There are a lot of grand plans gracing the city in the near future. The Market Line, a semi-underground public market on the Lower East Side, is set to open in 2018.
The Hills, a 10-acre park with panoramic views of the New York Harbor, is expected to open on Governor's Island in 2017. The world's first underground garden, The Lowline, is expected to open around 2020.
It turns out, though, that we don't have to sit around twiddling our thumbs, waiting forever for good things to come. There are exciting changes happening in the city this year, in 2016.
So the New Year has come and gone, champagne has been drunk, and New Year's resolutions have probably already been broken (though keeping them is totally possible too).
Now that we're facing the reality of the New Year, it's good to get yourself totally hyped about all the awesome changes that'll happen in the city this year.
Read on to find out what we're most excited for in New York City in 2016.
1. Opening of the 2nd Avenue subway line
will_cherrytree Silence is golden on a Tuesday #2ndavenuesubway
Everyone knows the Lexington Avenue line is overcrowded. Is it as overcrowded as the L train? We're not sure, but they'd definitely give each other a run for their money.
Still, we're excited about the completion of the 2nd Avenue subway line for a lot of reasons.
Why? Well, we're tired of weaving through the construction on the Upper East Side. We're tired of walking West to take the subway downtown just to walk east again, and we also can't wait to be whisked around the city faster.
Obviously, there has been talk about the MTA not making the date they set for themselves to have the line completed: December 2016. Especially after the line's budget was sliced by 50% after MTA's 2015-2019 Capital Plan was approved.
Still, we're remaining optimistic about the situation. We're choosing to trust the MTA on this one, and believe that the line will be completed this year.
Mostly because the construction is too terrible to continue, but also because we're too excited to wait any longer.
2. The World Trade Center's Oculus
nytimes The $3.7 billion World Trade Center Transportation Hub will soon house the luxury Westfield World Trade Center mall, which calls itself “the most complete retail destination in New York City, the most alluring retail landmark in the world.” But a persistent water leak, among other things, has delayed the opening of the $1.4 billion shopping center. The problems of building such a complex structure — a four-block-long interconnected network with the soaring Oculus as its centerpiece — have nearly doubled the price tag that was estimated 12 years ago. @bryanthomasphoto photographed construction crews working at the #Oculus on Monday.
After 10 years of construction, Oculus, the $1.4 billion shopping center beside the $3.7 billion rail terminal at the World Trade Center will open in March.
As you may have expected, the city had the choice between going hard or going home when it came to designing Oculus. They chose going hard. The shopping center will house more than 100 tenants, including Apple, Eataly, Michael Kors and Kate Spade.
Oculus will feature an event space for concerts, performances, broadcasts and fashion shows. Its transportation hub will connect 11 subway lines, several MTA bus routes, ferry service, and parking garages.
Plus, the structure itself is stunning. It's steel-winged, and designed to evoke bird imagery. So, yeah, we expect to be sipping wine and twirling pasta at Eataly in Oculus in no time. 2016, here we come.
3. Governor's Ball
donewyorkcity The Governors Ball lineup is here and tickets are on sale now. Visit donyc.com/govball for more info on how you can snag tickets for a special price, today only. We're ready to #DoGovBall! #GovBallNYC
Governor's Ball is always a blast in this city. It would be weirder for Governor's Ball to be lame than incredible.
Still, when we saw this year's lineup, we sort of lost our lunch. In the best way possible. In a way that made us feel like June 3rd through June 5th will be the best days in NYC in 2016.
Kanye West will be there. Two Door Cinema Club, Matt and Kim, and the Cold War Kids will be there.
The Strokes and The Killers will be there, doing their things (that we haven't exactly seen in a while), as will Death Cab for Cutie, Of Monsters and Men, Mac Miller, Mike Snow, and many more.
We know it seems like we just listed off a bunch of our favorite performers, but that's not what was happening. We were regaling the list of incredible musicians who will rock out at Randall's Island Park for Governor's Ball in 2016.
Can't afford the pricey tickets? Find a friend with a roof deck in East Harlem and jam out there. This works.,
4. Penn Station's new food court
thepennsy It's almost game time. 1 Day Countdown! #ThePennsy #EATDRINKREPEAT
Penn Station is not our favorite place in the city. In fact, it's one of our least favorite places in the city.
Still, Penn Station's future is bright. Just last week, Governor Cuomo announced plans to renovate Penn Station, rename it Empire Station, and basically make it a much more pleasant place to travel in and out of; which makes sense since more than 600,000 commuters pass through Penn Station daily.
We're definitely going to have to wait years before this plan is actualized, though. However, Penn Station will become infinitely more delightful this very year, in 2016. Why? Well, opening just this week is a new, delicious, upscale food court called Pennsy, occupying the space that used to hold Borders.
The new food court features a stand called Mario by Mary, innovated by Mary Giuliani and Mario Batali, and serving soups and Italian sandwiches. It's also got stands for The Lobster Press, The Little Beet, Cinnamon Snail, and Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors.
Pennsy has a full bar and lounge, second floor space for events, and it'll have an outdoor area in the summer. Basically, we're expecting that visiting Penn Station will be a much more delicious and positive experience in 2016.
5. Return of Astor Place's Cube
paddle8 The scene from the #AstorPlaceCube is especially picturesque on this sunny day.
It may seem minor to you, but to us and the guy who dressed up as the Cube for Halloween, it's a very big deal. The Cube's been gone for more than a year while they constructed the new Astor Plaza, but we recently received word that the Cube would be back in the spring.
The Cube's return is a relief for us, because the crosswalk situation at Astor Place right now is pretty dangerous and confusing, also we feel really disoriented without it.
When the Cube makes its return, it'll have been renovated and restored, and probably rejuvenated after its rest from the public eye in New Jersey.
Astor Plaza will have widened sidewalks, new lampposts, and more landscaping. All good things.
6. Every subway station will have Wi-Fi
thatkaragirl Looks like #NYC is catching up with #London. Check it out, @kate1c! 😄 #subway #subwaywifi #londonunderground #14thstreet
By November of 2015, more than half the subway stations had been plugged into the wireless internet of the World Wide Web.
Being able to surf the internet on the train is glorious. We can look up directions, respond to emails, and tell all our friends we're so sorry we're going to be late again because of who we are as people.
According to The Verge, Governor Cuomo has now made a promise to bring Wi-Fi to all 278 subway stations by the end of 2016. Cuomo's also promised mobile payments and USB charging stations in addition to underground access to our text messages and emails.
So when it comes to complaining that the train is stopped underground via text message, plus avoiding complete battery drainage, the future of the subway for 2016 looks pretty promising.[Feature Image Courtesy Instagram]