Friday, January 1, 2010

New York Moment 15

Please forgive me, but this post is going to be a plug for something I think any thrifty visitor to New York should do. Grand Central Terminal offers free tours every Wednesday at 12:30 in the main hall, near the clock. Go. Set two hours aside to take in the history and trivia that the guide named Martin, aka "Marty," a retired high school teacher, says he has to let out so that he can sleep at night. Because he was a teacher, the man can project. There was something beautiful about the way his strong New York accent would reverberate through the marble halls of Grand Central, over the constant din of the half million commuters who pass through the terminal daily.

I was enthralled the entire two hours. I think I may have embarrassed Marty after the tour by thanking him and telling him that, as a history lover, this tour was the best thing I'd done so far in the city. Not only is this a tour of Grand Central, but it's a history on the United States railroad system, the buildings surrounding the terminal, and of New York City at large.

There are two guides who do the Wednesday tours. Make sure you get Marty. He is the best. Here is a glimpse:


kn said...


I have been loving your New York posts! But i really had to comment on this one, i travel to NYC most days and my husband and i actually limited our search for our home outside of NYC to only towns with trains that ran through Grand Central Station. We figured if we had to commute through a train station every day it should be beautiful. after 8 years of commuting i still get a thrill every time i walk through grand central. i can never get jaded because every single day there are tourists standing in the middle of the room looking up in wonder! so thanks from me and all the other new yorkers for pointing out to us what a great place GCS is! also if you want to pick up one of the best children's books ever pick up Maira Kalman's Next Stop Grand Central! A delight!

Happy New Year, and thanks so much for your delightful New York City Posts!

(if you ever want to ride up to the Hudson Valley let me know!)

Casa Bicicleta said...

I had no idea they ran tours every Wednesday! I've been commuting into GCT for 25 years and had no idea. Thanks for that. I love these stories.

Christine said...

Love GCT, too. Must take the tour one day. My mom would love it and one day, my son. He is a railroad enthusiast! I don't live far from Kristine, you must let us know if you decide to venture north of the city. Have you taken the Circle Line ferry? Be still my heart, it is so fantastic. I have done it many, many times. I recommend the night cruise which goes from the foot of 42nd street on the west side, around the bottom up to 42nd on the other side and back. Except for the empty space where the trade center once towered, it is beautiful. The skyline always gives me a sense of melancholy now, although it is still breathtaking.