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Grand Central Terminal: Hidden Secrets

First, a little Grand Central Terminal history

Grand Central Terminal opened its doors in 1913. Today, it is the largest train station in the world with a whopping 750,00 people passing through its doors each day. Wow, no wonder why we have the idiom, “It’s like Grand Central Station!”  Picture this, four times as many people pass through Grand Central Terminal each day as compared to JFK Airport. Who would have known? Certainly not me! I have a confession. I am a native New Yorker, born and raised, and, up until two weeks ago I had never stepped foot into Grand Central Terminal. Honestly, it wasn’t until I became addicted to Instagram, ( and yes there’s some truth there) that I had even seen photos of this famous architectural landmark. So on my most recent trip to New York City, my number one mission was to make a pit stop at Grand Central Terminal. As luck would have it, Curt and I took a photo tour of NYC and coincidentally one of the stops was (I’m sure you guessed) Grand Central Terminal. Our guide knew exactly where to take us (practice makes perfect) for the best photo ops and was eager to share more trivia and facts about Grand Central Terminal than I can even remember. Here are the five tidbits that I found the most interesting.

1. The Whispering Gallery

Did you know that Grand Central Terminal has a Whispering Gallery? Neither did I, nor did I believe it until I tried it. As you enter, it’s right at the archway by the Oyster Bar. At first, when our guide told me to stand and face the wall, I thought she was either crazy or that I had done something wrong and had to stand in the corner! I soon learned that when two people stand at diagonal arches and whisper into the wall, the other person can hear what you are saying. Rumor has it that a lot of marriage proposals are made there. Next time you are there give it a try. You might look a bit strange to the other tourists walking by you, but it’s really cool. Grand Central Terminal Whispering Wall

2. The infamous clock

The clock that sits above the ticket booth is said to be worth in excess of 10 million dollars. That’s because its  four faces are opal! Wouldn’t you like to have that in your house! The $10 million clock in Grand Central Terminal  

3. The astronomical design on the ceiling

The  constellation on the ceiling is actually backward. It is said that the Vanderbilt Family purposely intended for it to be that way because they wanted to make sure it appeared correctly written when viewed by God. Hmm, sure sounds like a lame cover up for a mistake!

the celestial ceiling at Grand Central Terminal4. The uncovered lightbulbs

If you notice the lightbulbs in the original terminal are naked! This is because back in 1913 it was an achievement to have electricity and not covering them was a way of showing off.  Can you surmise that the  Vanderbilts were very proud of their accomplishment?

the naked lightbulbs at Grand Central Terminal5. The clocks have the wrong time

Yup, they do. They are off by one minute, on purpose. This is to allow passengers that extra minute to push through the maddening crowds! The clocks are all a minute off at Grand Central Terminal.

My impression

Now, was I impressed? Hell ya, the building is stunning and it sure beats Penn Station! Although we weren’t on a food tour, I couldn’t help but notice that there were some fine-looking eateries there as well! So the bottom line is, if you must commute, at least you will travel on a full stomach and have some mighty fine architecture to gaze at!

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2 Responses to Grand Central Terminal: Hidden Secrets

  1. Howie May 11, 2015 at 9:34 am #

    I didn’t know any of that! But did you buy Magnolia cupcakes, Junior’s cheesecake or fine French pastry? A New York hot dog?

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