High on my summer bucket list this year was to check out The Vessel and the surrounding area of Hudson Yards. I hopped onto their website and booked free tickets for two weeks out (which is what they’re currently allowing you to book for), for the earliest time slot available, 10am. We arrived at 9:45am and there was already a line beginning to snake around the giant sculpture, but luckily it moves fairly quickly.
The Vessel is basically a series of winding staircases leading up, up, up, with gorgeous views getting better and better the higher you go. You can make your way all around the sculpture, just by choosing separate staircases to explore. On one side you get a great view of the Hudson River, and another of the Hudson Yards, cranes, and the massive construction that is being undergone. Augusten’s favorite part was peeping at the cranes and dump trucks, of course;-)
Start to finish (with plenty of stops for rests and photos), we were exploring for about 45 minutes. Afterwards, I’d recommend popping by the massive shopping mall directly behind it. It’s for sure full of luxury stores (read: insanely pricey), but they also have price point accessible stores such as Zara, H&M, and Muji. The food selection is also great and varied, ranging from the casual Shake Shack for mushroom burgers and fries to the swanky Zodiac Room for afternoon tea at Neiman Marcus.
Make sure to wear comfy shoes built for climbing (heels are a big no-no for The Vessel, in case you had any questions on that:-) It also gets super sunny with all the light reflecting off the brass and glass, so I’d recommend a sturdy pair of sunnies. I’m loving these cat eye glasses, complete with a floral frame for summer. The price point just can’t be beat, and the polarized lenses will reduce glare and haze from your NYC adventures all summer long. Bonus points: you can even upload a photo of your face directly to their website and “try on” as many glasses as you want until you find the perfect pair!
Tips For Visiting The Vessel:
—while there is an elevator, it is ONLY available to be used by people with true disabilities. a family with small kids was trying to get on, and the staff gave them a hard NO. so i’d definitely recommend only bringing kids who are light enough to be carried or can trek up on their own (Augusten, age 3.5, was able to get up, we just paused at every landing for a little rest;-)
–tickets are for an hour, so for example, if you have a 10am ticket you can enter anytime between 10 and 11. however, once in you’re welcome to stay as long as you want.
–you can book up to 6 free tickets on their website.
–if you don’t score tickets online (they do seem to get snagged pretty quickly), they offer same day tickets beginning at 9:30am onsite. a woman and her child walked right up and got them for the first time slot when we were there, so this is definitely an option!
–there’s plenty of outdoor space and seating around The Vessel. great for either bringing your own picnic, or snagging food inside the shops and eating it al fresco.
Happy summer adventuring!