in Southern New Jersey which made it prime real estate for anyone looking to build there. Hotels became eager to open their doors, some of which would house guest before the building was even finished with construction. Atlantic City’s first set of hotels would go up the same year the town was named. Then a year later the first railway would begin to bring visitors over.

Train service was provided by the Camden and Atlantic Railroad, which helped connect Atlantic City with Philadelphia.

The first boardwalk was officially built in the 1870’s and it was actually built along the beach in order to keep sand out of hotels. After a while the boardwalk would slowly be removed and replaced and overtime it was made wider and longer in order to make it more comfortable for visitors. In the same year the first road that connected Atlantic City to the rest of the mainland was built. The road itself was tolled, visitors would have to pay a 30 cent fee to pass. Eventually, a new road would be built, this one being toll free.

Dr. Jonathan Pitney and Samuel Richards are typically seen as the fathers of Atlantic City, as they were some of the first to build in the town. Dr. Pitney was a Columbia university graduate, who helped push Atlantic City by promoting it as a medical retreat. He would often go to Absecon Island in order to treat patients.

Dr. Pitney would often go by rowboat, and during these times he got an idea to start a retreat. After getting help from Richard Osborne, a civil engineer born in London. they began to create designs for a large-scale resort. The designs intrigued local landowner Samuel Richards, who was a prominent figure in South Jersey at the time. Samuel Richards helped Jonathan Pitney reach investors for the project and even donated towards the creation himself. Samuels also secured the charter needed to transport people to Atlantic City and even invested in the Camden-Atlantic Railroad. Once the Camden-Atlantic Railroad was built Atlantic City would begin to bring in guests. The first group to stay at Atlantic City were carefully selected by both Dr. Jonathan Pitney and Samuel Richards.

The Absecon Lighthouse is a lighthouse located north of Atlantic City, and is the tallest lighthouse in New Jersey. Construction of Absecon Lighthouse began in 1854 and first lit up in 1857. The lighthouse was also heavily lobbied by Dr. Pitney after the wreck of Powhattan. The Powhattan sank after encountering a storm off the coast of New Jersey, it was carrying 200 migrants before going down in April 1854. This event led to the creation of the Absecon Lighthouse.

The Absecon Lighthouse ran for more than 75 years before being deactivated. The lighthouse is no longer used for navigational purposes and instead has been turned to a visitation center with an indoor museum. The Absecon Lighthouse also offers several programs to scouts and group tours, including an overnight program. The overturning of the lighthouse was overseen by Jack E. Boucher, an American photographer who made a career of preserving historic sights. Recently, the lighthouse went through an extensive renovation program, going as far as to replicate the living quarters of the lightkeeper’s dwelling. Nowadays visitors can climb the 228 steps to the top of the lighthouse if they so please!

One of the first supermassive  luxury hotels to open up in Atlantic City was the United States Hotel. The hotel took up an entire city block and featured up to date amenities at the time. The hotel was known for being one of the most luxurious stays in the nation, even attracting the eye of presidents. The United States Hotel would open up on July 4th, 1854, however it wasn’t fully completed when it first opened its doors. The owners actually tried hiding the unfinished construction by restricting the visitors to only one wing of the hotel. The United States Hotel would operate until about 1900, where it would be demolished.

In 1944 a hurricane hit the city and completely destroyed the boardwalk, the entire length would have to be reconstructed. Atlantic City saw its biggest explosion in popularity during the early 20th century. During the prohibition tourism was at its peak, this was because prohibitions was never actually enforced in Atlantic City. While people would still go into backrooms and hide the fact they where drinking, it was largely ignored due to the nature of the city.

During this time a conference was called where major organized crime figures had come to create the National Crime Syndicate. This conference was actually attended by Al Capone and numerous other crime families.

After which from the 1930’s to the 1960’s it was an economic heyday as the city began to move into its nightclub era. Keep in mind that during this time segregation was still very strong and it was definitely seen in Atlantic City. In the white-populated side of the city, this being the south side and included places like The 500 Club, The Clicquot Club, and The Jockey Club. On the other end of the spectrum you would have the north side of the city which was home to many different African Americans, and many different entertainment in the segregated city through mainly Kentucky Avenue. Some of the most popular entertainment include four major nightclubs, Club Harlem, The Paradise Club, Grace’s Little Belmont, and Wonder Gardens. These four major clubs had actually drawn in every type of people whether black or white, and during the summer season, tourist enjoy jazz and R&B music along with soul food throughout the avenue.

During World War II Atlantic City became riddled with crime and poverty, it would unfortunately follow the trend of struggling east coast cities at the time. Interestingly enough it was the creation of the automobile that caused Atlantic City to fall into a state of crime and over crowdedness. The automobile allowed any person to be able to drive to Atlantic City. This meant that even taking a taxi would seem old fashioned, This led to the city being known as a playground for criminals and the typical person who would come daily. This eventually led to the vacancy of many hotels in Atlantic City, this lead to an economic decline in the city and forced the city to demolish hotels.

Traymore Hotel in Atlantic City 1930’s.

