JFK Airport offers a row of (free) spots for motorcycles beside the Lefferts Boulevard AirTrain station at the long-term parking lot. Two of the spots abut a sewer grate laden with chains and locks. Were these chains left here by regular parkers to be used again in the future? Attaching a chain to the grate seems like it would be something of a hassle — dipping one end of the chain down into an opening and then fishing it back out through a different opening — so it might make sense for bikers to just leave their chains in place for next time. And these idle chains also provide other bikers with something easy to thread their own chains through, as seen above.
I found this memorial inside the Port Authority Administration Building at JFK Airport. You can take a closer look at the various components of the memorial here.
The map shows the locations of nine 9/11 memorials scattered around Afghanistan. As the accompanying plaque explains, each memorial consists of a piece of steel that was recovered from the wreckage of the World Trade Center, given to a team of Special Forces soldiers at the start of the US invasion in 2001, and ceremonially buried following the completion of the team's mission.
~ Twilight's Last Fueling ~
It is impossible to accurately measure the results of fueling aircraft safely. No one can count the fires that never start or the engine failures and the forced landings that never take place and one can neither evaluate the lives that are not lost, nor plumb the depths of the human misery we have been spared, but the Fuelhandlers can find lasting satisfaction in the knowledge they have worked wisely and well, and that safety has been their first consideration.
Presented to Allied Aviation & The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
In sincere appreciation of outstanding dedicated public service of enduring value during hurricane Sandy. Never in the history of disaster recovery has the role of the Petroleum Professional been so prominent.
The National Petroleum Management Association
19 November 2013
~ Presidents Award ~
"Perhaps America's most lyrical monument to the dawn of the jet age", the TWA Flight Center at JFK was designed by Eero Saarinen, architect of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. The birdlike air terminal opened in 1962, but has been closed since TWA went out of business in 2001. You can view lots of photos of the interior by scrolling through the slideshow at the bottom of this article.
The two tubes you see emerging from the building in the bottom photo above are corridors that once connected to two satellite structures containing the boarding gates (1996 aerial photo). Those structures have since been demolished and replaced with a JetBlue terminal that opened in 2008 (2012 aerial photo).
Parts of the 2002 movie Catch Me If You Can were filmed inside the Flight Center; you can see the main terminal in this scene and one of the tubular corridors in this scene.
Ideas for reusing the terminal have come and gone over the years, but it sounds like there are now pretty firm plans in place to turn it into the centerpiece of a new hotel complex.
The longevity of the landmarked Flight Center is a testament to its architectural distinction, as JFK has not proven to be an easy place for notable but outdated structures to survive. The Flight Center's fallen brethren include Pan Am's Worldport, National Airlines' Sundrome, and the old American Airlines terminal whose facade featured what was once said to be the world's largest stained-glass installation (cool photo).
UPDATE: A few months after my visit, Governor Cuomo announced the approval of a long-term lease deal for the development of the site as a hotel.
The plaque reads:
IN MEMORIAMI didn't notice it at the time, but is that a skunk cabbage starting to unfurl its leaves to the right of the memorial? Here's a closer look. Skunk cabbage grows in wetlands — a good reminder that JFK was built atop a huge expanse of Jamaica Bay marshland. To get a sense of how drastically the construction of the airport has changed the area, compare these before-and-after aerial images from 1924 and 2012.
IN HONOR OF THE
229 PASSENGERS AND CREW
ONBOARD SWISSAIR FLIGHT NO. 111
LOST SEPTEMBER 2, 1998
EN ROUTE FROM
JFK AIRPORT TO
Donated by ASNAR
SWISSAIR NORTH AMERICA
RETIREES & EMPLOYEES
JUNE 12, 2004
I was quite surprised to find a trio of chickens wandering around the fenced-in property of the Jamaica Wastewater Treatment Plant at the periphery of JFK Airport.
In this tiny wooded area beside the Belt Parkway sits a collection of perhaps a dozen shopping carts containing various items: clothing, folding chairs, plastic bags. This seems to indicate that someone is living here, or at least was in the fairly recent past. A Street View image from January 2013 shows what could very well be the same little encampment.
In the background of this shot, you can see a ghostly-looking A train heading south toward the Rockaways. Here's a closer look at the whole scene.