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Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 9:56 am

Part II Of The Trip Report: Spotting At JFK

Fri Jul 21, 2000 1:14 pm

Hey here's another part to the story of my vacation...

Later that day after taking the limo (which was very nice by the way) from LGA to my JFK airport hotel, my dad and I decided to go over to JFK and see what we could see. We took the hotel shuttle and went to the TWA terminal first. There aren't any good windows there (if they weren't tinted). So we walked to the international terminals, picked up a few baggage tags for airlines like Aer Lingus, and walked to the Skyview Restaurant near the control tower. I got a few pics from there (2 Alitalia 742s, World MD-11, NWA 744, and I could go on and on). I also saw a TON of new Delta colors, 2 or 3 757s and a 763 in new colors. I don't like the new colors that much, and neither does my mom or dad. They say it looks like a bad paint job, and I agree without a second thought.

After staying at the Skyview restaurant for a little while, we walked out of the terminal and decided to try our luck on one of the parking garages, across from the int'l terminal. The light was good that evening, and they were landing on 31R and departing 31L. The line for departure seemed like it never ended. I have never seen so many international airlines at one airport before. I took quite a few pictures from up there, and nobody hassled us about it. (yet...)

After a while we had to get back to the hotel, and we were assigned by my mom to bring some food back. So we did as we were told. Grabbed some fruit and drinks and stuff and caught the shuttle back to the hotel. My hotel was RIGHT in line with runway 13L/31R. So on the top floor I could look pretty much straight down the runway. It was cool seeing all the heavies line up for landing and they are heading straight at you. My hotel was also right across the street from the Polar Air Cargo ramp, and I could see lots of tails from my window.

The next day we got up early and got ready for a big day in the city. We took the airport shuttle to the bus stop, and took a bus to the subway stop. We took the subway into the city. We went to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (a HUGE and beautiful building), Empire State Building (a C-130 circled above the building when we were on the Observation Deck), and we finally went to Times Square. I got a picture of the BA Concorde model that they have there, and I was thinking of submitting it to airliners.net just as a joke (none of my other pics get posted,   ). After shopping around in the square it was time to eat dinner. We went to CharleyO's and had a fine dinner. Soon after dinner it was time to change into nice clothes and go to the show! We went to the Majestic theater and saw the spectacular "Phantom of the Opera". I've seen the show twice now and it keeps getting better. The music has a special place in my heart because in marching band for high school last year the marching show was no other than "Phantom of the Opera". I couldn't tell you how many times I had to play through those songs, but I loved it and never got sick of the music. After the play it was time to take the subway back to JFK and then to bed. Thus ended one of the longest days, albeit one of the best.

DAY 3: Statue of Liberty and more shopping.

DAY 4: JFK spotting/pictures and Wilkes-Barre, PA

I got up early on Monday morning just so I could go to JFK and take some pictures. There was rain that had been in the area all night long, but it cleared up just as I was ready to go. We went to the rather new looking parking garage across from Terminal 1/2, and took pictures from the top level. It wasn't great, but it was the best spot we had found. I got several pictures of the Air France Concorde that left somewhere around 8 and at the latest 9am. Soon after that a Security guard pulled up to us and told us that it was illegal to take pictures or even look through binoculars from anywhere on airport property. He claimed it "heightened the terrorist risk, especially from this parking garage". To me, I thought we kinda looked suspicious in our hunter green Ford Explorer (rental car) and binoculars in hand leaning against the railing. But it might have been different if we had a missile on top of the car...So then we went to the Police building (on JFK property, i might add) and asked if we could have permission to take pictures. They told us to go to the Port Authority and ask. So we did and they told us to ask the Police. I swear people in New York give you pretty bad directions...no offense to anybody who lives around that area, but it was rather crazy. We finally go cleared to take pictures and go up on that parking garage, but we had wasted good time and missed the BA Concorde taking off. But we didn't miss Virgin Atlantic and JAL, as well as National and Air Jamaica. Pretty soon we had to leave, as I had to be in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pennsylvania, by later that afternoon. So I said my goodbyes to JFK and left. We got to Wilkes-Barre about 5pm, and then from my hotel room I called my friend Jason, who lives just 10 minutes away from where I was staying. I had never met him before, but I had talked to him online. He was the teenager that recorded the conversation between the tower and the captain of the J-31 that went down weeks ago after losing both engines. All 19 onboard were killed. May they rest in peace.

Jason and I met for dinner later that night at Damon's, then went to KAVP (wilkes-barre/scranton int'l). We went up into the control tower and chatted with the controllers up there. The countryside around there is beautiful, and its a lot like down here in Virginia. I went over to his house later that night, and we walked around the neighborhood and got some ice cream. I went to bed after I got back to my hotel and thus ended a very fun day.

Much more to follow...I can't type all this at once...its just too much... 

jonathan d.
"my soul is in the sky" - shakespeare

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