New York is celebrating an engineering wonder today.
“You should come out and see it. It’s nice to be here with actual… erm…humans.”
The first seconds of Barry Diller’s interview about the opening of Little Island — a $260 million park off Lower Manhattan — describe how we all feel right now.
Barry Diller is a new York media mogul and billionaire who founded Fox Broadcasting Company and USA Broadcasting and now sits as chairman of IAC/InterActiveCorp and Expedia Group.
In his interview, he’s describing Little Island like a visitor from another galaxy. Only aliens would call other people humans. But we probably all feel alienated emerging from year-long lockdowns. Nevertheless, we have many things to look forward to in the short term.
Lower Manhattan has got a brand new park-island that sits on tulip-shaped pillars above the Hudson River.
The public park is located offers a mix of nature and art, with features like an education hub for kids and a stage for live performances. The 2.4-acre public park also has other unique aspects, including free arts programs for visitors.
The ambitious, curved structure is made to resemble a leaf gliding on water.
Thomas Heatherwick’s UK-based Heatherwick Studio led the structural design of this project, while Signe Nielsen at MNLA was in charge of leading the landscape aspects of this project.
Barry Diller and Diane von Fürstenber are the two biggest spearheading this project. The duo financed Little Island with some $260 million over the period of almost seven years. During the time, the Little Island was shut down multiple times.
While everyone agrees that fresh greenspaces are much needed for everyone, the project still took seven years to finish. "No good deed goes unpunished," as the old saying goes.
The City Club of New York pushed several lawsuits against opening the Little Island, quoting that the process was not evaluated or transparent enough.
The lawsuits were initially dismissed in New York State Supreme and Appellate Courts, but the separate set of lawsuits tanked the project eventually. Little Island was a lost cause until Governor Andrew Cuomo didn’t resurrect its fate and urged the City Club of New York to drop the lawsuit.
“Given how many revolutions this went through, from starting to dying and starting again, I was actually awestruck when I could actually look up and see it,” Diller shared with Wall Street Journal. “I walked on [the island] and felt pure, actual joy, which is not something I can say happens very often.”
Diverse New York creators are set to curate art events and unique festivals together with the park’s community partners, creating an exciting and incredible place for anyone to visit.
Little Island will become a hidden gem in the heart of Manhattan. It offers an immersive experience, with sights and sounds to satisfy anyone from thrill-seekers to young families with kids. Little Island will host over 500 events just this year, which comes out at almost three events per day.
The entrance is located right off Manhattan’s West Side Highway on West 13th and 14th streets. Littel Islands is open every day from 6:00 a.m. until 1 a.m. If you wish to visit the new engineering miracle, make sure to book your tickets online and in advance, as the park can get busy.
Visitors can embark on personal mini-adventures upon arriving in Little Island. Hard-working Manhattan people can take off some workday stress and enjoy something unique and different.
New York is still under mild lockdown restrictions. Take care of your health, and make sure to comply with the latest CDC guidelines.
Find more about Little Island’s schedules and events on this link here.