Happy new year my dearest friends!
I hope all of you have started the year with the right foot.
What if I tell you I want to kick off things in the blog with magic? What about that? Are you in?
Well, as many of you may know, I spent the holidays in New York City. Travel connoisseurs agree this is one of the best places in the world to enjoy the season.
Yes, I walked past the window displays on 5th Avenue, saw the giant tree placed in front of the Rockefeller Center and strolled around the Christmas market stalls at Bryant Park.
All that was great, but today, I want to share the place that gave me the maximum amount of goosebumps per minute, the place where I felt like a kid again.
For 25 years, the Holiday Train Show, presented inside the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at the New York Botanical Gardens, has been enchanting families and individuals. This exhibition consists of model trains moving around 150 landmarks of the city.
Now, get this, all the structures have been created with natural materials such as bark, stone, leaves, flowers, twigs and so on. I admit that doesn’t sound that exiting but wait till you see the final product. I am warning you, it will blow your mind.
As I mentioned, the show presents more than 150 structures. That means I went crazy taking photos and ended up with about three hundred. To summarize things, I have decided to present the most iconic structures of New York City. In that way, you will be able to get the wow factor since you have some sort of familiarity with the actual structure.
Here we go!
We’ll start will New York’s most famous train station and architectural marvel, the Grand Central Terminal (located at 42nd Street and Park Avenue).
Sport lovers will recognize the Yankee Stadium. The model on the exhibition corresponds to the old stadium which was demolished in 2010. A new stadium has been constructed.
Most of us can recognize Manhattan’s most iconic skyscrapers such as the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and the Rockefeller Center.
In the pictures, you can also see Saks Fifth Avenue, the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower and the Radio City Hall.
They even recreated the Prometheus Statue in front of the Rockefeller Center and the Channel Gardens (where the seasonal displays are planted).
Another landmark located close to the Rockefeller Center is the St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
And, this will not be an exhibition about New York without having the Statue of Liberty.
Or, the main structure at Ellis Island.
Another highlight of the exhibition is the New York Public Library.
The minds in charge of building all the models got very creative when designing the main museums of the city. Here we have the Guggenheim.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
and, The American Museum of Natural History
You may recognize the Washington Arch located in Washington Square.
There were lesser known structures such as the Vanderbilt Mansion…
The Park Avenue Armory …
And tons of Manhattan’s Row Houses.
Manhattan’s landmarks were heavily represented for obvious reasons but structures from the other 4 boroughs were present. Hudson River mansions (upstate New York) recreations were on display too.
It was beautiful to see the main structures of Coney Island forming part of the exhibition.
The city’s most famous connector, the Brooklyn Bridge was present.
The George Washington and the Manhattan Bridges were there too.
Loved the way the John F. Kennedy airport was created.
The jewel of the exhibition was the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory (or the building we were, they modeled that too). Not sure how they achieve that level of transparency and shine with natural materials.
I really want to continue talking about the Train Show but I will stop. I am sure at this point you get the idea of why this exhibition is so special.
In the words of an attendant: “It is too much to take in.”
I couldn’t stop smiling. My jaw dropped like 20 times. And, the thing is that I am not even a New York native or resident. However, I was able to savor the details of the reproductions and tour one of the world’s largest cities in 250 acres.
If you are in New York City for the holidays, make sure you stop by the Holiday Train Show at the Botanical Gardens. It is an experience you will cherish for a long time.
Once again, happy new year! I hope I have injected some magic to your day!
What do you think about the Holiday Train Show?
Ready to pin? Let’s do this!