Grand Central Station turns 100!

by baddieworld

This year, Grand Central Station / sorry, “Terminal” has its 100th birthday. On the 1st of February, it celebrated all day with exhibits, performances, notable speakers, surprise entertainment, special offers, and give-aways. For those two last reasons alone, baddie would have felt it a duty to make an appearance. Top that with music shows and rather impressive lighting of this magnificent building, recently restored to its 2013 glory, and the duty becomes a holy mission to embark on.

And so… I arrived via the number 6 metro and entered the 42nd street passage where two incredible queues were winding their ways like wily snakes. I immediately joined the one that was longest, perceiving that this was where the give-away was happening. As we were moving along, some people tried to jump in, and I heard someone behind me quip to his neighbour: “some of these people clearly never needed to get social benefits, else they’d know how to queue properly.” Baddie has also never picked up any benefits, but she’s had plenty of English queuing training – some of the best in the world, if I dare say so myself. As a result of my patience, I got: 3 granola bars, one small bag of trail mix, two commemorative train-whistles, and a Grand Central luggage tag. There were supposed to be more freebies, including some highly coveted Jo Malone free samples, and an i-phone cover, but they were all gone. Oh well.


Once this was taken care of, I joined the other queue in the passage, and my reward was a cup of coffee for 5¢ from the Financier Patisserie. Several places around the station were doing 1913 pricing – and I did a kind of scavanger hunt in the hope I would get more keenly priced goodies. This is the list I wrote down (a selection of the real one):

1913 PRICING FROM GRAND CENTRAL SHOPS AND RESTAURANTS (*Only available February 1, 2013)

• 10¢ for a side of french fries at Tri Tip Grill *From 11am-3pm
• 5¢ small drip hot coffee at Financier Patisserie *Starting at 12 pm. Limit one per customer
• 25¢ piece of Legendary Fudge at Li-Lac Chocolates *Limit one per customer
• 19¢ slice of cheesecake at the Oyster Bar & Restaurant *Dine-in only
• 10¢ for bambini scoop of gelato or sorbet at Ciao Bella *Limit one per customer
• 6¢ loaf of rye bread at Zaro’s Bakery * Shuttle Passage and Grand Central Market locations only. Limit one per customer

I was sadly too late for most of these things, bar the chocolate fudge – which to be accurate cost 27¢, not 25, but was definitely worth the extra money. I am not even a fan of fudge but this was heavenly. The Li-Lac Chocolate Shop is located in the Central Market, which is very lively and fully of treats:



I then joined the throng of people towards the Grand Hall, which is rather grand indeed:








… there was a rather bouncy young person playing an electrical violin for everyone’s entertainment…


... oggled some commemorative cupcakes…


...and then proceeded to visit their tiny Transit Museum, with its charming maquettes:







finally, on my way out, I admired the exterior of the building:


Happy birthday, old lady, and many happy returns!