Complement your oysters with another NY specialty: head to Junior’s and try their famous cheesecake
Originally built in 1871, Grand Central Station is one of the highlights of New York City. It was nearly torn down in the 1960s, but with the help of first-lady Jacqueline Kennedy it was designated as a historic American landmark. And rightly so: as an symbol of New York’s restless energy, brassy elegance and showmanship, there is little better than Grand Central Station. You don’t need to be travelling anywhere for it to warrant a visit — this is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world.
Like the New York City Public Library, the station is another beaux-arts masterpiece. Fittingly, they did not hold back with the marble, and the grandeur is marvellous. A spectacular vaulted ceiling spreads over the main concourse, depicting the constellations. Only here they are presented backwards. This was no mistake: the French painter Paul César Helleu aspired to show the stars from God’s perspective, not our’s.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
On the exterior, the central showpiece of Grand Central is “The Glory of Commerce”, a monumental sculpture designed by another Frenchman, Jules Félix Coutan. It features Mercury, the winged Roman god of travel and commerce, alongside Hercules and Minerva, the guardian of cities. Beneath Mercury is the station’s priceless clock which holds the largest example of Tiffany glass in the world.
If you’re in New York and like Oysters, this is the place to go. It may be busy, but for good reason: it is consistently excellent, and laden with history. It features vaulted, Guastavino tiled ceilings, and the archway in front of the restaurant is renowned for its acoustic effect: it creates a whispering gallery, wherein someone standing in one corner can hear another person in the opposite corner, however quietly they try to talk. Savour some gossip with those oysters.
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