5 cool spots at Hudson Yards

As the new shopping destination opens for business, some places you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in NYC

  • Inside the Hudson Yards shopping center. Photo: Emily Mason

  • Vessel is visible from 3den. Photo: Emily Mason

  • Robot spider at B8ta. Photo: Emily Mason

The Vessel’s crossing stairways loomed overhead as windswept crowds walked towards the Hudson Yards entrance, the day after the new shopping center’s grand opening, which boasted celebrity guests like Anne Hathaway, Karlie Kloss and Dylan Sprouse. The Hudson Yards shopping center and Vessel structure opened to the masses on Saturday, free for climbing and shopping. The two attractions are intimately connected, with the shopping center featuring a wall of windows so that from each of the four floors patrons have a view of British architect Thomas Heatherwick’s massive honeycomb-like creation. While the center hosts well-trafficked and recognized brands like Muji, Uniqlo, Aritzia and Banana Republic, the real reason to head to Hudson Yards — despite the crowds — are for the spots you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in New York.

1. B8ta

Drawn in by strange contraptions in the windows, customers enter B8ta confused, but soon discover a new-age shop where one can learn about, discover and try an assortment of tech products new to the market. A cluster of people watch a robot spider crawling about a table, children type frantically on a new Bluetooth-enabled typewriter keyboard, while adults marvel at the robot bartender that boasts “perfect cocktails every time.” Each month B8ta will feature new products for customers to test out, then have shipped straight to their doors.

2. sundays

sundays brings manicures to a new level of relaxation with headphones playing a guided meditation for customers while they get their nails done. The polishes are all from the company’s own non-toxic, vegan, cruelty-free line of colors. At the end, they apply quick-dry oil that means you’re ready to walk out the door in 15 minutes — without having to listen to a hand-dryer. During your 15 minute drying time, you can enjoy fresh herbal tea, write a letter to yourself (which sundays will mail to you in a month) or write what you’re grateful for in their communal gratitude journal.

3. 3den

Two young men stand at the entrance, directing curious patrons to download the 3den app, promising it’ll only take a minute. Inside, adult swings and peaceful tables adjacent to a giant window overlooking Vessel is intriguing enough to persuade onlookers to download the app. At 3den, customers can access showers, fresh ready-to-go food, a meditation den, private phone booths and soon even nap pods which can be reserved for 30 minutes sessions. The first store of its kind, 3den is designed for all of the “in-between” times, providing any space or amenity you may need to make your day go smoothly. All purchases are made through the app, including the $6 fee for every 30 minutes spent in the space.

4. Snark Park

Snark Park is the latest venture of Snarkitecture, best-known for creating the cereal ice cream bar treats inside many of the Kith brand clothing stores. The Park is an interactive art space where patrons can jump on bean bags, enter columns and rotating chairs, and touch and feel everything inside, unlike the restrictions in typical art museums. Currently on display is the “Lost and Found” exhibit where tickets cost $28 for adults and $22 for children. For those who aren’t into interactive art, there are also clothing collections on display and Kith ice cream bars. Regardless of what you’re there for, be sure to be ahead of time — the line gets long quickly!

5. HYxOffTheWall

Each level of Hudson Yards has at least three large-scale commissioned works by influential artists, like Jeanette Hayes and Willie Cole. Many of the pieces are interactive, like “I WAS HERE,” a wall of sequins where people can draw and write with their fingers in multi-colored glimmering panels, or “Combing Season” where children can be spotted combing a white, black or pink hairy square with a face attached to a yellow wall with black dog bones painted on. The project pursued unusual pieces to encourage reflection and interaction with the pieces.

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