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Grand Central Centennial

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What could be more emblematic of New York than Grand Central? The commuter railway station is a NYC landmark, both for its bustling, purposeful atmosphere and for the stately beauty of its architecture. Over 21 million visitors are drawn to this site every year, making it one of the world’s most popular tourist attractions. And it’s not surprising. Grand Central Terminal, popularly known as Grand Central Station, is a majestic structure which boasts soaring 125 foot ceilings and lovely arched windows. Its four faced clock has served as a meeting place for generations of New Yorkers and has even starred in a number of Hollywood movies.

The 100th Anniversary Festivities

The current Terminal, built on the site of its predecessor, Grand Central Station, was completed on February 2, 1913. This year Grand Central is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Centennial celebrations kicked off in February with a multitude of exhibits, performances and notable guests. The festivities will continue in authentic New York style throughout the year, with an interesting mixed bag of scheduled events. Even more interesting is the fact that the centennial dance card is not yet full at all. Instead, the 100th birthday website breezily announces that more events will be added to the calendar as details are finalized. The public is invited to check back regularly to find what new delights are in store.

Events So Far

So far, the birthday party consists of an eclectic mix. High art (exhibitions, poetry and music hosted by groups such asMTAArts for Transit and Urban Design, Poetry in Motion and Music Under New York coexists with not so crass commercialism – a giveaway of 100 actually rather appealing products (free leather wallet or bakery cupcake with “Grand Central clock topper,” anyone?). Enjoy the flavors of Midtown as 30 of the area’s best restaurants and other food purveyors provide samples of their wares in May. A parade of trains should especially please the under 12 set, while summer tours and local “staycations” will appeal to all ages.

Do It Yourself

Typically impatient New Yorkers may not be willing to wait and see when or if more centennial happenings are going to happen. After all, there’s a reason why they don’t choose to live in the eternal sunshine of the West Coast. Enterprising citizens may choose to celebrate the Terminal’s milestone by creating a little history themselves. The management of Grand Central Terminal is accepting – no, soliciting – requests to hold public or private events in this impressive venue. Terminal floor plans and an event production manual are included in the centennial website. So why not do it yourself, New York? Commemorate Grand Central’s century of faithful service to this fair city in your own unique way.

New York has so much to see and do that you’ll appreciate staying in a comfortable hotel with easy access to everything. The nicer New York City hotels tend to fill up fast, though, so it’s a good idea to reserve in advance.

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