There are many great things about NYC during the holidays, but one of my favorite things is the MTA vintage train. Every Sunday in December the MTA runs the vintage trains with cars that were in use from the 20’s to the 60’s. This is one of those events that has grown exponentially over the years, which started out with just a few swing dancers dressing up and riding the trains and has grown into an event with multiple bands playing on the trains and platforms, and hundreds of dancers and vintage enthusiasts showing up. This year it even included an after party at the Transit Museum! Sadly, we were out of town for a friend’s wedding and had to miss the big day so we invited our vintage loving friends to join us for a much smaller ride on the Vintage Train the following weekend. About a dozen of us met up on the 2nd Avenue uptown platform that Sunday dressed in our vintage best and rode in a subway car from the 1940’s for two round trips to Queens Plaza. I was wearing a Suzy Perette dress that I bought at the Artists and Fleas Pop-Up shop last month from Vagabondia Vintage that I had been dying to wear, with a mink stole, Remix shoes and a little headpiece bought at the late, great Antiques Garage in Chelsea.
There are so many reasons why it’s fun to ride in the vintage trains, first, the vintage advertisements are WONDERFUL! They advertise everything from gum to shaving cream to hats and are a great little peek into the past. Even better are the MTA signs with cartoons and helpful etiquette reminders like “Don’t block the door” (and if someone does, the MTA fully supports you knocking them over head with your purse) or “Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze!” which are all relevant today more than ever. (Sadly!)
Another reason it’s great to ride the vintage trains is you have a whole new appreciation and understanding of the engineering involved in newer cars because the old cars are loud and move around a lot. Prepare to yell to be heard, and hold on to the handles because you’re going to get jostled around! This is all part of the charm and excitement of course, as well as the fans on the ceiling and the wicker seats, among other things. I appreciate the smoother, quieter ride of the newer cars, but they’ve got nothing on the charm and romance of the old cars.
After our two round trips we got lunch at a diner in midtown, then Matthew and I went to Bemelman’s Bar for some lovely ambiance and very expensive (but disappointing) drinks. We finished up our day by going to the United Movie Palace in Washington Heights to see ” It’s a Wonderful Life” which is another lovely holiday NYC tradition. The best part of the day was when we returned home, and Matthew got down on one knee and proposed! What a wonderful way to start the Holiday Season! We hope your holiday season has been wonderful and your New Year is full of happiness!