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.
The City, made up of five boroughs, offers endless opportunities for all its visitors, including Broadway shows, museums, historical attractions, and much more. In 2019 alone, New York City welcomed an estimated 65.2 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.
According to NYC and Company, New York City’s official marketing and tourism organization, new projects will result in 144,000 hotel rooms in the Big Apple by the end of 2021!
In response to the yearly increase in tourists, New York City has opened plenty of new hotels to accompany the demand. These hotels include The Times Square EDITION, Sister City, and TWA Hotel at JFK.
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.
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 March 2020, more than 1,7000 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, so say goodbye to pay-phones!
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 the MTA’s Second Avenue Subway opened to the public a few years ago.
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 years, 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 Westside.
The Moynihan train station will be opening in December 2020 as an addition to the iconic Penn Station on 8th Avenue. The Moynihan station will feature a sky-lit atrium approximately the size of the Grand Central Terminal’s Main Hall. With an ever-increasing population in New York City, this new train station will undoubtedly make traveling much easier.
If you prefer to see the city on bike, don’t forget about the bike-share program created by Citi Bike that has over 850 docking stations and 13,000 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 TWA Flight Center Hotel opened in 2019, in the iconic former terminal designed by Eero Saarinen in the 1960s. This swanky, retro hotel even has a heated rooftop pool. It’s the talk of the town these days!
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.
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 opened in April 2019. The Shed, in the new Hudson Yards neighborhood, specifically showcases 21st-century art, making it a welcomed attraction for art-lovers who want to appreciate the present and future of the draft.
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. The Statue of Liberty Museum opened in May 2019 and hosted over 4.3 million visitors over that year. The Museum is open to anyone with an interest in Lady Liberty and features an expansive gallery as well as the original model of the torch that was replaced in 1980.
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.
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.
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.
The metropolis exhibit 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.
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.
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, Ferry access to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Guggenheim Museum and Hornblower Sightseeing Cruises.
Upcoming Events & Attractions
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!
The National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey in Times Square allows its visitors to embark on a journey across the Atlantic Ocean and see all kinds of sea creatures.
This event lets participants traverse through the ocean on their own two feet as well as hear the captivating stories of professional photographers who have gotten up close and personal with all the mysterious sea creatures.
Hold your breath for this one, you never know what you’ll encounter.
Take your love of professional football off the big screen and into real life. 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.
Hudson Yards is preparing to welcome a 600-ton, 15 stories high art centerpiece that will feature a plaza and beautiful public garden. It’s the Vessel.
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 the 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 Spring 2021
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 best part is, the Observation Deck will be open to the public this month (March 2020)!
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 to be successful and has paved the 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.
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.