What's New and Exciting in New York City

An accurate portrayal of the reoccurring hustle and bustle in Times Square, New York City.
An accurate portrayal of the reoccurring hustle and bustle in Times Square, New York City. Picture by Woodline Saliveros.

What's New In The Big Apple

By Olivia Gilmore

New York City has always been a popular destination among tourists looking for a fun filled experience in one of the most culturally and commercially diverse cities in the world. But 2017 will be an epic year

Citybikes in action on the streets of New York City.
Citybikes in action on the streets of New York City.

for the city in many different ways.

The City, made up of five boroughs, offers endless opportunities for all its visitors, including Broadway shows, museums, historical attractions, and much more. In 2016 alone, New York City welcomed an estimated 60.7 million visitors, an all-time high!

Luckily, the city was prepared to welcome its visitors with its most active hotel development pipeline in the country. In May of 2017, there are approximately 113,000 hotel rooms and there will be a whopping 137,000 hotel rooms to rent by the end of 2019!  Guests can look forward to new hotel property openings such as 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, The Whitby, 5o Bowery, MOXY NYC Times Square, and much more!

A view of the roof-deck bar on the 17th floor of the hotel MOXY NYC Times Square. Picture from Booking.com
A view of the roof-deck bar on the 17th floor of the hotel MOXY NYC Times Square.

With the city always welcoming new attractions and expanding their entertainment options, it is no surprise that there are many new exciting projects planned for the future.

Infrastructure Investments

With modern day technology becoming so addictive, people are always itching to charge up their devices and use the internet, especially on visits to the city. As of June 2017, more than 700 LinkNYC kiosks have been installed in New York City’s five boroughs in place of out-dated public phone booths.

Free high-speed internet, phone calls, and charging devices are all available for guests and locals to use. 7,500 kiosks are expected to be installed by 2024, say goodbye to pay telephones!

Transportation is another crucial part of operating a highly functional city like New York. Many guests and residents choose to use the subway system, which is why in January 2017 the MTA’s Second Avenue Subway opened to the public.

The newly expanded Q line offers new stations at 72nd, 86th, and 96th Streets and will reduce travel time by 10 minutes. In the last couple of yea, s the MTA has also opened a new station, 34 St-Hudson Yards, located in Manhattan's newest neighborhood and a convenient station for anyone headed to the Jacob Javits Convention Center on the West side.

If you prefer to see the city on bike, don’t forget about the bike-share program created by Citi Bike that has over 600 docking stations and 10,000 bikes in 55 neighborhoods.

For frequent fliers or visitors traveling through John F. Kennedy International Airport, keep an eye out for new terminals, redesigned roadways, expansions of parking lots, and additional amenities. The $10 billion dollar investment will also feature a 178,000 square-foot pet terminal, equipped with post-travel animal care and an on-site veterinarian.

The New York Wheel will be the world's highest Ferris wheel, at 630 feet. Opening in 2018 in Staten Island's St Georges project.
The New York Wheel will be the world's highest Ferris wheel, at 630 feet. Opening in 2018 in Staten Island's St Georges project.

The new TWA Flight Center Hotel is also expected to open in 2018, in the iconic former terminal designed by Eero Saarinen in the 1960s.

Meetings In New York City

As a result of New York City's unique venues and world-class hotels, there is no shortage of locations to hold meetings. In 2016, the city had 6.1 million meetings and conventions, making it the perfect place to host its guests.

A Phenominal view of the Jacob J. Javits Convention Center as its clear glass strcture illuminates the sky at dusk.
A Phenomenal view of the Jacob J. Javits Convention Center as its clear glass structure illuminates the sky at dusk.

In January of 2016, a $1.5 billion expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center was announced, adding more than one million square feet of space.

The project began on March 1, 2017 and will feature a 500,00 square foot exhibition hall, rooftop terrace, and the largest ballroom in the Northeast.

Arts, Culture, & Entertainment

A new five-story building dedicated to displaying different artistic inventions is planned to open in early 2019. The Shed, in the new Hudson Yards neighborhood, will feature two column-free galleries, a theater, event and rehearsal space, an artist lab, a 120-foot-high temperature controlled hall and a plaza for outdoor programming.

Hudson Yards is a planned shopping, residential and retail development has been called the most expensive private development ever undertaken in the US--a whopping $23 billion investment!

The Statue of Liberty is a top spot for visitors, but it is about to draw even more attention to its brand-new $70 million museum. Th e Statue of Liberty Museum expected to open in 2019 will feature interactive displays, museum galleries and an immersive theate r experience, which will focus on the statue's history.

