A Good Showing for Brooklyn Heights and Environs at LGA’s Terminal B

I may be a year late to the transit hub party, but I have finally seen the light—or at least the sunrise—on the newish Terminal B at LaGuardia Airport. I guess I’ve been flying Delta a lot—which typically involves a tiny tease of the swanky new Terminal C and then a dreary detour back through the time warp portal to the 1990s gates from my first arrival in NYC. But last weekend, flying American Airlines to a wedding, I got a glimpse of what everyone has been talking about—Terminal B. Terminal B 2Terminal B 6B again

You know, the one with the EXACT replica of the Borough Hall subway mosaic?

borouh hall

The one with the Junior’s Cheesecake outpost?

A little taste of the neighborhood at  Junior's

A little taste of the neighborhood at Junior’s

The one with the Hill Country Barbecue spot? (yes, I know it’s been probably a decade since it bordered Fulton Mall, but I’m still nostalgic for the ribs, cornbread and upstairs honky tonk where kids were tolerated).

Hill Country from days gone by on Fulton Mall

Hill Country from days gone by on Fulton Mall

You know, the Terminal that celebrates our neighborhood?

The place has enough icons of Brooklyn Heights and its immediate surroundings that no wonder I kept whispering to my husband: “If we get stuck in an airport for the apocalypse like in Station 11, I want it to be here.” “Let’s just find coffee,” he begged, since it was 5:39 a.m. Turns out, Terminal B even has an app for that.

Everyone talks about Singapore’s fancy airport. I saw that in May and it was alright. Sure, the one in Wilmington, N.C. where we landed an hour or so after departing LGA had rocking chairs, corn hole and a 3 minute walk to the rental car. But hello LaGuardia! Terminal B is A-OK!

Here’s a tour. First up, the replica Borough Hall subway station mosaic. Except clean and shiny and floating in clouds. Not like a Wednesday morning in actual Borough Hall smelling of disinfectant (not complaining, MTA! Love Simple Green!) or a Friday evening, smelling of something else. Also memorialized in tiny tile—the familiar signs for our beloved 4,5,6 to Grand Central. Terminal B 7

And a stray caterpillar—metaphorical or just Big Apple-adjacent? I couldn’t say.

There are cool gadgets too—like a digital baggage scale table. Maybe you have a family of good packers a la Joan Didion.didion But for those of us willing to unzip and reshift our wardrobe and unmentionables right there in the bag check line to avoid $200 overages, it’s nifty.

Courtesy digital scale

Courtesy digital scale


If you end up with a full-body search, there are plenty of tables for redressing. And, in the middle, a handy bin stacker. Cool, right?

Handy integrated bin stacker

Handy integrated bin stacker

All under the gaze of a megatron array of NYC landmarks including our favorite—the Brooklyn Bridge–and a regal view of the Empire State.Terminal B 9

There’s cute shopping—not typically my thing in airports, but they had pizza and egg cream charm bracelets and a delightful Strand bookstore outlet in rainbow colors. Good stuff if you were… Strand-ed.

Reading options---in case you get Strand-ed,

Reading options—in case you get Strand-ed,

At 6 a.m., caffeinated, and ambitiously biscuited and gravied, we gathered ‘round the water fountain like a Roman piazza for the big show. The Bellagio in Las Vegas has nothing on the Port Authority, people. On cue, every 15 minutes, the water shower dances with lasers and projections of iconic NYC images. An anti-Frank Sinatra with a wispy voice begins whispering an electronica New York, New York and scenes of Brooklyn and those other boroughs appear. If I were a full time Terminal B resident during the apocalypse, I might cut back to a couple of times a day. But it was pretty cool for a first timer with an on-time departure.

Brooklyn Bridge in the singing fountain

Brooklyn Bridge in the singing fountain

Terminal B 13

Airports are a love-hate thing with me. I love Laguardia’s convenience without the long haul to the gates involving trams, carts and too many people movers. Been to Denver, Cincinnati or Atlanta? Fuggetaboutit. If I want to walk laps, I’ll do it around the dog-free astro turf at Cadman Plaza. I do fancy a working outlet, though. Terminal B’s a pretty good balance of swank and speed.

When we landed, we did it all in reverse. But we were worried—we’d watched helplessly from afar on social media as our neighborhood streets flooded and community was stranded. During the last deluge, I’d played midnight doorman with my next door neighbor while my husband and our apartment building’s super and porters and some caring neighbors tromped across setbacks in foul weather garb and knee high boots to unclog drains. love

There’s certainly no app for that—not even at Terminal B.

But Terminal B was good to come home to.

Hiking it back to Brooklyn

Hiking it back to Brooklyn

When we returned, the sun was setting beneath its glorious skybridge.



As always, it’s fun to travel and better still to land on the tarmac in Queens, just down the BQE from home.

If you haven’t seen it, check out Terminal B. I’m pretty sure that’s B for Brooklyn.

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  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com/ Claude Scales

    Wow! The next time I have occasion to fly (not sure when that might be) I’ll see if I can book American from LGA.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Thanks so much for the tour of Terminal B from a Brooklyn perspective. I don’t fly any longer so I appreciate you taking the time to show me that NYC is still capable of producing wonderful structures. Enjoyed the read.

  • Jorale-man

    Great post. I’m a Delta frequent flier but I hope to see Terminal B one of these days. The new LGA is much better overall, even if it does require you to walk a lot now, and could use a few more seats in the gate areas.

    And yes, I hope they eventually eliminate that strange U-turn in Terminal C that takes you back into the dingy old gates 81-90 (!).

  • Andrew Porter

    Until they changed their standard decor, all the Subway sandwich places had illustrations and maps of the local subway and elevated trains, from the 1930s, on their walls: