Grand Central Terminal, more commonly referred to as Grand Central Station, is a centerpiece of New York architecture. Built in 1913, the station serves over 60 million passengers a year and during rush hour, a train pulls in and out every 58 seconds.
While waiting for your train, you might have more than 58 seconds to burn. Burn them in the surrounding neighborhood, which is full of New York landmarks and provides a taste of the city that will leave you wanting more.
There’s plenty to do inside and outside the station. Fun, games, history and cuisine await you at every corner! Just be sure to drop off your luggage at Stasher first so you don’t have to drag it around with you.
A classic New York pastime is billiards, better known as pool. Grab a cue and a brew at some of the neighborhood joints, as New Yorkers like to call ‘em.
Don’t worry, the Overlook Bar on 44th street between 2nd and 3rd avenue has no attachments whatsoever to the Shining Hotel. You won’t find Jack Torrance sipping a whiskey or banging on a typewriter. Besides billiards, you’ll find a friendly crowd of New Yorkers, cartoon decorations, exceptional happy hour specials and events like Karaoke or quiz night in the evenings.
Peter Dillons is a more typical dive bar or Irish pub, depending on how you look at it. Their pool table is proudly displayed front and center and it’s free! Besides that, a nice selection of craft brews on tap and in the bottle. Peter Dillons is a hop, skip and a jump away on E. 36th Street.
Finally, a little more of a hike will take you to Marshall Street. That’s the name, not the address. The address is 306 E. 49th St., between 1st and 2nd ave. The bar bills itself as the best Syracuse bar in New York City! Besides showcasing Syracuse sports, Marshall serves killer wings and locally brewed New York City beers.
Have a Martini Instead
A stone’s throw from Grand Central is Madison Avenue, ground zero for the advertising industry. Back in the olden days, ad men like the ones you see on AMC’s “MadMan” used to take their three-martini lunches at Fifth Avenue haunts, then pop over to Grand Central to catch the evening train back to their suburban paradises.
Smack dab in the middle of that neighborhood sits Tommy Bahamas on Fifth Avenue between 44th and 45th streets. It’s a tropical oasis in the middle of the gritty city and exactly the type of place an ad man would spend his afternoon. Their inventive martinis include the legendary and lusted after Coconut Cloud.
You don’t even have to leave Grand Central to taste a classic martini. In the dining concourse, two of the best martinis in town can be mixed up just for you, shaken or stirred!
Grand Central Oyster Bar has been around a century. Yes, a century. You might have heard of the famed Manhattan Clam Chowder. GCOB has had plenty of time to perfect the recipe, which you can wash down with gin or vodka and a couple of olives.
Don’t just have a martini at the classic Campbell’s, also found in the Terminals dining concourse. Enjoy a new or old fashioned cocktail, or sip a painstakingly prepared Manhattan. And with live jazz on Sunday, you can transport yourself to the jazz age when Campbell’s originally opened its doors.
Tour the Terminal
The terminal itself is a work of art to admire so if you have a selfie stick, this would be the time to use it..The clock in the outer facade is the world’s largest example of Tiffany Glass and is adorned by statues of Greek Gods Minerva, Hercules and Mercury. The purpose of the design is to evoke a feeling of a “gateway to the city”.
Inside is the Biltmore Room, historically known as “The Kissing Room” because it was the waiting room where separated couples often had their passionate reunions. The grand concourse itself is considered desirable advertising space and has been exploited to promote everything from war patriotism in the forties to Kodak film in the 70s.
Speaking of film, you may not realize it, but loads of classic movie scenes have played out in Grand Central, including The Avengers, Superman and most famously, the Hitchcock masterpiece “North By Northwest”.
Outside the terminal awaits the perfect romantic excursion. Select a shiny ring in the Diamond District, meet for a date night at Radio City Music Hall and make your marriage proposal at Rockefeller Center. All in a day’s trip!