Friday, February 8, 2013

NYC Anniversaries

Last week saw the passing of former Mayor Ed Koch, an NYC institution if there ever was one. At 88 years old, it seemed impossible that he wouldn't be around forever.

But there are a couple of other NYC institutions that are still going strong.

Most notably, Grand Central Terminal. The great train station on 42nd street on the east side has been shuttling Americans from our city to the rest of the country for 100 years -- it opened on February 1st 1913 at 12:01 AM. Grand Central is the gold standard of American train stations, a monument to American ingenuity and an icon in our city's landscape. Thirty-five years ago it was almost torn down but thankfully New Yorkers of all stripes pulled together to save it. This beautiful station -- sorry, terminal, since trains terminate there -- has almost a million people passing through it every day. It also has amazing history and you can read about it here

Then there's the music of the night that's been playing continuously for 25 years. 

Ed Koch was still mayor when "The Phantom of the Opera" debuted in January, 1988. The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical based on an old movie about a phantom that haunts a Paris opera theater is not only the biggest hit ever to be on Broadway -- by far -- but also the single most successful entertainment enterprise ever. It has grossed billions of dollars in NYC and around the world. Many shows, including some big hit musicals like Rent, have come and gone in the time that "Phantom" has been on Broadway. Heck, if you were born when "Phantom" first opened, you would be old enough to star in it! Here's to 25 more years, an NYC icon that keeps going strong. 

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