Like okra, ’80s hair bands and the gross domestic product, electricity isn’t something most of us spend much time pondering. That is, until it stops working–like it did for millions of area residents in the appropriately spooky snowstorm that blanketed our area in the two days leading up to Halloween.
Well, the New York Transit Museum is giving the juice that lights our lives (we like juice here at Lime&Tonic) the respect it deserves through an new exhibit called–fittingly enough–Electricity.
The exhibit showcases the stages involved in getting the New York subway system operating like clockwork (or somewhere close to that): Power Generation; Power Transmission; Coverting Electricity; and Making the Trains Move. That may all sound a little dry, but the exhibit has plenty of interactivity. You can crank a wheel that sends sparks up a Jacob’s Ladder (think Frankenstein movie), test different materials for conductivity, and use hand-cranked generators to power parts of a subway car.
If you’re feeling a bit “charged up” after that, you can stick around (like a sock imbued with static electricity) and explore the rest of the museum–it is the largest museum dedicated to urban public transport in the US, after all. While wandering be sure to check out the vintage turnstile, a gigantic sewing machine that was used to make the money bags that held subway tokens and cash from fares, and a funky subway car from the early ’30s.
The New York Transit Museum is open Tues–Fri 10am to 4pm and Sat & Sun 11am-5 pm.