In anticipation of the May 2012 release of my middle-grade novel, MADHATTAN MYSTERY, I’m taking you all on a virtual tour of the many spectacular Big Apple sites that pop up in the book. So, grab your camera and a light snack, hop on the tour bus and LET’S GO!
HAPPY SPRING! Blossoms are popping up everywhere you turn in New York City and tourists are arriving in droves once again. One of the major New York portals that’s always buzzing with excitement is the famous Grand Central Station on 42nd Street and Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. Actually, its proper name is Grand Central Terminal since it’s a final destination as opposed to just a stop along the way, but most folks call it Grand Central Station regardless. Not simply a transit hub, this 48-acre site is reportedly the world’s sixth most visited tourist attraction boasting approximately 21,600,000 visitors annually. There’s just so much to take in! First off, there’s the jaw-dropping ceiling of twinkling stars and zodiac symbols. In 1998, after a 12-year restoration of the train terminal, it was returned to its original glory. At Christmastime, just look up and you might catch a laser light show dancing across the ceiling timed to your favorite holiday music.
But don’t stop there. Venture on through and you’ll find a variety of shops, bookstores, banks, special exhibits, the Grand Central Market, the New York Transit Museum, and an entire dining concourse ready to please any hankering you’ve got.
Dare to venture even further and you may discover secret places—like the unmarked “Whispering Gallery” just outside the Oyster Bar & Restaurant. Because of a series of arches in the hallway, the acoustics are great, and a gentle whisper in one corner can be heard in the opposite corner as clear as a bell. That’s what sets the heroine of my novel, Lexi McGill, off on the craziest adventure of her life. It all starts with a whisper she was never supposed to hear.
Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 1 of MADHATTAN MYSTERY.
Lexi swept her sweaty curls up the back of her neck and leaned into her corner to give the Whispering Gallery a try. “Hellooo,” she sang like a bashful ghost. “How are yooou?”
Kevin squealed. “I heard that!” he cried out over his shoulder, then turned back to the wall. “Testing, testing. Do you read me?”
“Totally!” She heard him as clearly as if he were standing right in front of her. “How amazing is this?”
“Okay, listen,” Kevin said, dropping his voice an octave, “I have top-secret information for agent Alexandra McGill. But first you must prove that you’re really you—her. Over.”
“Huh? Oh. I am prrrepared to answer any and all qvestions,” Lexi replied in her best Russian accent, holding in her laugh. “please to prrroceed.”
“Only the real Alexandra McGill would know her home address. Over.”
“Wait, that’s not true, but—okay, it’s tree-tventy-tree Barrett Pond Rrrroad. Cold Spring, New York, von-o-five-von-six.”
“Roger that. Only the real Alexandra McGill would know—her favorite color. Over.”
“Pink. Pale, not hot.”
“Only the real—”
“Just get on with it already, bonehead!”
“I’m thinking.” Kevin cleared his throat. “Your mission, Miss McGill, should-a you choose-a to accept,” he said in an even goofier accent than Lexi’s, “is to carry out the original plan—you know, as planned, but—oh, never mind, there’s Aunt Roz! Abort. Abort.”
For more info on Grand Central go to www.grandcentralterminal.com. And be sure to come back to check out Mad About Madhattan Tour Stop #3: The Central Park Carousel.