Saturday, April 15, 2006

If You Want to Pick Up a Circus Freak, Try Penn Station

the circus is in town
Originally uploaded by jeanine's photos.

The circus is in town here in NYC. Madison Square Garden is right by my office, and I leave pretty late at night. (Like, 1:00 AM). Strangely, over the last few days I hadn't seen any circus folk roaming about. They definitely seemed like the types to go about rabble-rousing the Big Apple. N'est pas?

That led me to wonder: Where do circus people stay when they are in town? I didn't see any trailers or tents on Eighth Avenue. What kind of a hotel would they stay at?

This mornning I was walking by Madison Square Garden again and I saw a roadie standing outside. So I asked him, where do the performers stay when they are in town. (I didn't call them "circus folk" to his face.)

At first he looked at me as if I were some sort of sick, circus groupie. Then he told me about the train. It's a mile and half long and everyone stays on it. And when I say everyone, I mean everyone from the clowns to the acrobats to the elephants to the horses. Sadly, there are no tigers on this particular show, nor any black bears. The bears are in the Russian circuses.

So now you kow: If you want to pick up a circus freak, try Penn Station. But I guess that's true even when Ringling Brothers isn't in town.

Here's a link from the Ringling Brothers Page about the railroad's role in the success of the circus.

And no, I have no explanantion for why I'm so intrigued by all this.