New York trip highlights 2019 (pt 4)

Madison Square Garden was one of our top venues we were interested in visiting while in New York. Also known as the Garden, it is a multi-purpose indoor arena located in Midtown Manhattan. That place is rich in history as a premier venue not only in hosting world class sporting events, but also concerts and other kinds of entertainment for the global audience.

I was ecstatic when realized that the venue organized daily tours for visitors to immersed themselves in the rich history behind Madison Square Garden and it did not disappoint. The indoor arena is huge and expansive. An ice-hockey rink was set up on the day of our tour and we could see hockey teams practicing in the rink. We were fortunate enough that there weren’t any events happening on that day so that we can book the tour of the place.

The Hudson Yards is a recent real-estate development in the Chelsea and Hudson Yards neighborhoods comprising of various complexes and buildings filled with offices, shopping malls, dining areas and various green spaces for the public to enjoy. While we were there, the development was largely completed, especially the famous Vessel and the shopping mall area. Only a couple of building were still under construction, including the observatory at the top of the tallest building within the development.

The complex is beautiful, comprising of various building in gleaming steel and glass, which dramatically changes the Manhattan city skyline. The most iconic part of Hudson Yards is the Vessel, located within the Public Plaza.

The Vessel is a permanent art installation located at the center of the plaza. It is a 16-storey, copper colored freestanding structure of connected staircases. It was opened to the public while I was there, but because it just recently opened, the response was overwhelming that they had to issue tickets for anyone who wishes to enter the structure and explore the place and take pictures. We did not managed to get tickets to enter because there was a snaking queue filled with people like us wanting to explore the structure. In the end, we just took photos outside. Even then, the structure from the outside was majestic. I have never seen anything like it. And it is 16 storeys, a behemoth, considering that this is just an art installation. Although, to their credit, it was quite ingenious of the developers to install such art installation that allows people to enter, explore the place and take Instagram worthy pictures.

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Hudson Yards is also connected to the High Line, a 2.33 KM long elevated linear park, greenway and rail trail. The linear park is built on a disused, southern viaduct section of the New York Central Railroad line known as the West Side Line. The disused line was transformed into a park and green space for the public to enjoy and it has achieved tremendous success in bringing New Yorkers and tourists alike in seeing Manhattan from a different perspective.

Along the trail, we saw interesting graffiti, interspersed between old and new buildings, offices and high end residential neighbourhood. We also encounter interesting shops, farmer’s markets selling interesting fresh produce. The whole trail is beautiful and I saw a lot of people taking walks and enjoying the view.

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