Sunday, January 4, 2015

2014 Vintage Trains, plus Awkward Tourists

I missed the big vintage train ride this year, with all the swing bands playing in cars from the 30s through the 60s and on the platforms. But on the very last Sunday that the MTA trotted out the nostalgia trains, my friend Emily and I squeezed in a visit.

Sweater - Christmas present from my mom
50s sweater clips - Etsy
60s silk skirt - Reminiscence
60s RHT stockings - eBay
We didn't actually get to ride the train, but it was still cool to walk through when it pulled into the Second Avenue station for the last time of the season.

How amazing is Emily's Lucite purse?

I've seen this gentleman around a lot, at the last two vintage train rides and other events. He always bring out his really old, really cool camera, and he'll take your picture for $20.

Emily and I got lots of compliments on our outfits but then things got weird. People would ask to take our picture, which was kind of flattering at first. But then a crowd formed and it felt less flattering and more claustrophobic. Instead of asking for a picture, people would just point phones and cameras at us. The first few times that happened. I asked for business cards (only one person was a professional photographer), but then I sort of gave up and tried to keep moving to avoid photos from people who couldn't even ask. I was so uncomfortable when a man told his wife in Spanish to take a photo "of the girl dressed for the era" the same way he might tell her to take a picture of a sign.

I get that outside of the official unofficial train ride, being dressed in midcentury clothing on a train car from the 50s or 60s is a novelty, but is it so much a novelty that everyone had to stop to take a picture or video, which was even more awkward? On a normal day, my vintage clothes draw attention, yes, but I didn't love that I became part of the attraction. The trains are much more interesting than my sweater clips anyway.

Do any of you guys get the same kind of gawking when you're out and about in your vintage?


  1. You two ladies are so lovely! I was looking out for you at the formal event but didn't see you. Maybe next year our paths will cross:) This gentleman who took your picture has been photographing for decades. His name is Louis Mendes. He is on Facebook. He is an interesting subject just to photograph himself:) How cool to have a photograph with a vintage camera! The weird thing that happened to me was this lady kept asking me to walk up and down the stairs, to pose a certain way so she could get just the right picture after about the third time my husband got a little annoyed and told me to hurry on along. I asked her if she was a professional photographer but she wasn't. But, at these events there are a lot of people photographing. I also love to photograph other people dressed up. I enjoy capturing a moment in time. You look very lovely!

  2. Cuties! You both looked so great. -Also a good idea to go and take pictures when it's not packed. <3


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