7 Extension a Great Addition, Say Early Adopters | chelseanow.com

7 Extension a Great Addition, Say Early Adopters

Sept17_QA_JamesMadeline

James and Madeleine Ford

INTERVIEWS & PHOTOS BY YANNIC RACK | James Ford was passing by the new 34 St.-Hudson Yards  7 Station with his eight-year-old daughter Madeleine on Sunday, riding a tandem bike. The two were on their way from Hamilton Heights, where they live, to Governors Island for a day trip — but decided to check out the new stop on the way. Although they won’t be using the station regularly, they were impressed, and eagerly snapped pictures. “It’s awesome! I heard of it [on the radio] this morning, and I thought it would be awesome to see it,” Madeleine said. “One day I can show my grandchildren a picture of me in front of this station when it opened.”

James and Madeleine Ford

BILL & DEBORAH SAMPSON

On Sunday, September 13, Bill and Deborah Sampson were among the first to try out the new station.“We travelled all the way from the Upper West Side to see this,” Bill joked. “It was very pristine. It even smells new, like a new car,” Deborah said of the station, noting that they haven’t been regular visitors to the area “because there was nothing here before. We caught a Megabus once, but that’s it,” she said. “This park is very pretty, too,” she added, referring to the grand opening of nearby Hudson Park (W. 33rd to W. 36th Sts., mid-block btw. 10th & 11th Aves.). 

The Sampsons regularly come to the Jacob Javits Center, and they appreciate the closer connection. They have also noticed the rejuvenation of the area ever since Section 1 of the High Line elevated park opened in 2009. “Whenever we have visitors from out of town, it’s to the High Line. And this is a nice addition,” remarked Bill of the Hudson Park space, which has fountains, sitting areas, a playground, and a kiosk. “Now there’ll be some nice restaurants over here soon.”

Sept17_QA_SteveAaronSTEVE & AARON SALEE

Marveling at the digital advertising screens installed in the station was Aaron Salee, 8, who had taken one of the first trains from Times Square with his father, Steve, on Sunday. He won’t use the extension on his commute, Steve said, but wanted to show the station to Aaron, who is a big fan of trains. “It’s really cool,” Aaron said, shyly looking around. “It’s beautiful,” added his dad. “It’s bright, open and airy. It’s amazing what happens when the city of New York contributes to the cost of transit infrastructure in its own city. It should be doing more.”

 

Sept17_QA_SylvioSYLVIO LAMISERE

On Monday morning, Sylvio Lamisere was riding the extension from Times Square to the new station at Hudson Yards with his phone in hand, taking smiling selfies and narrating videos on Snapchat. “We’re pulling into the new station, this is it!” he said into his camera, visibly excited.

Lamisere lives in Queens and works on 11th Ave. and W. 26th St., eight blocks south of the station. “So this is like the perfect train station for me because now it’s closer to my work,” he said, adding that he estimates the new extension will shorten his commute by around 20 minutes. “I’ve been waiting for the opening for a while now. I used to take the 7 train to Roosevelt Station, then take the E train all the way to 23rd St. and get off at Eighth Ave. and then walk all the way to 11th Ave. It was a hassle, and now I just take one train.”

He also praised the station for its air-conditioning and the inclined elevator that diagonally runs the length of seven stories, from the upper to the lower mezzanine. “This is going to be a new age for train stations,” he said. “And hopefully more new train stations will be built like this.” Asked about the numerous delays leading up to the previous day’s opening, he shrugged. “It’s New York, man. Things like this happen all the time.”

Sept17_QA_LilyLILY QUARTARARO

Lily Quartararo was walking around the station rather aimlessly on Monday morning, trying to figure out which exit would take her closest to her job on 12th Ave. and W. 28th St., six blocks away. An MTA employee finally informed her that she only had one choice. “So far I think it’s beautiful,” she said of the station. Quartararo, who lives on Long Island, said she has been working in the area for six months and used to walk to work from Eighth Ave. and W. 33rd St.

