It was a long ago love who first introduced me to the Whispering Arch in Grand Central Terminal. You’ll find it just outside The Oyster Bar on a sort of purgatory landing between Upper and Lower levels. It is a place of magic.
Regardless of surrounding noise, of which as you can imagine there is usually quite a lot, you can whisper into one end of the arch and the person on the other end can hear you clearly, perfectly.
Apart from the charm (and romance) this anomaly has lent my date nights and lunch hours over the years, aside from the joy it brought my children when I first stood them in those corners, there is also a downright delightful Punk’d opportunity that is not to be missed.
Many a tourist can be seen outside the famous Oyster Bar at Grand Central (the smarter tourists, anyway. I’d about kill for one of their seafood Pan Roasts right now, hold the pasta). Occasionally these folks, technically tourists or not, are just standing there outside the restaurant waiting for someone. Standing, the way you do, in a corner.
Oh what fun that is! Oh, to see someone go from startled jump, to frantic looking around, to adopting a facial expression that makes it clear they are in the painful process of questioning their own sanity until POW, at last eye contact is made with the perp. Me. And thank goodness how the reliable laughter and relief has prevented my being beaten to a pulp. In fact nobody ever got mad. On the contrary really.
The few times I pulled that prank on the unsuspecting (because there were also a few times where the mark turned out to be well aware of the phenomenon and just calmly replied with a knowing smirk) resulted in sharing laughs with a complete stranger followed by my treating them to a brief lesson about a city landmark they may otherwise have missed. It even got me hooked up once. She was beautiful. From Texas. But that’s another story.
Point is there’s real magic to be found. Not just in mystic forests and hidden caves and not only in the work of nature. And city dwellers know well that manmade magic, given mankind’s usual limitations, may be the most magical magic of all.
But be it hill or dale, jungle deep or skyscraper high, when you find this magic make it a gift to others that they may do the same.
I’d like to think that pretty girl from Texas I knew too briefly has had lives and loves and children of her own by now. And I’d like to think she has taken those children to stand in the very same corners of the very same arch where she and I met those long years ago. I like to imagine how her heart blossomed with joy when the eyes of her little ones went impossibly wide.
And when it happened, when they laughed together in the purest of shared delight, I’d like to think, if only for the briefest of moments, she thought of me.
And if that’s not magic my friend, then I don’t know what is.
Great idea, where is it for Safari? Does anyone make extensions anymore for Safari? That bandwagon died quickly, no?
“So exactly how long are we supposed to sit here and wait for this shitbird to come on out of his hidey-hole?”
“Oh, I don’t even wanna hear it from you asshole.”
“The fuck did I do?”
“It was you runnin’ your mouth that got us on this bullshit stakeout in the first place! You just can’t resist fuckin’ with the chain of command, can you? Gotta be the cowboy. Fuckin’ big-mouth dickhead.”
“Look, you know I was right about that prick crooked councilman! He’s as guilty as— okay, door just opened. There’s our guy. He’s on the move.”
“All right. Now. How do we get out of this thing?”
“Hell if I know— how did we even get into it?