I was all excited about Saturday. The “Parade of Trains” was being held at Grand Central Terminal, with a number of classic trains from the “golden age” of passenger rail on display. It was going to be so cool to see these trains, I could barely wait!
With mounting eagerness I took the 9:40 from Ronkonkoma to Penn. It wasn’t too crowded at first but gradually filled at the various stops. I was riding in one of the rear cars, and while it never got SRO almost every seat was filled by Hicksville. Like most weekend trains it was on the noisy side, thanks to many people traveling in groups. Especially a group of four or five women at the opposite end of the car, who seemed to be trying to break some record for The Loudest Human Speech of All Time.
We got to Penn around 11, and as the earlier rain had stopped, I decided to walk around for a while before going to Grand Central. When I finally got there, I was puzzled by this huge line I saw wrapping its way through much of the station. Yep, you guessed it. The line was for the Parade of Trains, which was being held at the westernmost tracks on the upper level. At that point, around 12:15, the line was already more than two hours in length. I debated whether to wait or not, but finally decided “not,” mainly because the Metro North employee who had given the estimate seemed rather vague. Yes, it might have been two hours, but it just as easily could have been three. I guess my desire to see the old trains wasn’t quite as acute as it might have seemed.
All was not lost, however. Three subway cars from the 1950’s were running on the 42nd Street shuttle, and I rode back and forth three times so I got to ride in each one. I especially liked the vintage ads in each car, though it was worth noting that cigarette ads – once the staple of subway advertising – were nowhere to be seen. I ended up returning to Ronkonkoma on the 3:12 out of Penn, which, curiously, was much quieter than the morning train even though almost as crowded.
Sunday was a fairly laid-back day, though I did make mushroom lasagna. Although lasagna made with meat is more popular, I would say that it’s better with mushroom.