Lion of the Blogosphere

The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards

Every article about this new shopping mall has been written by some hipster who whines and complains that New York City is being ruined by expensive shopping. As if expensive shopping hasn’t existed in New York City since before everyone writing those articles was born.

So what was once a dismal neighborhood now has a really nice shopping mall. Big deal? Or hip, hop hoorah if you happen to live in that dismal neighborhood and now there’s more going on there.

I personally liked the mall at Columbus Circle (aka The Time Warner Center) a lot better when there was a Borders and a Samsung Experience there. Malls no longer have any fun stores.

I am suspicious that this new mall at Hudson Yards is going to be dead after the excitement of it being there has passed. Not many people live in that neighborhood compared to the Columbus Circle neighborhood, and I don’t think that tourists walking on the High Line are going to be big consumers at Neiman Marcus. The executives at Neiman Marcus may wish they had moved into Soho instead. But hey, that’s not my problem.

My one complaint is that the various fast food places (like Citarella, Shake Shack, some place selling Asian chicken sandwiches, a bunch of coffee and desert places) are scattered throughout the mall, with inadequate seating. They should have created a food court like they used to do in suburban malls.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 18, 2019 at EDT am

Posted in New York City

32 Responses

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  1. Ubiquitous, repetitive, fungible, boring, “high end” shops and eateries are nowhere to be found in prole hole and the NAM hood.

    “Cawlit capitalism, and it ain’t coming to my town anytime soon” – Sal of Staten Island

    Ok, what, who's this again?

    March 18, 2019 at EDT am

    • Staten Island is packed with chain eateries.

      Speaking of which I recently added a second SI diner to my resume. The omelette was overcooked and tasteless but the bacon was good..

      toomanymice

      March 18, 2019 at EDT pm

      • I said high end eateries like Pret a Manger.

        Ok, what, who's this again?

        March 18, 2019 at EDT pm

      • While the best restaurants are independent, and the independent tier below that’s pretty good, “chain eateries” are better than the vast majority of mom n’ pop places. That’s not to say they’re all that good, only that most small independent restaurants suck. If you find a good one you need to support it with your business.

        TWBC

        March 18, 2019 at EDT pm

    • I remember when Seattle was distinguishable from places like Knoxville or Omaha by the local and distinctive nature of its eating establishments compared to chain restaurant land. Now, even on the West Coast, everything feels like some formulaic version of Ruby Tuesdays.

      Curle

      March 18, 2019 at EDT pm

      • Back in the days when Seattle was distinguishable from Knoxville, they were white working-class towns.

        gothamette

        March 19, 2019 at EDT pm

  2. Empire Outlets was supposed to open 2016 and construction is still dragging on. Meanwhile the SI Mall has done a surprisingly decent job making itself over and has a B&N, grocery store and dave and busters.

    Unless they get foot traffic from the ferry (most of whom are commuters just wanting to get home) I don’t see Empire flourishing. There’s too much traffic congestion on a good day, too many decrepit neighborhoods and housing projects within walking distance. Anyone with a car will go to NJ or the south shore. Tourists don’t visit nyc for SI and most probably come and go without knowing of its existence.

    toomanymice

    March 18, 2019 at EDT am

    • I’ve predicted for a long time that the Staten Island project will be a huge bust.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      March 18, 2019 at EDT pm

    • The demise of the observation wheel put the kibosh of the outlets. I think the delay may have to do with many of the recruited stores trying to get out of their commitment.

      I was born and raised in SI and always thought it was a miniature third world country. Nothing works. But the money finds its way into somebody’s pocket.

