2007_03_umbrellagc.jpgWhile umbrellas are most convenient when they are small enough to stow into a bag, this 43" umbrella is very tempting. It's the MTA Transit Museum Store's Grand Central Ceiling Umbrella, which was created with the Municipal Art Society.

Arching over the 80,000 square-foot Main Concourse, this extraordinary ceiling was painted from a design by French artist Paul Helleu. The blue-green and gold mural portrays the October to March zodiac and contains more than 2,500 starts, with 60 lighted to illustrate major constellations.

You could bring it with you to stargaze! And we imagine this must have been inspired by Tibor Kalman's Sky Umbrella.

In other MTA news, the Daily News has two articles on the potential new head of NYC Transit (which runs the city's subways and buses): Howard Roberts used to be MTA CEO Lee Sander's boss, is well-liked by the union in Philly, and was fired by the agency 20 years ago. And here's more on Grand Central Terminal.