It is said that nothing on Earth can achieve a state of perpetual motion. But I sometimes wonder if New York doesn’t disprove the assertion. Each time I return, the city has always changed, grown and evolved. In the past year it received almost 60 million visitors, and Broadway enjoyed its best season ever in 2015-2016 with grosses of $1.3 billion and audiences of 13.3 million. And then there is the constant physical change. Despite the center of the city being a relatively small island of just 22 square miles, the rate of development has soared. Downtown, work continues at the World Trade Center, while on the West Side a former rail yard is being transformed into the largest private real estate project in the United States and the biggest in New York since Rockefeller Center was built in the 1930s.
Called Hudson Yards, it will encompass 4,000 residences, 100 shops, 14 acres of open space and a number of major corporate headquarters — Coach and L’Oreal USA have already moved in, and Time Warner, CNN, Turner Broadcasting, Warner Bros. and financial giant BlackRock will be joining them. Helping to spur this development was the extension of the 7 Flushing subway line. Elsewhere, the Second Avenue subway, a dream project since the 1920s, saw the debut of the first section, covering from 96th to 63rd Street.
Four Seasons Adds a Downtown Location
With the surge of visitors have come new additions to the ranks of high-end hotels and restaurants. Thanks to a choice location on East 57th Street and stunning architecture by I.M. Pei, the Four Seasons Hotel New York has long been a favorite with Harper subscribers. Now, the Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown has opened on Barclay Street at the border of Tribeca and the Financial District, taking up the first 24 floors of an 82-story tower designed by noted architect Robert A. M. Stern. The 189 rooms and suites range in size from 400 to 2,400 square feet. Especially appealing are the Gotham Suites with Terrace, with their own outdoor spaces and fabulous downtown views.