[nivoslider id="15996"] Is Grand Central New York all about transporting you from point A to point B? No it is not. On the contrary it is all about liberal mingling of art, culture, food, opportunities, business and utilities. Transporting you is incidental. This is my story and impressions about Grand Central, New York. There were a few hours spent over two days, day one was all about understanding and talking to the station and day two was more of being a shutter bug. Day one kind of prepared me for crouching, squatting,  bending, folding, leaning, jumping etc, day two was all about allowing the camera to do its job.

Grand Central New York

One of the World’s Greatest Travel Hubs – Grand Central Terminal, New York

Grand Central Terminal - Its not just a Railway Station

I am directly in the line of sight of Grand Central Terminal. Yes, it is Grand Central Terminal and not Grand Central Station. It is a terminal because the trains end here and in a technical sense a station is a halt where trains stop and move on. It looks grand, the clock looks huge and the sculpture is simply one of the most striking art pieces in the open. The clock is flanked by exquisitely designed &  carved statues of Minerva, Hercules and Mercury. The clock itself has a circumference of 13 feet. If you are getting distracted by blue bikes, don't worry you will find a full post about Citi Bikes and how they are changing the transportation scene in New York City.

Bicycle Parking at Grand Central New York

Bicycles get a priority out here.

"Grand Central Partnership", what is this?  Is Grand central terminal in partnership with the city of New York? I had questions in my mind and they got settled quickly. Grand Central Partnership is an area improvement alliance of property and business owners of Midtown Manhattan. Their primary objective is to keep Grand Central Neighborhood happening. I must say there is a lot of exemplary work out there which this organization is doing.

Main Sculpture at Grand Central Terminal

Up close with the main sculpture at Grand Central Terminal

If you had any doubts left that you have indeed arrived at the train terminal and not an an art gallery. Grand Central Terminal announces itself to one and all.

Pershing Square Cafe at Grand Central

This is the “busiest” breakfast place in New York.

Pershing Square Cafe claims to be "the busiest & best breakfast in New York", I have neither been there for breakfast nor have ever had food with them but this man just outside the restaurant was definitely busy. Pershing Square Cafe is bang opposite to the Grand Central Terminal, no one can miss it.  With 700,000 people in its close vicinity every day, unless  they mess it up very badly they are bound to be extremely popular and busy.

Taxi in front of Pershing Square - Grand Central

Arrive in Style? Reaching Grand Central Terminal

Do you love New York, all of it?  Now that is a tough question to answer, all of it of course includes but is not limited to what we see in this picture: people, restaurants, taxis and Grand Central Terminal?  I was looking at Pershing Square Cafe standing outside the entrance of Grand Central terminal when this taxi came and asked me this question. My answer, Yes! I love New York, all of it.

Grand Central Terminal Entrance

Let us walk in – Grand Central Terminal

Information nuggets for commuters greet you at the gate itself, they don't want you to waste time or get hassled because of maintenance and other issues.

Grand Central Terminal Logo - GCT

GCT – This is my first encounter with the logo of Grand Central Terminal

GCT - I didn't like this logo. It is neither period nor modern. It doesn't talk much and as a result of it can be best interpreted for its ornamental value only.

A City Moves - Grand central Terminal New York

Doors are opening, doors are opening - Grand Central Terminal

... With Head, Heart and Hand, what a wonderful symphony of words. Gratitude comes first, gratitude to all for times to come. I read it twice, and then I read it a few times more. It made a lot of sense to me, thanking those who worked straight from your heart makes for good business sense and displays the highest human spirit. I am told some maintenance work is always on at this majestic living monument.

Grand Central Terminal Vanderbilt Hall

Gorgeous chandeliers at the entrance of Grand Central Terminal

Nothing, nothing at all prepares you for this reception. I have seen some of the most acclaimed palaces in the world and I must say the entry to GCT is no less grand than that offered by them. Space, grace and grandeur coexist to create an element which will stay in your memory for a long time to come.  I just want to sit there on the floor in the center of the hall and look at the roof. I just want to capture all the design elements of these chandeliers for ever. And of course one fine day I need to have a home big enough to fit one of those things.  Marvelous, fabulous, bewitching - play with words, it would be tough to find any which don't work. I literally bowed down my head as a mark of respect to the designers who created this wonder and, of course, thanked myself for having done something good in my life to be here and see this.

