New York

New York Finalizes Plans for $7 Billion Penn Station Transformation

Governor Hochul just announced the approval of the project.

Image courtesy of NY Governor's Office
Image courtesy of NY Governor’s Office
Image courtesy of NY Governor’s Office

Penn Station could finally shed its reputation as a dingy dungeon, thanks to a new renovation plan that’s finally received approval.

Governor Kathy Hochul recently announced that the MTA, in partnership with NJ Transit and Amtrak, just approved the contract for the massive project to a joint venture of architects of FXCollaborative, engineering firm WSP, and British design studio John McAslan and Partners.

It is estimated that the record project will cost a whopping $6-7 billion, with a first-year base contract of up to $57.9 million to develop the preliminary station design.

“Since crews took a wrecking ball to the original Penn Station in 1963, generations of New Yorkers have been united in their call to build a new station worthy of New York,” Governor Hochul said in an official statement. “By approving the contract for the redesign of Penn Station, we move another step closer to getting it done. The transformation of Penn cannot come soon enough, and we look forward to building a world-class station that puts New Yorkers first, delivers a rider-focused transit experience, and a great neighbourhood they deserve.”

Last year, FXCollaborative and WSP unveiled the Penn Station Master Plan, which envisioned Penn Station becoming a 250,000-square-foot single-level facility built around a grand train hall and sprawling from Madison Square Garden to 2 Penn Plaza.

The project’s priorities list revolve around a better passenger experience in terms of flow and overcrowding, and more station entrances and exits will serve this goal. Improved safety and accessibility is also on the list with additional elevators, escalators, and waiting areas, and the project is also set to incorporate other retail and dining options. The current plan does not add train capacity, although a separate Gateway program is in the works to increase rail capacity between NYC and Newark, New Jersey by building new train tunnels under the Hudson River and renovating existing ones.

The changes are set to affect an estimated 650,000 daily commuters, who will also benefit from the presence of a new 30,000-square-foot public plaza outside the station featuring more bike lanes and docking stations as well as widened sidewalks. According to the master plan, high-rise residential towers will also be constructed, and they could create 1,800 apartments with 540 permanently affordable units. Additionally, the station will be integrated with the new Moynihan Train Hall.

“Awarding the design contract is a huge step forward in Governor Hochul’s effort to make Penn Station-once again!-a safe, world-class transit facility,” Janno Lieber, MTA Chair and CEO, said in an official statement. “The opening of Grand Central Madison in just a few months provides us with a once-a-century opportunity to rebuild Penn Station. With a sizable percentage of LIRR riders expected to shift their trips to Grand Central Madison, Penn Station will have five years with lower customer volumes before a new influx of customers arrives on Metro-North Railroad by 2027. The MTA wants to get most disruptive the work done before then, so I’m thrilled we are moving forward quickly with the design phase of this massive, long-delayed effort.”

Take a look at some of the project’s renderings here below:

Image courtesy of NY Governor's Office
Image courtesy of NY Governor’s Office
Image courtesy of NY Governor’s Office
Image courtesy of NY Governor's Office
Image courtesy of NY Governor’s Office
Image courtesy of NY Governor’s Office
Image courtesy of NY Governor's Office
Image courtesy of NY Governor’s Office
Image courtesy of NY Governor’s Office
Image courtesy of NY Governor's Office
Image courtesy of NY Governor’s Office
Image courtesy of NY Governor’s Office
Image courtesy of NY Governor's Office
Image courtesy of NY Governor’s Office
Image courtesy of NY Governor’s Office

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Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

New York

Scavenge for Peeps Cookies and More Fun Treats in NYC This Easter

The best Easter desserts in NYC this spring include Easter Bunny Churros and Carrot Cake Macarons.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

As spring makes its way through New York City, not only do we get to enjoy beautiful weather, stunning cherry blossoms, and cool activities priced at $Free.99, but it’s also the perfect time for some limited-edition desserts.

With Easter fast approaching, bakeries are filling their shops with tons of chocolate eggs, carrot cake-flavoured everything and all types of flavours that offer both nostalgia and innovation within the city’s dessert landscape. After you’ve picked up a cake from the city’s best new bakeries, from Easter Bunny Churros to Carrot Cake Macarons, here are 8 Easter desserts to try in NYC right now.

Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery

Throughout April
Various locations
There’s great news for devotees of Magnolia Bakery’s Classic Banana Pudding: For Easter, the spot is mixing up the iconic dessert’s vanilla pudding with some carrot cake. The Carrot Cake Pudding is filled with freshly grated carrots, coconuts, pineapples, raisins, and walnuts. And if both bananas and carrots aren’t your thing, they’ll be offering their Classic Vanilla Cupcakes in pastel colours with a Cadbury chocolate egg hidden inside.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

Funny Face Bakery

Through Easter Sunday
NoHo and Seaport
Known for their celebrity face and meme-worthy decorated cookies, fans of Funny Face Bakery know that a new fun design is always just around the corner. For Easter, they’ve created the adorable Hoppy Easter decorated cookie that resembles a classic box of marshmallow Peeps. Along with that, they also have the return of their fan-favourite Caramel Pretzel Chip cookie flavour, plus a set of three mini-decorated cookies perfect for gifting.

The Doughnut Project

Friday, April 7 through Easter Sunday
West Village
With the ever-changing flavours at The Doughnut Project, it’s super easy to miss out on trying out a new debut. But this Easter weekend, there will be two new flavours available. One is of course, a carrot cake doughnut topped with a cream cheese glaze, and the other is known as the Doughnut Nest-a French cruller “nest” with a cream-filled doughnut hole “egg” in the centre.

Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour

The Fragile Flour

Wednesday, April 5 through Easter Sunday
East Village
For stellar vegan desserts this holiday, head to The Fragile Flour, a plant-based bakery and dessert wine bar. They’re known for going all out for each holiday with a variety of new pastry options that you can pair perfectly with a glass of wine. This Easter, they’ll have a whole dessert menu that’s both delicious and gorgeous for posting on IG. The menu includes Stuffed Carrot Cake Cookies, a Lemon Cake (whole or by the slice), some festive cupcakes, and specialty macarons.

Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Through mid April
Midtown
For a luxurious take on Easter chocolates, browse the selections available at Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate. You can even pick the Easter Signature Chef’s Selection for a special box curated by award-winning chefs. For something other than chocolate, choose between the Carrot Cake Macarons or the cake flavored Easter Marshmallow Trio, both of which are almost too cute to eat.

La Churreria

Throughout April
Nolita
This churro-centric spot is putting the cutest Easter spin on their crispy cinnamon churros by twisting them up into bunnies and bunny ears. At Churreria, choose from a Bunny Churro Lollipop topped with your choice of chocolate or dulce de leche and sprinkles, or the bunny ear churros in the Ube and Matcha ice cream sundae or the Ube Milkshake, both of which are made with ice cream from il laboratorio del gelato.

Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci

Lafayette

Throughout April
NoHo
You’ve surely seen this croissant tons of times while scrolling through IG or TikTok, whether it’s the Pain au Chocolat one or the latest of the month. Known as Supr√™mes, these filled croissants went viral and continue to live up to the hype each time a new flavour comes out. April’s flavour-sour cherry amaretto with a Luxardo custard and toasted almonds. While you’ll have to be super early and wait in line during one of their three drops of the day to get a taste, we promise you it’ll be worth it.

Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain

Levain

Seasonal
Various locations
We all know the iconic cookies from Levain-they’re gigantic, perfectly crispy and chewy, and well worth the long lines. For spring, the shop is launching a new flavour: Caramel Coconut Chocolate Chip. Filled with gooey caramel chips, fresh shredded coconut, and melty dark chocolate, it’s one you’ve got to try while it’s still around. To further celebrate the new season, all of Levain’s storefronts will be decked out in spring floral displays, serving as the perfect backdrop for pictures.

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Alaina Cintron is an Editorial Assistant at Thrillist. Her work can also be found in Westchester Magazine, Girls’ Life, and Spoon University. When she’s not at her desk typing away, you can find her exploring a local coffee shop or baking a new recipe.

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