Three-Hour Tour – 3 Quick Stops in NYC

Banksy, "Concrete Confessional", 2013

Banksy, “Concrete Confessional”, 2013

A few weeks ago, a friend who had never been to New York was coming to the city on business, but only very briefly.  With just a three hour window open in his schedule, I asked what he wanted to see.  The answer came back fast, obviously this had been considered…  “Some Banksy, the Ghostbusters fire station and Grand Central”.  A bit random, but I like it, so off we went.

The only Banksy on display at the time was a portion of “Concrete Confessional”.  I thought it was good, but some of his other stuff is more impressive.  Still, it was cool to be around this ‘guerilla art’ before it’s hauled off and auctioned for millions.

"Who you gonna call?"

“Who you gonna call?”

Hook & Ladder 8 - NYFD

Hook & Ladder 8 – NYFD

The Ghostbusters fire station was not abandoned, it’s still in use by the New York Fire Department and is as the home of Hook & Ladder company 8.  Located at 14 N. Moore St in Manhattan, in the stylish TriBeCa neighborhood, some recent estimates peg the building at being worth $16 million.  Probably would been worth more if d!(&!*$$ here hadn’t shut down the containment unit.

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Grand Central Terminal is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, and is always a cool place to visit.  From the gigantic Apple store above the main concourse, to the world class food market most tourists don’t realize is on the ground floor.  Seriously, you can get fresh meats and seafoods, fresh baked goods, even individual spices, not to mention the produce, cheeses, etc – yum!

Grand Central Terminal's 100th anniversary

Grand Central Terminal’s 100th anniversary

There are many nooks and corners of GCT, but I always find myself looking up.

The ceiling of Grand Central Terminal

The ceiling of Grand Central Terminal

Above those dashing to make a train (or snapping photos of the Apple Store, Michael Jordan Steakhouse, or Information Booth) is a remarkable work of art.  Painted a sparking gold are major constellations, stars, and the Milky Way, all twinkling, even on the brightest day.  Not without flaw, the sky is backwards after all.  Reportedly, when the Vanderbilt family (patrons of Grand Central) learned the sky was backwards, they claimed, “that’s because it is from God’s perspective”.  I bet delivering bad-news to the Commodore was lots of fun.

The Milky Way passing between Gemini and Taurus

The Milky Way passing between Gemini and Taurus

It wasn’t always this way, however.  The astronomical ceiling was obscured by decades and decades of, what was believed to be coal and diesel smoke but turned out to be tar and tobacco smoke, and was recovered after a 12 year restoration that was completed in 1998.  Grand Central is a very cool building, and should be on every New York visitors do-to list.

Mike Knotts

Mike Knotts was born in 1968 in a small town in southern Indiana. Even when very young, Mike showed a love for all-things technical and sci-fi. Moving with his family to California in the early 80's, he eventually graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in History. Rather than put that to good use, Mike continued to pursue his passion for technology by working for early, regional ISP's in the mid 1990's. He currently resides in the Pacific Northwest, where he works as a project manager for an Internet startup. Mike is a co-founder of Geekometry.

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