Last Call: The End Of The Metro-North Bar Car

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On Friday the Metro-North line, which runs from Grand Central Station up through Connecticut, served its last alcoholic beverage. Perfect excuse to revisit this LIFE Magazine photo gallery from Ivy Style’s first year. — CC

15 Comments on "Last Call: The End Of The Metro-North Bar Car"

  1. Is the end of the western civilization.
    Oh boy,what a dystopic XXI century.

  2. Boss Tweed | May 11, 2014 at 3:51 pm |

    Quiet desperation just got quieter.

  3. We are no longer men. We are DEVO.

  4. “These stories seem at times to be stories of a long-lost world when the city of New York was still filled with a river light, when you heard the Benny Goodman quartets from a radio in the corner stationery store, and when almost everybody wore a hat. Here’s the last of that generation of chain smokers who woke the world in the morning with their coughing, who used to get stoned at cocktail parties and perform obsolete dance steps like ‘The Cleveland Chicken’, sail for Europe on ships, who were truly were nostalgic for love and happiness, and whose gods were as ancient as yours and mine, whoever you are.”

    – John Cheever

  5. I commute to NY from the Westchester suburbs and was always jealous of the New Haven bar cars…I’m sorry to see them go. Drinking Budweiser Tall Boys at your seat is no proper replacement.

  6. Michael F. | May 12, 2014 at 1:56 pm |

    You can still drink alcoholic beverages until your heart’s content ON the train, you just have to buy at one of the many mobile bars on the platforms prior to getting on. This is where they make their $$$ anyway, not on the outdated bar cars with wood paneling.

  7. James Redhouse | May 12, 2014 at 2:25 pm |

    @Boss Tweed

    Rather than quieter, I have become more desperate.

  8. J.I. Rodale | May 12, 2014 at 2:27 pm |

    For those youngsters who didn’t recognize the Thoreau quote that Boss Tweed alluded to:

    “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”

  9. Etymologue | May 12, 2014 at 2:34 pm |

    @J.I. Rodale

    I’m afraid that that is a well-known misquote of what Thoreau actually wrote:

    ““The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”

    The second part of the “quote”, “and go to the grave with the song still in them,” wasn’t ‘t uttered by Thoreau in any form at all.

  10. A.E.W. Mason | May 12, 2014 at 2:36 pm |

    And as another piece of the old world falls away–and of me with it,– fewer innocent mysteries whisper past me; soon they’ll be all gone, all silent.

  11. Where is the like that late I led?
    Where is it now? Totally dead!
    Where is the fun I used to find?
    Where has it gone? Gone with the wind!

  12. Pardon:
    Where is the “like” that late I led should read, “Where is the life that late I led.”
    Oh well, they both work today.

  13. Cards, cigarette smoke and gin martinis made those evening runs from Grand Central to Darien a singular experience on the New Haven bar car. True, the livers, lungs and marriages of those who rode those cars suffered, but what a time! I was always certain that I would see one of the Johns (Cheever, O’Hara, Marquard) settled in among the denizens of those rail cars, gathering material for a story.

  14. Put a few away at the GCT Oyster Bar this evening, nary a commuter in sight, mostly tourists (better educated tourists at least, there to see more civilized quarters of town).

  15. Gregory Tenenbaum, Turtle Bay Playboy | May 15, 2014 at 6:41 am |

    @ Michael F.

    Yes Michael, you can still purchase them on the platform. But what’s the point? it’s just not the same.

    I don’t usually leave Manhattan, but recall taking the train up to New Rochelle and back – and there’s nothing like the convenience of the Bar Car.

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