The New York Transit Museum has been a staple of Elementary school trips for as long as Gothamist can remember, but in conversation with friends we find it rarely gets the love it deserves from the average New Yorker. Absurd, we say, since where else can you see (and enter) a hundred year old train? Look at every kind of token ever used in New York (oh tokens, those were days)? Not to mention stare at old posters, turnstiles, trains and more? Obviously the answer is nowhere else.
The history of transit in New York has got more interesting stories and facts than some entire cities (it probably even has more books on it than many cities), no surprise considering the fact that its a central feature in most New Yorkers lives. And yet so many of those same New Yorkers know surprisingly little about the system they use everyday and how it has altered our city. Which is why a trip to the Transit Museum is a not only fun but educational idea for all.
And if you go before December 4 you can also check out an interesting photo show by David Perlmutter. Asked to take photos for Stan Fischler's book "The Subway and the City" Perlmutter found himself more drawn to the people on the subway than the pictures. Using "selective color desaturation" the photos, all taken after 2003, offer a sometimes interesting look at the familiar. (Of course, if you want to look at similar pictures from the pleasure of your own home, look around online and you can find hundreds of subway photos).
Located at Boerum Place and Schermerhorn street in Brooklyn the museum is easy to get to (A,C or G to Hoyt-Shermerhorn, the 3 or 4 to Borough Hall or the F to Jay Street-Borough Hall) and open everyday of the week besides Monday.
Gothamist on other Classic New York trips.
Photograph from "Subway People: Alone in the Crowd" by David Perlmutter