Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Manhattan to the North Pole

If you're amongst the many that are waxing nostalgic for the merrily youthful excitement of the holiday season that is quickly receding into the fabric of the past, I have one more festive Yuletide experience to impart to you.  The Holiday Train Show at Grand Central.  The Train Show features a two-level 34-foot-long miniature train that runs from Manhattan up to the North Pole until January 17th.  It's not the most brilliant model train I've ever seen, but if you happen to be in Grand Central, it's the perfect place to revisit the vernal wonderment of the holidays.

Victor and I headed over to 82 East 42nd street a few days ago and quickly found the train exhibit in the New York Transit Museum (which, by the way, is not a museum as far as I could tell - it's a place to hock subway-themed tchotchkes).  It was sweetly adorable - just short of fabulous.  The ceiling of the store was bedecked in hanging ornaments, lights, and holly while the model of midtown Manhattan stretched up to meet it.  The painstakingly painted trees, pedestrians, trucks, and signs would have been even more endearing, though, if all of the trains had been actually running.  Unfortunately, someone affiliated with the MTA was trying to save power because only one of the (I spotted four) trains was moving.  The rest sat unimpressively dormant.  Now, I'm a fan of a model train set, but a large part of the fun is that the trains move.  Maybe we had come at the wrong time, I thought.  Nevertheless, the display  was at least cute, festive, and interesting.  We walked around to the other side of the model and followed the train tracks from midtown, around a hill, and up to the North Pole where a quarter-sized Santa loaded gifts onto his sleigh.  I wished again that all of the trains were running.

Oh well.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?  In short, if you're in Grand Central and you need a little something with which to pass the time, definitely go check it out.  Why not?  If you are somewhere other than 42nd on the east side, don't make the trip to see it.  It did, though, make me feel a little more juvenile and a little more cheerful.  Like the lingering aroma of a good home-cooked meal after the dishes are done, this little train set made me remember my holidays with contented fondness.  In January.

1 comment:

Blonde Moxie said...

Was thinking of checking that out - thanks for doing the research - won't bother unless I'm in the area!