Chandelier and the Roof - Grand Central New York

If you are done with admiring the chandelier, look at the roof.

Looking at this chandelier and the roof from which it is hanging makes me think - how beautiful would be the imagination of those people, who have created this experience for centuries to come. Beautiful structures need endless passion, passion which doesn't let you compromise at all.

Main Concourse to Trains - Grand Central Terminal New York

It is getting more and more grand

Great experiences make for happy people. A looks at their faces and I could make out that they are  feeling good about the way life is treating them. Were they looking at me? No, they were in their own world. It is so clean, almost clinically, if I may say so.

Main Concourse Grand Central New York

And the ones who are going to board their trains

It is about the ease built in at every stage. Effortless movement of people helps in making Grand Central Terminal the hallmark of efficiency it is. I am not sure whether it is the unhurried nature of the terminal or it is the people who make it a cool place to hang around.

Grand Central Terminal Interiors

Tunnel Vision? No way. Grand Central Terminal

Vision of a tunnel and tunnel vision can have two very distinct connotations. I liked this tiny enclosed walk which gave a feel of a tunnel worked out in tandem with grandeur.

 Grand Central Terminal American Flag

The flag the world looks at, most with respect, some with fear.
(It may appear that the flag is hung incorrectly however the picture was taken from its back)

Spirit of the nation, yes this giant flag depicts that. It was put up here soon after ill-fated 9/11. It goes very well, talks a lot about the American Dream  as a national ethos. This is a huge flag, probably the largest flag I have seen in any indoor complex.

Grand Central New York turns 100

100 years and getting younger – Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal is in a celebration mode. It turned 100 recently and wants all those who come here to know and be part of its celebrations. I was wondering what else they could have done to let people be part of it? Probably this was the best place and the design elements integrated very well.

Venue for events at Grand Central New York

Beginning Life Together – At Grand Central Terminal

Now this was a surprise unfolding for me, I was oblivious of it and adjusting my camera to capture the 100 written on the opposite side. I had no choice but to shoot with my existing camera settings. I am told more than a few couples begin their life as a single entity from Grand Central Terminal. Relationships get redefined and cemented here.

Grand Central Terminal Security

Come sit in my car – Grand Central Terminal

Come and sit in my car, we will go on a long drive, looks like a soft message from the police to those looking for an opportunity to mess around. It looks so nimble and very appropriate for its role.

The Grand Central Clock

Meet me under the clock – The Clock at the Grand Central Terminal

We will meet today evening and we will go somewhere together. Where would we meet? Meet me under the clock. This clock has been a meeting point to more people than almost all the clocks put together in NYC.This is The Grand Central Clock. You can't miss it, it is almost in the center of the main concourse area of GCT. This information booth has seen many marriage proposals and all because of the way this clock defines time. Now, this is an expensive clock; recently its value was assessed by two valuers to be in the range of $10 Million to $20 Million.

Tracks at Grand Central Terminal

If it is a train terminal – we must talk about tracks

If it is a train terminal we must talk about tracks and when we talk about tracks, first and foremost is the phrase "be on the right track". It is true for life, if you are waiting on a wrong track you are gone. GCT makes a lot of effort to ensure that whatever you may do with your life and tracks of life, once here you would always be on the right track.

Moving since 1913 - Grant Central New York

100 Years young – Grand Central Terminal

It takes a lot to keep us moving and The Grand Central Terminal is of course proud of this achievement. They have moved New Yorkers for over 100 years and all in style, no wonder people use words like lovely for this terminal.

