As Taylor Swift famously opined, "Haters gonna hate, hate, hate." When the renderings of Hudson Yards were first made public, no element elicited quite so much derision as this massive interactive statue. Designed by Thomas Heatherwick, the open tower is covered by copper-colored stainless steel, is either basket-, pineapple- or schwarma-shaped (depending on your Freudian disposition), and is made up of 154 sets of stairs that interlink in a complex fashion to 80 platforms. For the Fitbit set: That makes almost 2,500 individual steps (there is an elevator to the top, as well). 

Vessel New York City
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I was ready to dislike it, too, but it takes on a certain kooky majesty in person, especially if you climb it. Yes, its shiny peach-colored skin looks too Austin Powers-ish from the outside, but once you’re climbing the interior, it catches the light in a way that feels more mesmerizing than garish. The interlocking weave of the structure, which cuts up the views into geometric segments, is also thrilling to experience from the inside, and turns even the most pedestrian photographer into an Instagram master. I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up New York City's Eiffel Tower: reviled when first erected, but eventually the city's most beloved icon.

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Though the statue is free to climb, timed tickets are required. These can be found online; some are released in advance, some at 9:30am each morning; and sometimes there are also tickets on site for the taking (early in the day). Do note that on weekends, the structure does often sell out. Also note that when there are high winds, the structure closes to climbers for safety reasons. With its ramp entrance and interior elevator, the Vessel is handicapped accessible.

Vessel, New York City, Thomas Heatherwick

One final note: The Vessel may no longer be known by that name when you visit. It’s a placeholder name which the developers hope to change, though they hadn’t set a date for the name change as we went to press.
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