Grand Central Station

For some of my walks I like to go to places that are normally crowded, to see how they feel now. Yesterday I went to Grand Central Station. When I first arrived there were zero commuters. By the time I crossed the floor to take a picture a train had arrived and this tiny handful of people got off the train. Normally this floor would be packed. More below.

There was a small military presence. I don’t imagine they have a lot to do.

I took this picture because I have very warm feelings gazing up at this spot. Many years ago, before most people had even heard of the internet, on New Years Eve I installed a row of computers across this balcony and with the help of Echo employees and volunteers (the online community I established in 1989) we introduced New Yorkers to social networking. Sigh.

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

4 thoughts on “Grand Central Station

  1. It’s such a beautiful building, although heartbreaking to see it so empty. It really is a NYC building–looks best when full!

    I love that you took a picture of “your” balcony. It’s such a good but sometimes also bittersweet feeling to be so connected to a place. I used to take pictures of the service desks and counters that I worked behind at libraries and stores. “My” counters. I read a story about one of the cruise ships that had so many COVID-19 infections on it, and when the passengers were finally let off, the captain was the last to go, and he got on the PA and told his empty ship that it wasn’t her fault and that she had been a good ship. I thought that was the best story I’d read about a good human instinct, to look after something you’re in charge of and appreciate it, in a long time. So good on you for visiting and looking after your Grand Central Station.

  2. That is a beautiful story about the captain. Thank you so much for telling me that. I love that captain! It’s just so touching. I also love that you take pictures of your counters. It’s lovely to hear all the things people have in common.

  3. It’s a great article:

    This comes at the end:

    “Before bidding goodbye to the ship, Arma had stood alone on the glass-walled bridge. The normally stoic captain was emotional. He had been with the boat since it was built and had guided it safely through every storm, until this one. He felt like he understood what he called her “beautiful soul.”

    One last time, he switched on the P.A., in order to speak to the ship itself. It wasn’t her fault, he told her. He promised that they would see each other again, and he wished her a good night, his words echoing in the vacant galleries and cabins. They had done their best, he and his ship—and like all good captains, he was the last person to leave.”

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