Escalators to MetLife Building

Tracks of a different kind, escalators to MetLife building

Isn't it a tragedy that an ugly looking building rises from the rooftop of Grand Central Terminal, an icon in terms of design and architecture. MetLife building, as its called currently has seen a lot of good and bad times. It is the erstwhile Pan Am building and it once had a helipad on top with regular flights to JFK. MetLife had bought this building from Pan Am but they no longer own it. This building may have a name change if Met Life opts to move away from it.

View inside the Main Concourse - Grand Central New York

The Main Concourse – Grand Central Terminal

Time must be stopping for millions of people when they walk in and out of this concourse. They must be having a few fond and a few forgettable memories of this place, a kiss under the clock, a hug on the tracks, an argument near the escalator and so on. This concourse is an integral part of life for these millions who transit from here everyday.

Ticket machines at Grand Central Terminal

Always Evolving – Grand Central Terminal

Time doesn't stop for anyone and people managing Grand Central Terminal know that very well. They have been continuously evolving as per the changing needs of people, integrating technology seems like a religion with this place. Such a busy terminal and no chaos, this is exactly what technology achieves.

Shops at Grand Central Terminal New York

It is about being a popular destination, through and through – Grand Central Terminal

Buy before you board, buy after you alight or just come here to buy. Grand Central Terminal has plenty of shopping options and they are not just limited to your traveling needs, it is a shopping destination in itself.

Maps of Grand Central New York

Never get lost, not ever in Grand Central Terminal

You can't get lost in the Grand Central Terminal unless you consciously work towards it. The terminal complex is equipped with maps of the terminal and surrounding areas. If you are planning a tour, you can visit - comprehensive location map of the Grand Central Terminal here.

Grand Central Terminal Information Booth

Love New York, Love Grand Central Terminal

I love New York, I am tourist, I need information, I stand here. Period. It is as simple as this. Free literature and tips to make the best use of time you have on hand. This information desk has people queuing up on important dates.

Dining Concourse - Grand Central Terminal New York

Do you have your hands ready, there is some work to do out here.

I was not prepared for this at all. A whole concourse for food, what are these guys up to? A destination which attracts people from diverse nationalities, ethnicity, economic background  and social background this places lives up to its reputation of serving all. There is no possibility that you would not find more than a few options for your dietary and religious preferences. I really liked this piece of art - fork, knife and spoon.

Dining Concourse Interiors – Grand Central Terminal New York

Dining Concourse Interiors – Grand Central Terminal

You walk down to a spacious concourse, a concourse where not only tracks meet but food options fork out in all directions. I was suitably impressed with the size of the facility and ability to maintain it so well.

Expanse gives birth to ideas - Grand Central New York

The sheer expanse is fascinating

Expanse gives birth to ideas, I loved walking around with my camera in my hand, absorbing as much as I could of my beautiful surroundings, of course I was hungry by now and was looking out for a place to stretch my legs and enjoy some hard-earned lunch.

Detailed Interiors of Grand Central New York

There are moons on the roof

There are moons on the roof and these moons can surely change your mood and make you forget the rush and the race outside these environs. For me time did stop to give me enough of a window to admire and capture  this beautiful roof.

Food Choices - Grand Central Terminal

What is your choice?

Sweet or spicy, hot or cold,  dry or gravy, have it here or take it out and all this to choose from practically all significant lines of cuisine in the world. I could see Thai, French, Mediterranean, Lebanese, Greek, Italian, Indian and Chinese as popular choices.

Cafe Spice and Two Boots at Grand Central

Indian Spice or New York’s Favorite Pizza

Two Boots is what many recommend for amazing pizzas and Cafe Spice for Indian food made for New Yorkers. I didn't opt for any of these and settled for Thai red curry at another counter. It was time to go, my camera packed and all set, I started finding my way back.

Wedding Shoot at Grand Central Terminal

When the beginning of any shoot is great – the end shot has to be natural too.

I loved shooting Grand Central Terminal and the terminal reciprocated it by giving me a great photograph as I was just stepping out. I would say it was an interesting experience and a good experiment. I am sure I would be back at Grand Central for another shoot in a couple of years and that would surely be more planned and structured. Thank you for reading till this last sentence.

Published On: Tuesday, September 24th, 2013