The inside of the Statue of Liberty Museum, expected to be completed by 2019. Photo by Curbed NY.
The inside of the Statue of Liberty Museum, expected to be completed by 2019. Photo by Curbed NY.

If you plan on visiting the World Trade Center in the next couple of years, expect to see the new Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center, opening in 2020.

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Space will allow for cultural dance, music, and art displays as well as a lobby restaurant and bar space. Constructed with translucent marble and glass, even people outside the building will be able to see the glow of the theater lights inside.

Attractions, Tours & Sports

In June of 2018, the tallest observation wheel in the world, called The New York Wheel, will open on St. George, Staten Island. Visitors can look forward to a unique experience for the whole family, from a 10,000 square-foot playground to an outdoor beer garden, there are options for both kids and adults.

The wheel itself will feature a 30-minute ride and will include 36 capsules with over $7 million worth of LED lighting, the wheel will illuminate the skyline, paving way for an epic view.

Each pod holds up to 40 people and allows its guests to see beautiful views of the New York Harbor, Statue of Liberty, Verrazano Bridge and the New York City Skyline.

With an expected visitation rate of 30,000 visitors per day, the attraction will also feature a five-acre green roof, which will host concerts, festivals, and other outdoor events. The attraction will be open to the public and accessible seven days a week from 10 a.m. until midnight. But, if you really want to be stunned, stay until sunset, and see the reflection of the 630-foot-tall wheel emerge on the New York Harbor.

New Private Ferry Services

If you decide to come by boat, the project plans to partner with private ferry services to bring guests from different locations along the harbor. The wheel will also be suitable for the Staten Island community, as it will draw tourists to visit local shops, eateries, and cultural institutions.

Waterfront view of Staten Island, where the New York Wheel will be located. Photo by NYC.gov
Waterfront view of Staten Island, where the New York Wheel will be located. Photo by NYC.gov

All the foot traffic near the wheel will encourage people to visit the surrounding area, benefiting St. George economically.

With $1.2 billion invested in the project, local businesses will be utilized and hundreds of construction jobs will be created. It seems to me that the New York Wheel is a win win for both the city and its tourists.

As 2018 creeps around the corner, I’d start planning your trip now, I wouldn’t want to miss out on seeing one of the most spectacular views in the world.

Gulliver's Gate

On the floor of the former New York Times Building, the 23,000 square-foot space is the new home to Gulliver’s Gate. It took a whole slew of engineers and designers to replicate the phenomenal view of the Big Apple, not to mention it took 358 days to create.

An artist working on creating the miniature houses in the Gulliver's Gate exhibit. Photo by reservenewyorkcity.com
An artist working on creating the miniature houses in the Gulliver's Gate exhibit. Photo by reservenewyorkcity.com

The metropolis exhibit, opened on May 9, features miniature 3-D models of the city, including more than 300 tiny buildings and over 1,000 model train cars.

There is no doubt that you will feel like the giant from Gulliver’s Travels after peering down at dwarf-sized printed replicas of Times Square, Grand Central Terminal, and other scenes from around the world. Tiny versions of Europe, Asia, China and other sites around the world will complete this captivating attraction.

Experience being a giant as you walk through Gulliver's Gate. Photo by 3Ders.org
Experience being a giant as you walk through Gulliver's Gate. Photo by 3Ders.org

TKTS Tickets

If you’re looking to attend your favorite Broadway show at the last minute, then the new TKTS discount booth at the Lincoln Center is the official place to get access to same-day discounted tickets.

Theatergoers can find these bargains at three other locations throughout the city, including Downtown Brooklyn, Times Square and Street Seaport.

With a number of alluring attractions the city offers, it can be troublesome trying to decide exactly what to see. If you’re having a difficult time trying to choose, why not get the New York C3 CityPASS? The mobile pass allows visitors to pick three iconic attractions from a list of ten.

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum. A top destination option with the New York City C3 CityPASS. Photo by NYCgo.com
The 9/11 Memorial and Museum. A top destination option with the New York City C3 CityPASS. Photo by NYCgo.com

You can choose from three of the following ten: The Empire State Building, Top of the Rock Observation Deck, American Museum of Natural History, 9/11 Memorial & Museum, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, and Guggenheim Museum and Hornblower Sightseeing cruises.

