The city that never sleeps may have been forced to catch a few winks this past year thanks to the pandemic – but don’t for one minute think that it wasn’t dreaming of the new ways it was going to delight the visitors that would eventually return!
There’s no denying the city saw plenty of gloomy days but through it all there were still rays of light that managed to peek through here and there. And those rays of light come in the form of new activities to experience, new Broadway shows to applaud and new upgrades and additions to transportation hubs. Meaning that when you head back to Gotham, you’ll have some new NYC attractions to explore along with your tried-and-true favorites.
So, let’s take a look at what is putting the new back in New York City, shall we?
Look, Up In The Sky!
First up – if you’re not afraid of heights, there’s a new observation deck coming to town. The oh-so-grand One Vanderbilt building is taking advantage of its stature – 73 floors – and adding a viewing deck that will be open to the public. In case you aren’t familiar – One Vanderbilt is the tallest office building in Midtown and the fourth tallest building in New York City. Towering over Midtown East The Summit will be the second-highest outdoor deck in NYC – coming in behind last year’s newest addition to the city’s growing number of observation decks, The Edge at Hudson Yards. And perhaps to “edge out” number one – The Summit will have not one, but two glass floor ledges. Featuring both indoor and outdoor viewing – as well as food and beverage options – this approximately 1000-foot-high view is sure to be breathtaking. Be on the lookout for its grand opening in October 2021.
Walking On Water
Prefer to stay closer to street level? Hudson River Park’s Little Island at Pier 55 in Chelsea is an alternate option that will still give you glorious views – but with its highest lookout point being just 63 feet. Scheduled to open this spring, Little Island is a 2.4 acre raised green space that sits on the Hudson River and was constructed of concrete pods to give the illusion that it is floating on the water. The pods actually resemble funnels and one can pretty much guarantee you have never seen anything like this joyful piece of art that also happens to be an escape from the hustle and bustle that is Manhattan. Aside from its city and harbor views – you will also find plenty of lawn space for relaxing, all types of trees, flowers and shrubs, plus an outdoor amphitheater.
The Neon Lights Are Bright
If you ask just about anyone that lives in or visits NYC often what they miss the most about the city, Broadway shows are going to be in the top five, if not number one for most people. When Broadway went dark – the city itself seemed to fall into darkness with it. But the good news is that in addition to all of the shows that will be returning to the Great White Way there will also be new additions that have been waiting in the wings – so to speak. Among them are MJ The Musical – with the M standing for Michael and the J being Jackson. Based on the life and songs of the King of Pop this show was originally scheduled to open in the summer of 2020 and most recently has been rescheduled to start previews in September of this year – and dare I say it’s guaranteed to be off the wall! Then, going from one music man to another, Hugh Jackman’s very much anticipated run as Harold Hill in The Music Man has also had its opening pushed back and is now slated to start in previews this December – with a capital “D that rhymes with P…” of course.
Planes, Trains and …
Ahhh, Penn Station. I always felt kind of bad for Penn Station – almost like it was Grand Central’s unfortunate stepsister or that make-believe princess before her fairy godmother came on the scene. While researching for this blog I did discover that it apparently did once have its heyday – but that was well before a large part of it was torn down to make room for Madison Square Garden. Anyway, just like that long-suffering princess eventually did, Penn Station is finally getting its day in the sun – thanks to its newest addition, the world-class Moynihan Train Hall. This means – should you be arriving in New York City via Amtrak – you will be greeted by an atrium that boasts a 92-foot glass slipper…umm…ceiling, modern waiting areas and eventually a variety of food and retail options to keep you well-fed as well as occupied.
Now if you are arriving via air and are scheduled to make your entrance through LaGuardia Airport… Well, let’s cut to the chase. I am sure you have all heard some complaints about this particular NYC airport. And yes – it too may have had that fairy tale princess syndrome going on in the past – but thanks to an ongoing overhaul it is quickly starting to upstage its stepsister’s aka Newark and JFK. To start, the new and greatly improved Terminal B – which opened pretty much right at the height of the pandemic in June of 2020 – features four stories and is 50% larger than the old Terminal B – space that was needed long before social distancing became an everyday term. And of course, it’s not stopping there as work on Terminal C is expected to be completed in early 2022 and there are plenty of other modernization plans on the horizon that will continue to transform it into a force to be reckoned with.
Yup – the Big Apple is getting polished up and cannot wait for you to discover it all over again – the old and the new! And great news – the quarantine for domestic travelers expires April 1st and vaccines are rolling out across the country so there is no better time than now to make plans to come to see us and check out all these new NYC attractions!