Grand Central

“The city orbits around eight million
centers of the universe
and turns around the golden clock
at the still point of this place.
Lift up your eyes from the moving hive
and you will see time circling
under a vault of stars and know
just when and where you are.”

— Billy Collins (via Poetry in Motion)

I’m in and out of Grand Central Station at least ten times a week. It’s the subway stop that’s closest to my office. It’s also the gateway to Connecticut via Metro North, which I take to go see my family (a path that was well-worn during wedding planning season). And it’s home to markets and shops, a Papyrus for beautiful thank you notes and a Starbucks, and even a holiday fair in the fall.

It’s mythical, yet tangible. The subject of history and memories, and yet real and now and able to keep up with the millions who stream through each day. In those moments when you remember to look up at the restored aquamarine sky ceiling, it’s pure magic. The catch, as always, is being willing to leave your smartphone in your pocket, take a breath and just enjoy.

I remember being a little kid, and on days when the house phone seemed to ring off the hook my mom would jokingly ask, “what is this, Grand Central Station?” Hustle and bustle, rushed activity, lots of people — that’s what I associated with Grand Central before I’d even stepped foot in New York. Now I know, it’s that, and so much more.

Have you come through Grand Central on your way to New York? What did you think?