The Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Grand Central Station’

At the Whispering Gallery

September 28, 2015 | by

Photo: thenails

Last time I went to the Grand Central Oyster Bar for a quick pre-train chowder, there was a particularly large group of Italian tourists blocking the door. I couldn’t understand their guide’s monologue, but I could only assume she was instructing them on one of New York’s worst kept secrets, the Whispering Gallery.

There are whispering galleries all over the world—enclosures in which, by a trick of acoustics that I could relate but never understand, whispered words can be heard clearly from another distant point. Notable examples include Saint Paul’s Cathedral, the U.S. Capitol, the Mormon Tabernacle, and the Mapparium at the Mary Baker Eddy Reading Room in Boston.

The Grand Central gallery gets a lot of visitors because Grand Central itself is a tourist attraction, and along with the constellation ceiling, FDR’s secret train track, the Campbell Apartment, and (I guess) the clock, the gallery is a focal point of any tour. Kids love it, of course. I like that it’s in such an incongruous location, with busy lunchers and commuters forever rushing past to gobble oysters and make trains, completely indifferent to the miracle of acoustics surrounding them. Read More »

Digital Diary, and Other News

January 28, 2013 | by

  • A digital edition of Anne Frank’s diary is rich with family photos from Otto Frank’s prewar collection.
  • “The prisoners have as much of a selection as we can pack onto the rolling cart.” The library the NYPL operates at Rikers Island.
  • Here is a pleasantly challenging Pride and Prejudice quiz.
  • Also celebrating a landmark birthday: Grand Central Station. Its fictional legacy.
  • “E-books are to actual books as pictures of cats are to actual cats curled & purring in your lap as you read,” tweets Joyce Carol Oates.