Metro Mama & Metro Baby

By Kim Taylor

‘Tis the season for decking the halls, streetlamps, and quaint boutiques of Manhattan. And how can we forget to dress up one of the city’s crown architectural jewels from 1913, Grand Central Station? As befits this elegant portal, the 7th annual kaleidoscope light show, Artlumiere, will awe both children and adults alike while shopping until New Year’s Eve.

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On display throughout the month of December, this exquisite light show in Grand Central Station is accompanied by beautiful music that engulfs the entire terminal. With walls lit in vibrant holiday color, families can shop in Manhattan’s version of the local mall, which includes many of the best toy, clothing, food and gift stores in the city.

The light show’s vibrant, animated, and symmetrically-choreographed patterns will dazzle, as the walls and pillars of the main concourse illuminate in a splendor of color. Each seven minute show, accompanied by synchronized music, will be performed at the top and bottom of the hour, from 11a.m. to 9 p.m. for a total of 21 shows daily.

This is the first major show in New York City for Artlumiere, a production firm that specializes in creating spectacular lighting effects for significant buildings in Europe, Asia and the United States. Artists Friedrich Foerster and Sabine Weissinger from Casa Magica have worked with Artlumiere to design a technicolor extravaganza this year that melds the freedom of color with the discipline of symmetry.

The artists started by taking digital photos of Grand Central, then using the photos as a template to create a unique design that is projected back onto the interior walls with high-powered projectors. The artistically adapted images line up perfectly with the architecture of the building for a presentation of wondrous and enchanting fluctuating forms.

Kaleidoscope is Greek for “the beautiful form watcher” and can also be described as a point of intersection of lines. Considering that that Grand Central Terminal is a point of intersection for commuters and Manhattan residents, and one of the city’s treasures, the comparison is apt.

To add to the luster of shopping in Grand Central this year, the annual Holiday Gift Fair in Vanderbilt Hall will feature more than 70 vendors with distinctive quality goods.

You can shop for great gifts here, dine in any one of five restaurants and cocktail lounges, or eat in one of the 20 casual international eateries in the lower level Dining Concourse. Grand Central Terminal is located at 42nd Street and Park Avenue and is open seven days a week. For a complete listing of all stores, restaurants, merchants, events and more, go to www.GrandCentralTerminal.com

Originally published December 2006
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