The action of The Age Atomic, the sequel to Empire State, is once again split between New York City and the Pocket universe. Two main locations in the story turn 100 years old in our own reality this year.
The first is the monumental Grand Central Terminal, which was opened in February, 1913. This building is staggering in its size and beauty, and is one of my favourite Manhattan landmarks.
The other is other is Harlem’s famous Apollo Theater on 125th Street, which opened for business in April 1913.
In The Age Atomic, what we actually see are the Empire State reflections of these landmarks – Grand Central is empty and unfinished (there is nowhere for any trains to go, after all); meanwhile, the disused Apollo is the lair of a strange old man with penchant for jazz and robots, while the Tree of Hope is alive and well and growing into the fabric of the building…
For more information on the real-life Grand Central Terminal and the Apollo Theater, I’d recommend heading over to The Bowery Boys, whose excellent New York City history podcast is a firm favourite of mine.