It was just a few days ago on November 17 when I checked Vanderbilt Hall to see if the Holiday Fair at the Grand Central Terminal was already on (and it was), and I noticed this TV Christmas tree standing tall on one side of the walkway. Dubbed “The Aquos Experience,” it’s a 26-foot tower of Aquos Flat Screen TVs which are meant to play snippets of the Kaleidoscope Lightshow Presented by Sharp running the whole month of December.
I had caught last year’s display (link will open to the post of Dec 2007 which shows a clip of the show in its entirety) and was wondering what they would come up with this year.
The tree is visible from the main level on the Vanderbilt side, but the pedestrian traffic coming in and out of the terminal and 42nd street can make photographing it a challenge. There is also a sign asking people not to take pictures from this vantage point to keep the hall open. My suggestion is for you to stand by the wall on the opposite side of the I LOVE NEW YORK Tourist Information center on the Main concourse and you will be able to capture the full length of the tree, but it will be a challenge taking a picture without any human form in front of it.
After taking care of official business, though, I discovered an even better vantage point one floor down as I walked towards the Subway entrance on the Papyrus side. You will have to walk down the steep incline leading to the restaurants and the foodcourt on the Dining Concourse, and you can take pictures of the tree with the majestic chandeliers in the background.
This is the same walkway that leads to the so-called WHISPERING GALLERY. As noted in the online guide of the Walking Tour of Grand Central Terminal, “located at the end of both Oyster Bar Ramps when heading down to the Lower Level, is one of the bigger attractions in the Terminal and offers a phonic treat. Get two volunteers and put them in opposite corners facing the walls. A person can whisper into one of its corners and be distinctly heard diagonally across the gallery on the other side. Fun for all ages!”
I would’ve stayed to take more pictures but I had to go back to work. I might take a film clip next time just to capture the magic of this visual show. Even for us New Yorkers, this is a holiday treat that makes the ordinary truly special in a New York kind of way.
Clicking on any of the pictures above will open Pinay New Yorker’s Flickr page featuring this set in a new window.