Monthly Archives: February 2018
Posted on 02/27/2018
Posted on 02/21/2018
More than 750,000 people step foot in Grand Central Terminal each day. Some are lured in by the shops, others by the restaurants. The train station is also a tourist magnet and attracts over 22 million visitors every year. New Yorkers, however, usually go straight to one of the 44 platforms that provide access to 67 different tracks – more than any other train station in the world.
What is probably the world’s most famous train station and one of New York's biggest attractions is also filled with secrets and a rich history of interesting stories.
Opened in 1913, Grand Central has become one of the most celebrated buildings in the city. However, it has been threatened with demolition several times, at first because it seemed old-fashioned, and later because people wanted to replace it with the tallest building in the world. In retrospect, it’s hard to believe that anyone would have taken these plans seriously.
The Backwards Constellation
The huge constellation depicted on the ceiling of the main hall (called the "Main Concourse") raises some issues. After the station opened, it took a while before someone alerted the Vanderbilt family, who built the station, that the entire ceiling had been painted from the wrong perspective. They quickly tried to come up with an explanation, saying that it was the so-called “divine” view of the stars, i.e. the impression from above. However, that only accounted for some of the zodiac signs – others weren’t backwards at all. To sum up, the painting is as much of a mess as it is a beauty.
The Hidden Platform
This extra train track was originally built for the transport of goods. Over time, though, it became a highly exclusive private track for those who were rich enough to commute via train between the station and the luxurious Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The most famous passenger was President Franklin D. Roosevelt. His private train wagon is still in the station today and available for viewing.
Short Films While You Wait
Between 1937 and 1967, there was a cinema with 242 seats right next to track 17. It showed short films, news, and cartoons. All of the productions were under 20 minutes – a perfect length for passing time between train rides.
A Nicotine Patch on the Ceiling
In 1998, the ceiling of the main hall was opulently restored – only a small black spot was left in its original state. Research shows that 70% of the pollution came from nicotine and tar rather than from train exhaust.
The Jewel in the Jewel
The clock above the information desk (also in the main hall) is said to be worth over $10 million. Each of its four faces was made from a separate piece of opal.
The Whispering Gallery
This special space is located next to the famous Grand Central Oyster Bar and consists of four arches connected by a curved ceiling. Its special characteristic: when a person speaks in a normal volume into one corner, the person in the opposite corner can hear the words clearly, despite the fact that the distance between them is over 15 meters. To this day, nobody is sure whether the gallery was planned this way or whether it is an architectural coincidence.
This New York icon is far from just a train station – it has much more to offer than boarding and transferring. The Grand Central Terminal is deeply connected to New York at large and offers its own deep insight about the city. Take a look behind the scenes: LOCALIKE will help you organize an unforgettable tour of this magnificent landmark.
Posted on 02/20/2018
New York's many celebrity residents tend to live a very secluded life. Just sometimes the public gets to catch a glimpse of their private quarters. Currently on sale is the designer Tommy Hilfiger's penthouse in the world-famous Plaza with stunning views of Central Park. If the reduced asking price of $50 million is a bit over your budget, the pictures of his decorating style might still be an inspiration.
Check out the full listing here: sothebysrealty.com/eng/sales/detail/180-l-1182-3tkjnn/castle-in-the-sky-midtown-west-new-york-ny-10019
Posted on 02/13/2018
The Lunar New Year takes place this Friday, and it’s a perfect opportunity to embrace New York’s vibrant Chinese culture. Check out these events taking place around this grand celebration in February:
∙ Starting things off is a great family-friendly event held at Brookfield Place on Feb 17 at 2:00pm with Shaolin Kung Fu demonstrations, Chinese drumming, and Chinese acrobatics!
∙The popular The Chinese New Year Parade follows on February 25 at 1:00pm with elaborate floats, marching bands, lion and dragon dances. For the best viewing location, head over to Allen St.
Posted on 02/07/2018
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