INSPIRATION • April 2019
From a big-bucks new airport in New Orleans, to more hotel openings than you can shake a shrimp taco at in LA, regular visitor Alex Allen tells us which six cities should be on your hit list for 2019 – and why
Why: ‘The largest private real estate development in the history of the United States.’ At least, that’s according to the official website of Hudson Yards, a brain-bogglingly complex, 28-acre development being built over the top of a working train yard on Manhattan’s west side (pictured). So what’s the big deal? Think more than 100 new shops, up to 25 dining spots - including a venture from El Bulli pastry pro Albert Adrià - plus new hotels - including a first from luxe gym brand Equinox arriving in June 2019 - and a stylish swathe of green spaces. What’s more, it’ll be reachable by the city’s last architectural big hitter, repurposed railroad walkway, the High Line.
Why: Located in the heart of the Windy City’s up-and-coming Fulton Market district, The Hoxton, Chicago is the latest instalment from the uber-hip, London-based hotel chain. Huge, floor-to-ceiling, factory-style windows not only help it blend in with the area’s former meat-packing warehouses, but flood the mid-century, modern-styled interiors in Instagram-friendly sunlight. And it’s not the area’s only newcomer: there’s a raft of hotly anticipated restaurants due to land this year, from high-end sushi joint Mako to contemporary Indian bistro Rooh (pictured).
Why: Once upon a time, Pennsylvania’s largest city was the centre of the US steel industry. These days it’s more into stealing the spotlight from the country’s A-list cities, thanks not only to a new British Airways service but also to a buzz of brewpubs, bistros and bars, particularly in its Lawrenceville neighbourhood. It’s here you’ll find newly opened Tryp by Wyndham Pittsburgh/Lawrenceville. Okay, the name is a bit of a mouthful, but you won’t care when you’re chomping seasonally driven dishes at the hotel’s Brick Shop restaurant, or slurping locally brewed craft beer at its rooftop restaurant and garden, Over Eden, to views of the steel-blue Allegheny River.
Why: A raft of gorgeous new hotels. Kicking things off in the spring (and following fast on the heels of the aforementioned Chicago property) is the Hoxton Downtown LA (pictured), which promises elegant mid-century-meets-art-deco interiors within a historic Broadway building. Joining it in the city’s re-energised Downtown district will be boutique Downtown LA Proper Hotel, which, if its San Francisco branch is anything to go by, will be as bold and brilliantly bonkers as a Manolo Blahnik mood board. Then there’s penthouse-slick West Hollywood Edition, opening in the spring, The Godfrey Hotel Hollywood, with its sprawling rooftop lounge, opening in the summer, as well as a host of others too numerous to name. Watch this space.
Why: It’s suffered two delays, but it looks as though New Orleans’ Louis Armstrong International Airport (pictured) will finally be able to show off its gleaming, state-of-the-art new terminal this May. This is a bigger deal than it might sound – unlike larger international airports, Louis Armstrong has only one terminal, and the old one, in use since 1959, will be retired. Then there’s the billion-dollar bill, the 45 new shops, bars and restaurants (the current terminal has only 13), and the live music that’ll greet you in the Jazz Garden area of the main light-flooded lobby.
Why? Fabulous new food and feel-good vibes. In San Francisco’s iconic Ferry Building, there’s a new name among the roster of high-end, high-quality vendors: local star chef and restaurateur Tanya Holland, who recently opened a new branch of her massively popular Oakland-based Brown Sugar Kitchen. Soul food with a contemporary, brunch-y twist, irresistible dishes include organic cheddar cheese grits with poaches eggs and cast iron skillet cornbread with brown sugar butter. If that gets your juices going, make sure to stick Outside Lands Festival in your diary for August. Spread across SF’s sprawling Golden Gate Park from August 9-11, it’s a tick-all-boxes bonanza of food, music and stand-up comedy. But with over 100 of the Bay Area’s hottest restaurants and food trucks to pick through, finding time for anything else could be tricky.