White River Junction to New York City
If you caught a train from White River Junction VT to New York City, your trip used to end in darkness and confusion, which is to say, at Penn Station. But one of the delights of the dawn of 2021 is the fulfillment of a decades-long promise to spiff up the old cavernous, impossible-to-navigate rail station.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo just presided over the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Moynihan Train Hall a few days ago; the plans originated almost 30 years earlier when his father, Mario Cuomo, occupied the governor’s seat. Among the improved aesthetics, the hall houses a new stained-glass work by artist Kehinde Wiley, who famously painted a portrait of Barack Obama in 2017 for the National Portrait Gallery.
In contrast to the romance of European (and other) rail stations, Penn Station’s “dank catacombs made a train seem like an unpleasant, possibly fatal thing to catch,” writes Justin Davidson in New York Magazine, in “Penn Station’s New Train Hall Is Only a Start, But at Least We’re Starting.” More work needs to be done, but the Train Hall has absolutely caught my eye. Post-pandemic, I hope to be all-aboard.
Click here (you may have to scroll up) for other photos and more of Mr. Davidson’s spot-on, affectionate writing. He’s hoping his “still nonexistent grandchildren” will live to see a completely renovated, über-functional, and maybe even retro-glamorous Penn Station.
(Photo, top, by Tony Irwin)
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Susan B. Apel retired from a lifelong career as a law professor to continue an interest (since kindergarten) in writing. Her freelance business, The Next Word, includes literary and feature writing; her work has appeared in a variety of lit mags and other publications including Art New England, The Woven Tale Press, The Arts Fuse, and Persimmon Tree. She connects with her neighbors through Artful, her blog about arts and culture in the Upper Valley. She’s in love with the written word.