“It was the worst commute of my life, and I’ve been commuting for 30 years,” she said, adding that she’s been hoping the station would open before the winter. “I used to walk. I didn’t have much of a choice. It’s a long walk, like four avenues and five or six blocks. In the cold, it’s horrible. This stop won’t save me any time, I think, but in the cold it will help to be closer.”

Sept17_QA_BlancheBLANCHE CORTES

Although most visitors to the station on Monday were rushing through on their way to work, only stopping to snap a picture here and there, some were there just to see the new facility. “I grew up here. This is awesome. I had to come, are you kidding?” said Blanche Cortes, who made the trip all the way from her home in the Bronx. “I didn’t want to come yesterday, because I thought it would be very crowded. I grew up in Hell’s Kitchen and went to school in Chelsea, at [High School of] Fashion Industries.”

Cortes said this part of the West Side deserved its own station. “It’s awesome. This was just so needed. The whole thing, it’s so new. I just hope it’s kept like this,” said the daily visitor to Manhattan, who expects to be a regular presence at the station, “even if it’s just for a ride.”

Sept17_QA_JamesJAMES KNICKMAN

Although the station won’t save him any time on his morning commute, James Knickman said on Monday that he might use the 7 extension for a different reason. “What I’m interested in doing is getting up in the morning and going for a walk on the High Line, and then taking the train back from this station. Get some exercise,” he said, standing in front of the station entrance off 11th Ave.

“It’s beautiful, it’s really far down,” he added of the station. Knickman, who lives on the East Side of Manhattan and runs a philanthropic organization (the New York State Health Foundation, on Seventh Ave.), said he would normally end his commute at Times Square, which is almost the same distance from his office as the new stop at Hudson Yards.

Sept17_QA_DerekDEREK SOKOLOWSKI

For Queens resident Derek Sokolowski, the new station is not a major time-saver — but standing outside the extension on Monday, he said he would use it anyway. “Oh, yeah. Not only that it’s new, but I find that a lot of people get on the subway at Times Square and there’s no seats available,” he said. “If you’ve ever seen the 7 train at Times Square, the moment the doors open it’s like a flood. I think it’s going to be more convenient here. You can relax and don’t have to worry about getting a seat. After a long day of work, you just want to sit down.” He also took note of the new and improved look of the station. “If every station looked like this, I wouldn’t mind paying $2.75,” he quipped.

Sept17_QA_VivekVIVEK SHARMA

Although most of the passengers on the extended 7 line moved from Times Square towards the new stop at Hudson Yards on Monday, some local residents took advantage of having a train at their own doorstep for the first time. Vivek Sharma was finishing a cigarette in front of the station before descending the escalator to the ticket hall, past the colorful mosaic on the ceiling. He lives a few blocks from the station and has to travel to Wall St. for work. “I was walking all the way to Times Square,” he said. “This is the first time I’m using it. Hopefully it will take off about 10, 15 minutes of walking. That’s definitely nice in the winter — and not just for work.”

Sept17_QA_LynetteLYNETTE

Over the weekend, the overwhelming response to the new station was positive. That trend continued on Monday, the first working day that commuters could use the extension — but there were some dissenting voices as well.

“I just came to ride and see how my money is spent, because I buy a monthly pass,” said Lynette, who declined to give her last name. “I’m not impressed. No, I’m not. What’s the purpose? They spent billions, to do what? One stop? I thought you might have had a couple of stops going down to the water. It’s wasted money,” she said, adding that she lives and works in Queens but goes to the nearby Javits Center occasionally.

On Monday, Lynette had the day off and was making a trip to Macy’s, a good walk away. “I was on the F train, but I switched at 74th to see what they spent my money on,” she said, adding that she might use the extension to get to the Javits Center in the future but would have appreciated more direct access to the river. “It’s pretty, don’t get me wrong. But for that money, I expected a couple more stops.”