Inside the star-studded opening of the Shops at Hudson Yards, where A-listers including Anne Hathaway and Whoopi Goldberg came to see NYC's new $25 billion neighborhood

Hudson yards opening

Mark Lennihan/AP Images

Tastemakers and influencers flocked to the grand opening of The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards.

Last night, I was surrounded by dollar signs.

On my left, the real-life version of "Gossip Girl" - millennials wearing ascot scarfs, bow ties, and an air of confidence. To my right, female influencers dressed to what I call the "Instagram nines" - red lipstick, fur coats, and stiletto boots patterned with a dollar bill print.Advertisement

I was at the grand opening of The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards, a shopping destination in New York City's new $25 billion Hudson Yards neighborhood that began construction about four years ago. It's the most expensive real-estate development in US history.

Tastemakers, influencers, socialites, and celebrities - basically New York's elite and then some - congregated at the invite-only party, which Sharif El Gamal of Soho Properties described as "Sim City on steroids, but real" to Real Deal reporter Rich Bockmann. Bockmann himself said the event resembled "a circus."

My first impression fell somewhere along the lines of, "This is lit."

Read more: I got a tour of a $14 million penthouse in NYC's new $25 billion Hudson Yards neighborhood and found that it was perfectly designed to show off its best asset

hudson yards night

Mark Lennihan/AP Images

Reportedly 22,000 people showed up to the grand opening of The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards.

Perhaps that's because 8,000 people were invited - but, according to Vogue, some 13,000 showed up over the course of the evening. I wasn't surprised - it felt more packed than Times Square, but with fewer tourists.Advertisement

It was especially crowded in the area where I spent a lot of my time: the grand opening of queensyard, the British-inspired restaurant by luxury restaurant group D&D London, whose portfolio of restaurants has been visited by celebrities and royalty like Princess Diana and Naomi Campbell. It stayed popping until 2 a.m., well past the time the rest of the grand openings at The Shops began to shut down.


Will Stanley

queensyard was one of the most popular places at the grand opening of The Shops.

I couldn't blame the crowd - I had a hard time myself parting with the grilled cheddar cheese and truffle toasties, not to mention the Moët vending machine.Advertisement

Moet machine

Hillary Hoffower

The Moët vending machine at queensyard.

I ended up missing my red carpet moment, but Anne Hathaway didn't.


anne hathaway

Evan Agostini/AP Images

Nor did Lin-Manuel Miranda.

lin manuel

Evan Agostini/AP Images

Whoopi Goldberg was also there.Advertisement

And Andy Cohen.

And Tom Brady. Advertisement

And that's not to mention designers Diane von Furstenberg and Vera Wang.

Liza Minnelli performed as part of the grand opening of The Shops' Neiman Marcus, the city's first brick-and-mortar edition of the retailer. There was also a marching band, tap dancers, and a capella singers.


marching band

Mark Lennihan/AP Images

The night's entertainment.

I ended up topping off my evening with a final glass of red and a stroll through an art gallery in The Shops.

Hudson Yards Art

Hillary Hoffower

Art at The Shops.

Brian Underwood, director of Oprah magazine, dubbed the grand opening "the fanciest mall party I've ever been to," on Instagram.Advertisement

Same, Brian, same.