The world in miniature
27 Jun 2019
|In contrast to yesterday, today was a day of tiny proportions.
Now, before I tell you all about the day’s activities, I need to brag! Today - my last full day in both New York and, indeed, North America - I did NOT get lost (or even slightly misplaced) even once!! Cue trumpets, marching bands and cheer squads!
Now, let’s continue.....
The day dawned early and was bright, sunny and hot. Thankfully, it was less humid so much more bearable.
Having already visited most of the major tourist attractions, today I set out to find something different. Following a suggestion made by my good friend, Sue, I found the perfect thing! Gulliver’s Gate situated right near Times Square.
This little gem is tucked away down a side street and could very easily be overlooked. That would be a shame.
Gulliver’s Gate is a world of miniatures. Miniature buildings, landmarks, cars, people, planes, trains, bridges - you name it, it’s there! 25 different cities from around the world are laid out in the most amazing models - all with various moving elements... trains moving around on their tracks, cranes raising and lowering, aeroplanes moving down the runway and taking off, carousels turning and so much more.
When you first enter you are given a large ‘magic’ key that you can use to add extra movement in most of the dioramas. It is yours to keep, as a souvenier, at the end of the visit.
The first model in the exhibition is of a fully functioning airport complete with aeroplanes, fire engines, delivery vehicles, passengers, a terminal - everything you would find at an airport. I think it’s deliberately not labelled as any specific airport as it then leads you to the miniature world that awaits in the five continents that follow. Unfortunately, Australia is not yet represented but when I was talking to one of the model makers, he said they are thinking seriously about creating an ‘Australian’ exhibit. One of their major problems, he said, is lack of space. They are hoping to extend to a second floor so that they can add extra exhibits. So maybe, one day when you visit, there may be a tiny portion of Australia on show!
Before visiting, I had thought Gulliver’s Gate would occupy me for, maybe, an hour but I walked around, enthralled, for over three! There weren’t many other people there so I never felt pressured to move along or rush. Sometimes, I stood in front of an exhibit for 10-15 minutes watching as things changed.
Another great thing that happens is that, over a matter of a few minutes, the lighting in each scene changes and you get to see the same scene during the day and also at night.
If you so desire, and for a relatively small fee, you can have a 3D model of yourself printed. (Price depends on the size you choose.) The model is mailed to you but also, and more exciting, a tiny version is printed and placed in whichever scene you choose! I watched as one of the model staff placed a few teeny tiny ‘real’ people in their chosen scenario - Venice! She then took photos of their models in situ to send to them. What a unique idea!
The models are constructed from a mixture of materials... some using traditional modelling techniques while some are created by 3D printers. Some models are constructed at Gulliver’s Gate while other exhibits or components of exhibits have been made elsewhere and purchased for inclusion.
It was fascinating and so much more involved and better than I had expected! Thank you, Sue!! I can’t sing its praises highly enough.
On entering the ‘normal’ sized world again, I was immediately in the crush, rush and mayhem of Times Square. While it can be a bit tricky to walk around, it is such a fun, crazy place - I love it! I spent some time looking in M&M World then, so it wouldn’t feel left out, visited Hershey World. In the same block, amongst other shops, you will also find Swarovski, Pandora, the Disney Shop, Skechers and Gap. Interspersed are a million souvenier and gift shops! Poor hot people in a variety of furry costumes stand around hoping you’ll pay to have your photo taken with them. It is mayhem and wonderful!
By mid afternoon, I decided it was time to leave so, without any map reading, assistance or backtracking, found my way to the right Metro station and onto the correct train! Woo hoo! Victory! I even scored a seat on the train!
Twenty minutes after leaving Times Square, I was back at my hotel. This evening will be spent quietly and coolly in my hotel room.
Tomorrow morning will see me finalising my packing before leaving for Newark Airport in the early afternoon... then ... woo hoo! I’ll be on my way home.