      Newyorker

      March 18, 2019 at EDT pm

      • Holy shi**!!!! Somehow, I didn’t know that the stupid wheel was canceled. That’s going to be a blog post very soon.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 18, 2019 at EDT pm

      • Dude the project died more than a year ago! Total fiasco. However the last thing SI needs is a giant wheel so I’m glad it didn’t go through. It would have made traffic in the area even worse. All in one area your have: numerous high rises, housing projects (there are actually three projects that ‘corner’ st george- stapleton, bay st, and jersey st, the latter being notoriously crime ridden), a huge high school, police precinct, numerous courthouses, city hall, THE FERRY and its associated metered lots, all with extremely narrow windy streets. There’s a huge amount of section 8 and halfway housing- do a sex offender search and st george lights up like a christmas tree- in the vicinity. Yes there are some pretty houses and some nice streets but I wouldn’t want to live there.

        Newyorker, the 3rd world ambiance is one reason I’m surprised the SI Mall renovation not only happened, but transpired in a timely process and was well done.

        toomanymice

        March 18, 2019 at EDT pm

  3. “I am suspicious that this new mall at Hudson Yards is going to be dead after the excitement of it being there has passed.”

    Accountants depreciate an asset’s value over it’s estimated useful life. Malls are no different. Developers know when they build one that it’s only a matter of time before the NAM’s show up to drive the paying customers and stores away. Developers don’t care as long as they make enough before the mall goes under to justify having built it in the first place.

    “So what was once a dismal neighborhood now has a really nice shopping mall. Big deal? Or hip, hop hoorah if you happen to live in that dismal neighborhood and now there’s more going on there.”

    When I was young, there was a very large, beautiful lake out in the country but still reasonably close to the city. Developers built a lot of really nice lake homes there. Ostensibly, people moved there to get out of the city. But they’d hardly moved in before clamoring for somewhere to shop. My parents remarked on this repeatedly while I was growing up.

    Fast forward a couple of decades and my parents moved to a similar place and did the exact same thing. Aren’t you doing the same, as well? I remember you lamenting how SI wilderness had been ruined by developers and subdivisions. Yet now you think it’s great that they’re putting a big mall in this neighborhood. I realize the difference between developing wilderness versus building a mall in an old neighborhood. But it really amounts to the same thing — bringing a lot more people and traffic in to ruin where they live.
    **
    I admit to being prejudiced against commercialism, consumerism, materialism, etc. I don’t want restaurants, shopping, traffic and crowds. All I want is a quiet, peaceful place to live.

    destructure

    March 18, 2019 at EDT pm

    • They didn’t tear down wilderness to build Hudson Yards, they built it over an ugly train yard.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      March 18, 2019 at EDT pm

      • I didn’t think they tore down wilderness. I thought they tore down dilapidated houses or something. I guess a busy mall is better than a noisy train yard. But I wouldn’t want to live near either of them.

        destructure

        March 18, 2019 at EDT pm

      • It was not an ugly trainyard, it was what you might call ruin porn.

        I disagree with you about the future of Hudson yards. I think it’s really going to be something big. They extended the subway there and The high line goes there it’s a very interesting part of Manhattan, actually.

        gothamette

        March 18, 2019 at EDT pm

      • Back in the days when Seattle was distinguishable from Knoxville, they were white working-class towns.

        gothamette

        March 19, 2019 at EDT pm

  4. I went to the HighLine for the first time a few weeks ago, right before this opened. What a nightmare. So crowded i was constantly bumping into people Maybe they should do timed tickets so you could enjoy the experience. And this was on a winter day. In summer, it must resemble a packed subway car.

    I agree w/ Lion. The kind of tourists i saw there would appreciate a food court at the end of it.

    Amused Observer

    March 18, 2019 at EDT pm

  5. Food halls are trendy and upscale while food courts are not.

    Peter

    ironrailsironweights

    March 18, 2019 at EDT pm

    • “Food halls are trendy and upscale while food courts are not.”

      I agree with you 100%. A food court would scream “prole!” Yet the idea of a food court makes so much sense, which is why those “food halls” were created to put a SWPL paint job over what would otherwise be prole.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      March 18, 2019 at EDT pm

      • What’s the difference?

        sestamibi

        March 18, 2019 at EDT pm

      • Food courts are a collection of your typical fast food chains that attract the usual prole/NAM crowd.

