Grand Central Market
our audio tour of Grand Central Terminal, we followed directions that took us to
the lower level past the Oyster Bar, of course it would have been rude not to
nip in for a drink; to have a reason to take pictures of
Then up the other side to another
vast 'corridor', past the shoe shine boys and loads of stalls selling everything from soaps, perfumes,
handbags in fact it felt like being in a mini department store. The
ceilings and light fittings here were equally
beautiful to the main concourse.
were on a mission to find the 42nd Street entrance to GCT, this meant cutting
through the side entrance to the Food Market (see just behind shoe
shiners). As we opened the door, nothing could have prepared us for what we
saw. Beautifully laid out foods of all kinds in a vast
hall. Not to dally we made our way left and out to see the Bald Eagle who
guards this end of the station, as instructed, looking at him from the other
side of the road.
he was peeking out from scaffolding, but he still
looked pretty imposing. Then we had to enter the food market and look up at
the pearl shaped crystals hanging from a tree, just
what you expect.....but it was nonetheless very stunning. That done we could
take in the food before heading out the other end to see the "master entrance"
to the station.
Grand Central Market is a hall of food merchants who bring top quality fresh
ingredients to the three million visitors who pass through Grand Central every
week. It also is the best local food source for the thousands of New
Yorkers who live in the Midtown Manhattan neighbourhood. Located on the east
side of Grand Central, the Market itself is a huge food indoor food court that
can be entered either from inside Grand Central or from its sidewalk entrance at
Lexington Avenue at East 43rd Street. The space is lined completely on either
side with individual merchants whose areas are designated by signage and glass
cases, some of which seem to spill their goods into the wide walkway that runs
from one end of the Market to the other, everything is so colourful and vibrant,
a joy just to walk through.
The Market is open seven days a week. Monday
through Friday it's open from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. It's particularly
busy at lunchtime as office workers come either to pick up groceries to take
home that night or find something for lunch that's an alternative to a deli or
other take-out restaurant. At the weekend
the Market is open from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, and from
11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. The selection of merchants is eclectic
and diverse, with some well-chosen competitors. For example, there are two
fishmongers and two charcuteries. There are branches of two New York City
bakeries and also the sole NYC
outpost of a major national spice merchant. Apart from core grocery
staples there is little you can't find at Grand Central Market to make almost
any meal you may wish to cook.
Prices range from medium to high, due
both to the quality of goods sold and also the high rent paid to have a food
stall in the centre of Midtown. We saw 24 small cherries beautifully laid
out – without stalks – on a Styrofoam tray, sealed with Clingfilm for $5.99.
Tickler Cheese at $13.99 a pound. Wouldn't do to gather a weeks shopping
As we left in search of the 'main'
entrance there was an off-license that had a massive
selection, again beautifully arranged
Lastly we had to find the Station Masters
Office, waiting room (very posh) and small museum. That done it was time
to hand back our audio equipment. What we had thought would be a twenty minute
interlude in the day turned into a really interesting couple of hours. An
excellent tourist attraction. Final pictures go to the other entrance where we
had to look at the clock, statue and intricate
ALL IN ALL JUST TO WANDER THROUGH WAS SUCH
AMAZING TO FIND THE LIKES OF HARRODS IN A TRAIN