In 1976 New Jersey passed a law to legalize gambling in casinos, this was done in an effort to revive Atlantic City. Funny enough, moments after this law was passed, The Chalfonte-Haddon Hall Hotel was converted into the Resorts international. it became the first legal casino in the eastern United States and opened on May 26. Donald Trump had actually helped Atlantic City gain popularity by bringing in big names, Mike Tyson being one of these people. Mike Tyson had numerous fights in Atlantic City during the 1980’s, this helped the city become famous not just around the area but throughout the entire nation. This was followed up by the legalization of sports betting in Atlantic City, this made New Jersey the third state to legalize sports betting. New Jersey is now a great destination spot for anyone planning a weekend vacation, some of its guest even opt to take limos to Atlantic City due to its perception.

Transportation to Atlantic City has always been important to the city and its development, while before people would rely on the trains coming in and out of the city now most people can just drive there or even order a car. Though some of the more well off tourist will probably opt into taking a limo service just for the extra experience. Though you shouldn’t let the name car service deter you, most car services now a days contain more then the basic transport. There are certain situations however where a person might live too far from Atlantic City and find it difficult to go there. Luckily, now a days most car companies make long distance trips for your convenience, this is assuming you can afford it of course. Most car companies can take you to or from any area around Atlantic City, this including New York, New Jersey, and possibly Pennsylvania. However, there are some car companies that may go even further than that. Some car companies will take from places like Rhode Island to Atlantic City, or even Washington D.C. to Atlantic City. If you happen to live further out and don’t want to take a train or plane then some limo companies can take you even further out. Some Black Car services will bring you from Connecticut to Atlantic City, and from Massachusetts to Atlantic City.

Coast Line view of Atlantic City.

Atlantic City has 9 current casinos that have been up and running since the late 1970’s, the most recent one being opened in 2018. Resorts, the oldest casino, it was opened in 1978 and was located in the uptown section of Atlantic City, it is also features a Roaring Twenties theme. Caesars, opened in 1979 and is located in the Midtown section of Atlantic City, like the name suggest it is based off a Roman Empire theme. Bally’s, this was the last one to open in 1979 and is also located in the Midtown section of Atlantic City, its theme is modern based. Harrah’s is the first of three to be opened in the 1980’s, it is located in the Marina section of Atlantic City and features a Marina Waterfront theme. Tropicana was opened in 1981 and is located in the Downbeach section of Atlantic City, this casino has a Old Havana theme. Golden Nugget, opened in the 1985 and like its name suggest its based off the Gold Rush Era, this casino is located in the Marian section of Atlantic City. Borgata is the first casino to be opened in the 2000’s, it is also set in the Marina section of the city and has a Tuscany Theme for its design. The Hard Rock casino is one of the two opened in 2018 and is located in the uptown section of the city, like its name suggest it has a Rock and Roll theme. Finally, Ocean and like its name suggest it has a Ocean theme and was the other casino to open up in 2018 and is located in the uptown section of Atlantic City.

Overall, Atlantic City has slowly built itself up multiple times and has proven that its perseverance throughout the times leads to success. Atlantic City is now considering a hot vacation and gambling spot for tourist and locals of the East Coast. With its perfect blend of Casinos, Resorts, Shopping Malls, and Exhibits there’s something for everyone in this tourist city. If you plan on going there anytime soon then be sure to book the perfect car transportation company and get there safely and comfortably.

The Museum of Modern Art

the entrance to the museum of modern art

one of the biggest modern art museums in America and the biggest in New York City. The Museum of Modern Art is also one of the biggest influences in the world for many reasons. For starters, MoMA has a major role when it comes to collecting and developing modern art in the world. Some of MoMA’s collections include contemporary art, architecture, photography, illustrations, and electronic media.

Amy Sillman: The Shape of Shape

The Museum of Modern Art was made in 1929 mainly by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, Lillie P. Bliss, and Mary Quinn Sullivan. The museum was actually quite modest at first and was located in the Heckscher building at 730 fifth avenue. MoMA opened on November 7th , 1929 and had made A. Conger Goodyear the president of the museum. at first the museum was made up of almost exclusively modern art and was the first to show European modernism in Manhattan. During the 1930’s the museum began to gain international fame after its very successful Picasso retrospective. Then in the 1940’s MoMA brought in an exhibition called “Indian Art of the United States” which brought to light what Native American arts was like before the Colonies. On April 15th in 1958 a fire had started due to some construction. When a worker was installing an air conditioner he had been smoking around sawdust and paint cans which started the fire. During the 60s to 80s the Museum of Modern Art had actually come to face some controversy. MoMA had taken down antiwar posters and photojournalism that was opposing the Vietnam War. In 1983 the museum had more then doubled its gallery and added an auditorium, a bookstore, and even a pair of restaurants. Then in 1997 it had expanded even further, now adding teacher training workshops and a few spaces for classrooms, even expanding the library and its archives. Despite all of the controversy and even destruction, through all of its renovating and expansion, the Museum of Modern Art still stands today.

The Museum of Modern Art holds many exhibitions throughout the years. MoMA’s collections include more than 150,000 singular pieces of art and over 20,000 films. MoMA holds various pieces from many different influential European and American artists. Such artists include, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Joan Miro, Mark Rothko, Andy Warhol, and many more. MoMA also holds one of the most important film collection throughout the United States. This collection includes over 25,000 films, Citizen Kane, Vertigo, and even Andy Warhol’s “Empire”. Then there’s MoMA’s library, which holds a collection of over 300,000 books, 1,000 periodicals, and 40,00 files and over 10,000 artist books. Overall the Museum of Modern Art holds one of the largest collections in the world and is the perfect place to visit for anyone looking to inspire themselves during these times.