At times, the actual New York Transit System can feel like a museum itself. But if you are curious about what the subways, buses, ferrys, and bridges were like before the current 1990s modernizations we enjoy--or if you are just nostalgic, the New York Transit Museum is the perfect place to explore. The museum is housed, appropriately, in a decommissioned subway station, and is filled with the turnstiles, subway tokens, wicker benches, and retired subway cars of past decades. It is great for kids, eminently photographable, and the cleanest way to experience New York City mass transportation.
What You Will See
The highlight of the museum is its varied collection of vintage subway cars, complete with the hilariously outdated (and occasionally inappropriate) subway advertisements. For special occasions, the transit museum will put one of these cars back on the tracks. In addition to the subway cars, explore the engineering and construction of the bridges and tunnels that connect Manhattan to the rest of the city, sit behind the wheel of a bus, and see the evolution of subway turnstyles and payment methods.
Why You Should Go
Most museums invite you to escape your day-to-day experience and delve into rare moments in history and exclusive artistic achievement. The New York Transit museums invite you to look at the history and evolution of a significant part of your everyday life. You do not need a course in art appreciation or a background in American history to appreciate these particular artifacts with a critical eye and a basis in personal experience. More than any other museum in the city, this is your museum. And it might have the best gift shop in town.