On the Hunt for Grand Central’s Acorns

Sometimes I get questions from people about what I would do if I actually worked as a graphic designer for Metro-North. You know what I would do? I would hide acorns. Everywhere. (Hey, at least it beats some company stealing photographs from some website for an Employee “Professionalism” guide – there’s a joke in here, somewhere)

Maniculed Mileposts AND acorns. Because I CAN! (and yes, I know that Metro-North themselves don’t do the timetables)

Honestly, though, hiding acorns would be pretty funny. If you’ve ever been to Disney World, you may be familiar with the concept of hidden Mickeys. Mickey silhouettes are frequently hidden throughout the parks in places where you’d least expect them. Believe it or not, Grand Central has a particular item hidden in plain sight throughout – the acorn. I’ve mentioned it before, but the acorn was a symbol adopted by the Vanderbilt family, in lieu of a crest. As the saying goes, “from an acorn a mighty oak shall grow” – which appropriately reflects the successes of Cornelius Vanderbilt.

While the whole acorn thing is public knowledge, I don’t know how many people have made it into a game of finding as many acorns as possible. If Howard Permut has his way, you’d never wait more than 15 minutes for a train, but if you ever happened to get stuck in the Terminal with kids (or dingdongs with cameras), you can always spend the time hunting for acorns…


Although William Kissam Vanderbilt played a significant role in the aesthetic of Grand Central Terminal (and pushed the “Vanderbilt look” with the assistance of his architect cousin Whitney Warren), he played practically no role in the design of his Rhode Island mansion, Marble House. However, Cornelius Vanderbilt II’s mansion in Rhode Island, on the other hand, shares much of the same Vanderbilt aesthetic as the Terminal. In fact, you can also play the “Acorn Game” at his home, The Breakers.


I swear, one of these days I’m actually going to post all the photos I took at The Breakers last year… until then, have fun searching for acorns the next time you’re in Grand Central!

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White Plains: The Game – Dress Up the Crazy Coat Guy!

If you’ve ever been to the White Plains train station a few times, it is highly likely that at some point you’ve encountered the guy that I’ve dubbed “The Crazy Coat Guy”. He’s a fixture of the station, and has been around long before I started commuting through the city of White Plains. He talks to himself, and he’s loud. Depending on the weather, he hangs out in the upstairs and downstairs waiting areas. He has some questionable taste in jewelry, and has been seen wearing big earrings up both sides of his ears. His taste in accessories isn’t much better, as he’s begun a love affair with womens’ purses. He has the craziest haircut, though due to the cold we haven’t seen it for a while. And now, it isn’t all that strange to be wearing a coat due to the temperatures. But come back in July on the hottest day of the year, and you’ll still see him wearing that coat, stalking around the station, and talking to himself.

Without the Coat Guy, I don’t think White Plains would be the same. But seriously, don’t you think he wears some of the craziest stuff? Wouldn’t it be awesome to dress him up yourself, in something more normal? Or something even more crazy? Guess what, now you can! You can dress up the Crazy Coat Guy in this spectacular flash game that I wasted quite a few hours of my life on! Every piece of clothing in the game (with the exception of the iridetheharlemline.com shirt) is something that I’ve actually seen him wear in real life (yes, even that leprechaun hat). So what are you waiting for? Get in there and dress up the Coat Guy! And when you’re done, click the button that says “Go Out” to see him stand on the platform!

A few of my spectacular creations…

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