On a day like any another, we decided to take an express train back to the illustrious past of New York. Ever since we first saw it on Gossip Girl, the Grand Central Terminal has always been one our must-see places. So, imagine our excitement when we were finally able to see it for ourselves and I must say, it didn’t disappoint! Its impressive architecture and historic ambiance felt like I took a step back into a time. A place not only for daily commuters and travelers alike, but also for people who want to just look around and take in the history seeping from its walls.
As we walked around, we felt the familiar pang of hunger. We didn’t even notice it was almost lunch time. We went in through the Dining Concourse and dropped by Shake Shack for a quick lunch. I actually didn’t know that it was one of the must-trys when in New York. If it hadn’t been for our Aunt, we wouldn’t have gone for it because the lines were too long. I ordered a few of the bestsellers, the vanilla milkshake and the Shackmeister burger and as soon as I had my first bite I immediately craved for another. It was so good–especially the buns! I don’t know how to describe it but it just melted in my mouth with all its savory goodness.
1. THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO PASS THROUGH DAILY, IS ALMOST THE SAME AS THE POPULATION OF SAN FRANCISCO.
Every day, there are more than 750,000 people who pass through Grand Central and an estimated 10,000 of these people come into Grand Central to just to have lunch and won’t catch a train at all.
2. TRAINS DON’T PASS THROUGH.
Grand Central is a terminal where trains start and end and they never just pass through. In this terminal, you can ride the subway to go around the city or ride the big trains going all over the country.
3. IT IS THE LARGEST TRAIN STATION IN THE WORLD.
With a total 67 tracks and 44 platforms spreading throughout the 47 acre-wide area, it has been dubbed as the “World’s Largest Train Station”. It has bar, a whispering gallery, and of course, a tennis court.
4. DEPARTURE BOARDS ARE A BIT MISLEADING.
During one interview, an employee said that the actual departure time for every single train on Metro-North is one minute behind the published schedule. This was done to avoid riders from running for their trains and conductors can tell them to slow down and get safely aboard.
5. $20 MILLION CLOCK?
The clock atop the information booth has been valued between $10-$20 million. Also, every clock in Grand Central has been set by an atomic clock at a naval observatory in Maryland, which makes them accurate to one second every 1.4 million years.
6. THE CELESTIAL SKY MURAL IS UPSIDE DOWN.
A budding astronomer reported an error in the mural in the same year the terminal opened, saying that it is actually upside down. Since then, officials have explained that the Mediterranean winter sky mural, complete with 2500 stars, depicted God’s point of view.
7. THE EAGLE WAS ONCE LOST.
Back when Grand Central Terminal was still the Grand Central Depot, 12 huge cast iron eagles used to grace its roof. But after the demolition, some eagles were lost, while others were transferred. It wasn’t until 1995 that a couple found a cast iron eagle upon moving in their new house in Bronxville. After restoration, it was perched back on Grand Central roof.
8. IT IS A HISTORIC LANDMARK.
In 1976, Grand Central Terminal was declared as a National Historic Landmark , giving it protection from developers who wished to demolish it.