May 3, 2012

field trip: new york transit museum

If Briton had still been two or three, the New York Transit Museum would have been the holy grail of places to go for him. Trains, trains, trains. And buses! And trolleys! And more trains! Even at nine, I can see the lingering train love in him when faced with an entire platform full of historic subway cars to explore.

I found it interesting as well, especially seeing the different styles of subway cars through time. I think a lot of the older cars are nicer, and brighter, than the bulk of the subway cars that are running today. I noticed that the nice bright cars from the fifties are very similar, right down to the color of the seats, to the new cars that they are putting to work these days. It was also the perfect trip for our history lessons as we have been discussing how transportation shaped the growth of the city (he's not an urban designers kid for nothing, after all) so it was fun to look at old pictures of horse drawn trolley's and see how the subway tunnels were built. And also to take some photos for a stop action video he has in mind of course.

The cars were filled with vintage ads, including a notice in every single car for fire prevention week, which was a little odd, but whatever. There were also lots of Subway Manners ads which were funny (and perhaps need to be brought back)
 The museum is in an actual subway station that is no longer being used, although, as the many, many signs around the museum warned, the tracks are still connected to the system so the third rail is still live. But it means that to get in, you go down a set of subway steps which is cool, and a little confusing. I guess people miss the museum entrance all the time when they come. It would be easy to do. I was kind of surprised to find that it wasn't filled with toddler boys the way the Intrepid was. Maybe it was the rain. I know if my boy had been a toddler here we would have spent a LOT of time in this museum. It's not wham bang wow cool the way the Children's Museum for the Arts is, but it's still fun, especially if you have a recovering train addict in your family.

Did I say recovering?
"Hey Mom, I think I need to get out my Playmobil train. And maybe we can get some extra track. And also do you think Evelyn would like a train for her birthday? That way we could play with them together! Maybe we could find her a pink one! I wonder if we could find some flexible track so I could build a HUGE hill that climbs up to my bunk!"

Annnnnnd trains are back.