Photos from The Vessel & Glass Bottom Observation Deck

Over the Weekend I was in NYC to celebrate my friend Thanuja Hamilton’s birthday, happy official birthday girl tomorrow, the first day of Spring. While there I stopped by the newly opened Hudson Yards which is the new miracle on 34th Street, cross street 10th. It’s a new housing, office, shopping mall, museum, park complex. It’s magnificent, opulent, with lots of public space for tourists and locals to enjoy.

Hudson Yards is here after a dozen years of planning and $16 billion of construction — and Manhattan won’t be the same. The first half of a 27-acre, $28 billion, something-for-everyone mini-city between 10th and 11th avenues in the lower West 30s. (NY Post)

After walking through the beautiful mall, Mike and I headed to the biggest tourist attraction since the Statue of Liberty, The Vessel. The Vessel, designed by Thomas Heatherwick with a structural steel frame covered by a polished copper-color cladding, is one of the can’t-miss sights, with its series of 154 intricately interconnected flights of stairs (2,500 individual steps). You have to get a free timed ticket by either ordering online or picking up on site.

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The entire experience is exhilarating, as well as a lot of selfie moments.

There’s even a selfie station at the bottom of The Vessel, where you put down your phone, set the time and pose for a photo.

There is an elevator, but it strictly for ADA folks,

although I’m sure if your experiencing vertigo at the top they’ll take you down. I can’t wait to go back to see the sunset.

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In a few months, the highest observation deck in New York City will be opening at Hudson Yards. At 1100 feet it is 50 feet higher than the former highest observation deck, the Empire State Building. The only bummer part for me is it only faces East, so the actual sunset won’t be able to be seen, but that doesn’t mean magical light won’t still dance off the skyline of New York City. By the way, this will be the first observation deck in Manhattan with an exhilarating glass floor. My heart is racing already. No word on the fee for this excitement yet. One floor above the observation deck on the 101th floor will be a 10,000-square-foot bar, restaurant and event space, with 360 degree views for miles. For more info on the properties click here.


OPENING SOON New Restaurants on Chestnut Street – And A Food Review

I took a walk around Philly Thursday and noticed a few new eateries that are about to make the City a little more exciting.

I’m really excited that my favorite pizza place is opening up downtown at 703 Chestnut Street. Luigi’s Pizza Fresca. They have a few stores in South Jersey and one across the street from where I live in Fairmount. For a short time they owned Lulu’s at 236 Market Street, but that place has since closed.
I chatted with the gal at the Fairmount location and she said that within a week the new location should be opened. They use the best cheese and have the best chicken wings.

 Update on Butcher Bar (2034 Chestnut Street.) which is owned by the Valanni/Varga/Mercato’s George Anni. It’s supposed to be completed by June 2015. I’m a big fan of their eateries so I look forward to patronizing this nugget. You can read more here at PhillyMag’s Foobooz.
 Utrecht Art Supplies at 2020 Chestnut St closed a few years back, but seems to be on the brink of new life.
as the KJ Choi Corporation has filed for a liquor license.
You may know them as the folks who own Food & Friends in Rittenhouse Square. It’s a cute grocery store, coffee shop and beer take out place. Now the sign has been up there for a little bit, but I checked with the LCB and the application is still pending. I have no doubt as this will happen as the it’s right near several new residential high rises. (Photos above borrowed from Yelp.)
 The Chestnut Street – Philly Bagels Place is just about to open. I love their Hot Bagels sign. They’re located across from Nordstrom Rack at 17th and Chestnut Street.
Not on Chestnut, but noteworthy. 
I went to Gyukaku Philly last week. The idea is kinda fun, there’s a hibachi grill in the middle of the table, and you have an option to cook your own meat, and vegetables. Kory and I both had appetizers, and he had two drinks. I had a diet coke. The bill was $101, which I think is a little expensive. I would call this a date place or with lots of friends place. I was surprised that the eatery itself seemed so worn already, unless they were going for that. And now a word from our sponsors.
 The Shishito Peppers are back at Penn 6. I really love them.