        Ok, what, who's this again?

        March 18, 2019 at EDT pm

      • So if SJW hipsters were ever stage an abortive coup in one of those eateries, it could be termed a “food hall putsch.”

        Oswald Spengler

        March 18, 2019 at EDT pm

    • “Trendy and upscale” is overrated. SWPLs are suckers for that kind of thing because they want to believe they’re better than the rest of the peasants. I would never eat at a mall no matter what they called it.

      destructure

      March 18, 2019 at EDT pm

    • I’ve been to food halls that are identical to food courts in design – that is they’re spaces with a large seating area in the middle surrounded by walls of food vendors. The only difference was that they were more expensive food vendors than the the typical fast food places in food courts. That and the fact that they were called food halls, rather than food courts.

      Tom

      March 18, 2019 at EDT pm

  6. They should have put a baseball/football stadium at Hudson Yards. Lost opportunity.

    Daniel Heneghan

    March 18, 2019 at EDT pm

  7. A walking tour:

    Back in the ‘80s, a combination outdoor/indoor mall bordering a large artificial lake opened in the Kendall area south of Miami. The outdoor mall did okay, but the indoor mall languished for many years. It was finally torn down about ten years ago and replaced by a cluster of restaurants and shops connected by an open terrace. It’s not too terribly far from where I live.

    Sometimes, if it’s not too hot, I order takeout from one of the restaurants and lounge by the lake for a while. The area is often nearly deserted.

    The people in this video are all speaking Spanish. That’s par for the course in Miami.

    My favorite indoor mall is the venerable Dadeland, still going strong even in this era of retail decline.

    Stan Adams

    March 18, 2019 at EDT pm

  8. Are there apartments in the Yards development? I’d be leery of them. The “apartments” that are always referenced in radio traffic reports are those four big Washington Heights apartment towers built directly over I95 in the 60s or 70s. I’m sure the people who moved in were assured that living over an interstate was safe, but I’ve read that in the lower apartments of those buildings you can smell exhaust fumes even with the windows all closed. Over a rail yard, I’m not sure if that would be better or worse air-wise than over an interstate, but I would not want to live there with diesel fumes, no matter how luxurious it could be.

    Mr Safety

    March 18, 2019 at EDT pm

    • I just remembered there are no diesel locomotives in that yard. My bad. Feel free to put down that deposit.

      Mr Safety

      March 18, 2019 at EDT pm

    • There are no diesel trains in Manhattan, they are all electric.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      March 18, 2019 at EDT pm

  9. Speaking of restaurants, I had an odd experience at the roadhouse across from Stanford today. First, the open table most convenient for us was right next to one with two lesbos kissing, one black, one either white or the lightest octoroon ever. I can’t stand that, so we move across the room, and after awhile a 70-ish white couple wearing Stanford garb sits down. The husband gets a call, and over the too-loud speaker I hear their daughter say, “Did you hear about our good friend Donna Brazile?” I couldn’t tell if they were being ironic or not.

    Marty

    March 18, 2019 at EDT pm

  10. I am involved in one the Empire Outlet store openings. The grand opening in April 18th. That being said a lot of retailers are pissed the Wheel is canceled. They were hoping to get millions of tourist costumers passing the mall for the Wheel as if its the 2nd coming of the London Eye.

    I don’t know who is shopping at the high-end shops at Hudson Yards. But then again Oculus has high end shops and is filled with prole tourists and PATH train commuters. Maybe the business model is selling a dozen expensive items a day.

    Jimi

    March 21, 2019 at EDT pm

    • The Oculus is in the financial district which is one of the most heavily trafficked places on Earth. Hudson yards, not so much. Still, I’m gonna visit. I’m curious.

      gothamette

      March 22, 2019 at EDT am


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