Thursday, September 17, 2020

Glimpse Into the New La Guardia, NYC, Airport

An amazing transformation from the old La Guardia airport to the new large-scale and spacious, almost posh ones happened during the last years. Enjoy these videos of the (almost) finished transformation - starting with new Terminal B:

I Vividly Remember How I Once Experienced La Guardia:

One of the most memorable flights I ever had was during the ’90s into La Guardia: The sun was almost setting on a November afternoon and wrapped New Yorks’ skyscrapers into a warm, golden color.  The city buildings almost seemed to glow. It was such a fascinating, almost unreal light, that I totally forgot to grab my camera, and just stared at this amazing scene. 

However, after we landed, it became less comfortable: Hordes of strange men bombarded passengers with their offers of cheap taxi rides (certainly illegal cabs), some even offered drugs and whatever…  For a single female passenger it was frightening, and I tried to find a security person - but no luck.  Finally, short before the airport buildings exit I approached a uniformed lady and asked her, how these guys could enter the inner arrival building without a ticket.  She just flinched her shoulders. 

I got out of the La Guardia building, towards my hotel, and when I turned around, 
I saw a perfect architectural example of an art deco airport building facade. 

Entering my expensive airport hotel, I was disgusted and even a bit scared.  Hallways and rooms seemed to be from the fifties, outdated and filthy.  The lighting in the halls was insufficient, and my door lock not working.  I pushed a small book underneath the door and placed my two heavy suitcases onto the entrance door.  I wished I would have taken my shuttle already this night.

Wikipedia Wrote About La Guardia:

Terminal A, also known as the Marine Air Terminal (MAT), was the airport's original terminal for overseas flights.  The waterside terminal was designed to serve the fleet of flying boats, or Clippers, of Pan American Airways, America's main international airline throughout the 1930s and 1940s.  When a Clipper landed in Long Island Sound, it taxied to a dock where passengers could disembark into the terminal. 

Flying boats stopped carrying scheduled passengers out of New York after 1947.  The last Pan American flight left the terminal in February 1952, bound for Bermuda.

Airplane Shuttle to Boston

I had booked one of these hourly shuttles that were offering at least once an hour (or when the plan was full) a trip to Boston, among other cities.  They had an impressive service: Free breakfast including cappuccino, croissants, sausage wraps, and freshly squeezed orange juice, at the departure terminal, and small snacks in the air, plus free, posh magazines as much as one could carry to the plane.  Later I learned that I had flown in one of Trump’s shuttle airplanes. Grrr…

Ferry Service Into Manhatten

I also had read about a ferry service from the airport (which is situated next to the East River) into Manhattan.  I would have loved to take it, but as I had arrived late and needed to fly to Boston early the next morning, I postponed the trip. 

These days, the combination of extensive construction at the airport and a few stalled vehicles made morning and evening rush hours infuriating for thousands — including area residents just looking to get to work.

A ferry terminal was originally included in the $4 billion airport reconstruction plan — announced by Gov. Cuomo and then-Vice President Joe Biden in 2015.  But that aspect of it has seemingly fallen by the wayside.

Now, the Port Authority official acknowledged that interest in waterborne service has risen. Four new East River ferry lines launched earlier this year and have seen much higher than expected ridership - certainly to the addition to the AirTrain. 

However, there is no reason for the Port of NY Authority to create its own ferry service.  The city already operates a working ferry system.  They only need to step up and pay the subsidy required to operate a route to LaGuardia, and another one to JFK.




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