Ok I’ll admit this song is a bit dramatic for this particular blog, but I do love it and I do love trains AND I did just travel across the U.S. by trains so it still seemed fitting. It also seemed fitting to visit the Brooklyn Transit Museum in .. ta da.. Brooklyn. I was told it was only an exhibition that was going to be running for a couple of months. During my stay in New York I decided I should catch it before it moved out. I expected to visit this museum and would be in and out in about 45 minutes max. almost 3 hours later I finally decided to leave.
The museum houses about a hundred years of transit memorabilia. You need to enter through an outside entrance that takes you beneath the sidewalks as if you were entering any old subway. Once inside you travel through a gallery that takes you step by step through the history of the tunnels and trains of New York and much of it is set up like a1930’s subway station. There are conductors that demonstrate some of the older train components and you can actually walk through trains from many different eras that sit on a “live” rail. there were stationary, life-size bus frames from the same era that children could climb through and pretend to drive as well as a learning center that did not happen to be open when I visited where “students” create crafts and do activities related to the subway system.
As you will note from the photos what I found most interesting were the signage from the various periods and eras. Sadly many of my photos didn’t turn out due to inside lighting so I don’t have many of the actual trains themselves but maybe this blog will entice you to actually visit this museum.
Another interesting historical feature I was at once intrigued and amused with was the ‘Miss Subway’ exhibit on display. (Maybe this is the part that is only going to be there for a few months. I’ve added a link as these pictures I took also didn’t show up very well.
From 1941 to 1976, the MTA hosted its own beauty competition: Miss Subways plastered images of the winner on trains and buses (often placed near ads as a way to draw more attention to them). Decades later, photographer Fiona Gardner and journalist Amy Zimmer sought out former competitors, shooting portraits and recording their stories. The New York Transit Museum hosts an exhibit devoted to the contest: In addition to displaying Gardner’s photos, the show features vintage postcards of the winners and audio of them relating their experiences.—Amy Plitt
I can’t imagine now how a contest like this would rate, but for me it was a very compelling look at a certain period of time regarding thoughts, dress and attitude.
After visiting it I think it might (or must) be something that will be around for quite awhile due to its size and subject matter, I just can’t imagine it being removed any time soon. Did I mention I sort of LOVE trains?
Address: 130 Livingston St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: (718) 694-1600
Train Travel Videos –http://www.huffingtonpost.com
- New York Transit Museum (swiss-miss.com)