If you've logged onto Instagram in the past two weeks, you've probably noticed an influx of photos showcasing an enormous, conical honeycomb structure situated in the heart of Hudson Yards, the new $25 billion private real estate development on the west side of Manhattan. It's been called "The Vessel," but it also known to Instagram by another name: The Shawarma.
Yes, the portion of this new neighborhood that is open to the public looks like a giant, multi-level meat stick. Instead of lamb, chicken, or beef, though, this structure is made of metal. (It also looks sort of like a see-through waffle cone for ice cream, but Slate is right, shawarma is much more accurate). With a $200 million price tag, The Vessel surely costs more than your average rotisserie, but photos of the structure have made it through to the #TheShawarma hashtag on social media.
It also turns out that average citizen photographers aren't too happy with the official terms and conditions surrounding any content they post with the giant structure in the background. "All photographs, audio recordings, and video footage taken of me while at the Vessel, and any derivative works ('Recordings'), will be the sole property of Company," reads the release. That extends to what Hudson Yards considers "Vessel Content." "If I post any Vessel Content to any social media channel, I hereby grant to Company and its affiliates the right to re-post, share, publish, promote and distribute the Vessel Media via such social media channel and via websites associated with the Vessel or Hudson Yards (including my name, voice and likeness and any other aspects of my persona as depicted in the Vessel Media), in perpetuity," the statement continues.
There's no mention of who, exactly, owns all "Shawarma Content," but it's safe to assume that the rights to those tagged posts also go to the real estate behemoth.
Thomas Heatherwick's 60-ton copper-colored public art structure is prime bait for Instagram, naturally, so while we're all making the same joke about the food-like configuration of this piece, and when you're scrolling through these tourists' recollections of The Shawarma, try not to let yourself get too hungry.