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Inside The New York Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show

The New York Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show 2019 NYBG. PHOTO BY MARLON CO.


By Everett Potter

The ultimate seasonal diversion in New York City this December just might be the Holiday Train Show® at The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG). While this is the 28th iteration of the show, an astonishing new space makes it feel like a brand new exhibit.

For those who don’t know, the Holiday Train Show has long been on the shortlist of must-do holiday activities in New York City, along with the Rockefeller Center tree and the shop windows along Fifth Avenue. Much more than a mere model train show, it presents an artful recreation of New York City landmarks in small scale, courtesy of Paul Busse’s team from Applied Imagination.

Using natural materials such as twigs, bark, stems, fruit, seeds, fungus, and pine cones, the Applied Imagination team creates replicas of some of the city’s most famous landmarks, 175 in all, from the Empire State Building to the original Yankee Stadium. Zipping along past the landmarks are model trains of different gauges, from steam engines to 19th century streetcars, freight trains and passenger trains. They travel on overhead trestles, race through dense plantings, cross countless bridges and generally add a welcome sense of movement. Toss in some glittering lights and it’s little wonder … continue reading

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