FREE TOUR EVERY FRIDAY YEAR-ROUND - GRAND CENTRAL NEIGHBORHOOD
Grand Central Terminal is considered one of the great buildings of the world. Every Friday we point out why.
A walk through Grand Central brings to view its spectacular transformation via recent renovation, the discriminating use of color and shade to provoke emotional response, and cues that encourage patrons to move (e.g. - slow down or speed up, gather here but not there) according to the intentions of its designers a century ago.
Then there is the genius behind the weather functions (!) of the great windows, the Terminal's secondary function as a mall (per square foot, the most profitable in the nation), and the viaduct that speeds midtown traffic while allowing the Terminal to otherwise complete dominate (and block) the avenue - itself a stunning display of the former stature of American railroads.
Grand Central's sister project is Park Ave., which opened as the nation's attempt to construct a European-style boulevard. It is also part of an enormous metal platform clapped over a vast trainyard - essential to the enterprise that made the name "Park Avenue" synonymous with elegance and distinction.
Together, Grand Central and Park Ave. transformed the area from a shabby region far from the city's core to the focus of a massive shift that created midtown Manhattan - the largest and most powerful business district in the world.
COST: Free TIME: 12:30 - 2:15 pm PLACE: Inside 120 Park Ave. (across 42nd Street from Grand Central's main entrance and to the right of the viaduct)
MY PRIMARY CLASSES-LECTURES-TOURS
Capital of the World New York Before the Europeans Dutch New York New York During the Revolution The Great Seaport Upper Fifth Avenue
Gateway: The Immigrants The High Line Chelsea: the New York of a Century Ago Harlem Features of Grand Central History Through Grand Central
The Emerging (Late 1800s) City History Through Lower Midtown Deciphering Manhattan History Through Street Names A Walk Across the B'klyn Bridge
Baseball Creation and Evolution Jackie Robinson's Brooklyn Brooklyn and the Dodgers The Baseball Dynasties (Giants and Yankees)
Five brief videos of yours truly offering essential NYC background appear on Youtube and on this website (in the Home, Bio, New York and Baseball pages). People ask, "what is this place? What goes on here, and why?" These chats'll get you started.
OFFERING TOURS ANYWHERE IS A PLEASURE. IN THIS GREAT CITY IT IS AN HONOR.
The fun of any class, lecture or tour is in the discovery, in the why and the how. Why, for example, is wealth concentrated along Fifth Ave. while gas stations and factories are close to the water? How does Central Park make economic sense on an island whose real estate is the world's most valuable? Why does the world trade in Manhattan more than anywhere else?
Our purpose is not to fill the bucket but to light the fire, not to load you with information but to get a few inches of air between your feet and the ground. Maybe that happens now and then.