Monday Postcard from Grand Central Terminal

1. In the age before cell phones (I know, I know, fellow millennials – but yes, there was such a thing), New Yorkers meeting at Grand Central would often say, “Meet me under the clock.” But oddly enough, they weren’t referring to this 100-year-old Tiffany Clock (the largest in the world, at 13 feet in diameter). It’s surrounded by a sculpture by Jules-Félix Coutan featuring Roman gods like Mercury and Greek demi-gods like Hercules, and the ensemble is dubbed Glory of Commerce.

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2. The clock they meant to meet under is the one in the middle of the concourse. The clock crafted by Seth Thomas in Connecticut is valued today at between 10 and 20 million dollars and hides a secret staircase leading to the information area below.

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3. One pretty fantastic thing about Grand Central is that the departures board is always false. (Don’t worry – it’s on purpose.) Trains will always leave one minute later than indicated on the boards, giving you that extra sixty seconds that is sometimes the difference between making your train and missing it.

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4. Grand Central is a piece of another era that we’re fortunate to still have in a place like New York, where it seems the city is constantly undergoing a makeover. The Beaux Arts style station was built in 1903, and unlike the original Penn Station, which was demolished in the 1960s (and was apparently even more gorgeous), Grand Central narrowly missed destruction in the 70s.

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5. But Grand Central has actually been around for even longer, albeit in a different form: the current station, dubbed Grand Central Terminal, stands on the spot of a previous Grand Central Station (the name colloquially used to refer to it even today). And while I’ll admit that it’s rarely fun to travel through it (750,000 people pass through the station every day), it’s beautiful to visit when you’re just snapping photos.

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