Upcoming Events & Attractions

If you’re a racing fan or a speed fanatic, this one's for you. On July 15-16 2017, the FIA Formula E Championship will host its ePrix in Brooklyn. The event will allow guests to take part in entertainment options at the eVillage and meet the drivers. This will be the world's first fully-electric racing series and the track will race around the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal.

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Inside view of Ocean Odyssey, coming to Times Square in October of 2017. Photo by Time Out.
Inside view of Ocean Odyssey, coming to Times Square in October of 2017. Photo by Time Out.

Ever wanted to teleport to the most thrilling and magnificent underwater destinations in the world?

Thanks to virtual reality technology and interactive audience tracking, now you can!

In October of 2017, the walk-through experience called National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey in Times Square will allow its visitors to embark on a journey across the Atlantic Ocean and see all kinds of sea creatures... including what lurks below sea level.

Hold your breath for this one, you never know what you’ll encounter.

NFL Experience

Take your love of professional football off the big screen and into real life. Opening in November 2017 is the NFL Experience in Times Square which includes exclusive 4D footage, interactive displays of training regimens and game plans, and physical tests that will push you to your limits. See if you have what it takes to be a pro by planning a visit to this one of a kind attraction.

A sneak peek inside the NFL Experience in Times Square. Think you have what it takes to be a pro? Find out when it opens in November 2017. Photo by Forbes.
A sneak peek inside the NFL Experience in Times Square. Think you have what it takes to be a pro? Find out when it opens in November 2017. Photo by Forbes.

Hudson Yards is preparing to welcome a 600-ton, 15 stories high art centerpiece by 2018 that will feature a plaza and beautiful public garden.

Designer Thomas Heatherwick incorporated 154 flights of stairs and 80 landings in the Vessel at Hudson Yards so that guests can travel to see incredible views of the city’s skyline.

The largest development in New York City since the Rockefeller Center, The Hudson Yards in Manhattan is the perfect place to discover what is new in New York.

As the construction of Pier 55 broke ground in summer of 2016, 2.7 acres of lawns and pathways are expected to be built on the pier that will run alongside Manhattan's lower west side.

The pier will become a public park with a state of the art performance space for musicians, dancers, public art, and more. Residents and visitors can expect the park to be completed by 2019.

Featuring panoramic river views of the city's skyline, The Observation Deck at Hudson Yards will draw visitors who are looking for a spectacular glimpse of the city. This will be New York City’s highest outdoor observation deck yet, standing at 1,296 feet tall, the project is scheduled to be finished by 2019.

Hudson Yards Observation Deck. Expect to get a chance to see some atonishing views from the deck by 2019. Photo by e-architect.co.uk
Hudson Yards Observation Deck. Expect to get a chance to see some astonishing views from the deck by 2019. Photo by e-architect.co.uk

The Lowline Lab

Ever heard of the Lowline Lab on the Lower East Side of Manhattan? The underground test lab at the former Williamsburg Bridge Trolley Terminal? If you haven’t heard of it, I’m guessing you’re now intrigued.

The Lowline lab was created in order to test how well plants can prosper underground, neat huh? This experiment proved successful, has paved way for The Lowline, the world's first underground park equipped with solar technology to allow plant growth. This 60,000 square foot green space is expected to be finished by 2021, adding a cultural and historic aspect to one of the busiest parts of the City.

Dining & Good Eats

If you love to eat food like the rest of us, not to mention Italian food, stop by the second New York City location of Eataly NYC Downtown in the 4 World Trade Center. The 40,000 square foot marketplace offers its hungry visitors an array of different places to either grab a quick bite to eat or sit down at an upscale restaurant and enjoy a glass of wine. Catch a view of the 9/11 memorial while you are there.

Anthony's New Market

Eataly's second location in the 4 World Trade Center. Get your Italian on at this remarkable marketplace. Photo by ABC7 New York.
Eataly's second location in the 4 World Trade Center. Get your Italian on at this remarkable marketplace. Photo by ABC7 New York.

Last, but certainly not least on our list is the Bourdain Market. Planned for 2019, the famous chef Anthony Bourdain will open a diverse marketplace filled with 100 different retail and wholesale food vendors. The 155,000-square-foot space will welcome butchers, bakers, fishmongers and will be located on Pier 57 on 15th Street.

Good eats? I think so.

Olivia Gilmore

Olivia Gilmore is a travel enthusiast, writer, and cultural anthropologist who has traveled to West Africa, Europe and across the East and West Coast of the United States. As a member of Amnesty International, her interests include advocating for human rights, humanitarian volunteer work, and cultural immersion. She’s from Lunenburg, MA.