Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Lionel Train layout, New York City Transit Museum Annex, Grand Central Terminal 2014

Every year from late November to early January there's an elaborate Lionel Train layout set up in the gallery space of the New York City Transit Museum annex at Grand Central Station. For the past several years I've been making videos of the layout and posting them here. Below is this year's video:

The basic structure remains the same: at the end nearest the gallery entrance there's a model of Grand Central, with tracks under it and the Met Life building looming over it. Beyond that is the Empire State Building along with other midtown skyscrapers, then a stretch of lower-rise Manhattan (Chelsea and the Village?), a bit of suburbia with a gas station, and at the far end a mountain (Hudson Highlands or Catskills) with a tunnel. Details and rolling stock change from year to year, although there's always a New York Central passenger train and a New York City subway train, with platform.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Adeste Fideles ("O Come All Ye Faithful"), by Bing Crosby

I first heard Adeste Fideles on my parents' phonograph, sung by Bing Crosby on the album the cover of which is pictured above. I was six or seven at the time. It was my first exposure to Latin, which my father said was a "dead language" (he was a Methodist), but Bing made it sound very much alive.

The video clip above has Bing's Adeste Fideles as the audio track, accompanied by a slide show that starts with the famous "Earthrise" photos taken by one of the Apollo 8 astronauts and is followed by a series of artworks depicting the infancy and life of Jesus. Thanks to manfreadstraw for creating the clip.