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Where will Providence be in 20 years?

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Discuss...

Do you think we will have a metro/subway system?

Will our skyline look the same?

Will the east side / federal hill / etc. still be in tact?

Will Pawtucket and North Providence still be their own cities?

Will the Dunk still be there? (I say we demolish it, build a new skyscraper there.. and build a new arena furthur away from downtown..)

Will the nightlife improve?

How about the public schools?

Will the Warwick aiport be improved?

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We actually have a good idea of what's going to be in 15 years, due to the Prov 2020 plan that's being worked on...

Do you think we will have a metro/subway system?

Probably not... Recchia would probably be the best person to ask, but my guess is in 20 years, we'll probably have commuter rail going down to Warwick and Wickford, and maybe they'll be considering a South County extension at that time. We'll probably (hopefully) by then have a greatly expanded MBTA schedule as well.

LRT? Who knows. Since it usually takes 7-10 years to construct something like that in the NE, it's possible that in 20 years, a newly construsted East Prov or Allen's Ave LRT line is running or being built by then.

Formally, LRT is not part of the Prov 2020 plan, although the Mayor seems to be looking into it independently.

Will our skyline look the same?

More or less, in that it'll be focused on the central business district. We know about what the skyline will look like by 2010-2012, we'll have 110 joining the "Big 3" downtown, a new Westin tower, the condo towers in Waterplace, probably a Hilton tower next to the existing Holiday Inn. Here's a photoshop one of the UP members did of these developments:

Provair.jpg

Looking an additional 10-15 years down the line, wildcards for skyline altering buildings are the "power block" being built on both sides of 95, phase 2 of Waterplace condos, phase 2 of the yet to be built Avalon Cove (phase 1 won't alter the skyline), and what happens with height regulations for land freed up by moving 195...

In fact, a big determinant of future towers will be what Providence does with their upcoming zoning overhaul...

Will the east side / federal hill / etc. still be in tact?

Absolutely. In fact, each neighborhood in the city will probably be more robust and stronger in identity than they are now. There's a seeming recognition that neighborhood identity is the strength of the city, and there's lots of residential and, to a lesser extent, commercial development which has been sensitive to this.

Will Pawtucket and North Providence still be their own cities?

Yes. No mergers in the future here, or likely anywhere significant in NE.

Will the Dunk still be there?

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Discuss...

Do you think we will have a metro/subway system?

How about the public schools?

Will the Warwick aiport be improved?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Garris pretty much nailed them all, so here are my opinions on a few...

Warwick airport will be improved in the sense that it will have finally have the train station right next to it (true intermodalism in RI finally!). As far as runway expansion goes, I just don't see this happening unless they buried Airport Road or Main Ave underground, there's just no room with either road bordering each side of the airport.

By 2025, we should hope to have commuter rail trains running up and down the Northeast Corridor with stops at Kingston, Wickford Junction, East Greenwich, TF Green, Cranston, Providence and Pawtucket. East Greenwich, Cranston and Pawtucket hopefully will be the state's first designated "transit-oriented developments" with walkable mixed use neighborhoods and excellent quality of life.

Hopefully by then also there will be either light rail or BRT either under construction or already completed. The two most likely places we'd have it done by then would probly be:

1) down Allens Ave and the Harbor Junction line to the Cranston commuter rail station and the Pastore Center (if and only if all along Allens Ave we got some more concentrated development) or down Reservoir Ave to the Pastore Center; and

2) through the East Side Rail tunnel to the newly completed (by then I hope) East Providence waterfront and on up the EP P&W freight line through Pawtucket and possibly Central Falls and Valley Falls.

But who knows, we could have an amazing fixed-guideway transit system by then complete (or under construction) throughout Providence and the surrounding areas...a route up the P&W mainline serving the Blackstone Valley, a route along the Old Colony on Aquidneck Island up to Fall River, a route along the Route 6 ROW out to Johnston...who knows....

Public schools....are they really that bad? I've been reading Jonathon Kozol's book "Savage Inequalities", and anyone who thinks Providence schools are bad should definitely read this as well. Providence schools are actually pretty well funded and well integrated compared to other places in this country.

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Do you think we will have a metro/subway system?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

No, hopefully or transit will improve, but I don't see us having a subway system, unless their are huge changes in the transportation prioities in Washington to fund such things.

Will our skyline look the same?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Nope. We'll have OneTen Westminster and the new Westin tower making big changes to the skyline. Something will happen along Route 95 where the Power Block towers are proposed, it may not be the Power Block proposals, but in 20 years, something will be there. I also think in 20 years we'll have one or two more towers in the size range of the OTW and Westin towers, it may be more residential, but I'd hope we'd see a new office tower (or two) within 20 years.

Will the east side / federal hill / etc. still be in tact?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The East Side will be much the same, with what few available building spots are left filled in (the area at the west end of Wickenden Street will be totally transformed by the relocation of 195, and RISDs Chase Center will be a reality at the base of the hill).

Federal Hill I think will be quite different. I think we'll see a number of sub-standard buildings along Atwells replaced. We'll also see a new tower next to Dominca Manor. And the east end of Atwells will have more of a gateway building near the arch. We'll also probably see more neighbourhood retail in the way of things like a CVS as retaurants start to move off the hill into Downcity (following L'Epicureo and Gracie's). Federal Hill will still have a huge restaurant scene, but there will be more than restaurants (I hope).

Will Pawtucket and North Providence still be their own cities?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Undoubtedly.

Will the Dunk still be there?  (I say we demolish it, build a new skyscraper there.. and build a new arena furthur away from downtown..)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes, the Dunk will still be there. In fact I'm glad it's there, I wouldn't like to see it replaced with something further out of the city's core. It's a huge asset to have it right in the center of the city the way it is and connected to the Convention Center.

Will the nightlife improve?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It'll change, I think it will mature. The young cutting edge scene that Providenc ehas been known for will continue, and I think improve, as places like AS220 mature and solidify the art scene in Providence. But I think the new residents moving onto the city from New York and Boston will be looking for more 'adult' venues. There will be more after work cocktail places, and more jazz clubs, and quieter venues.

How about the public schools?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Changes in the school system at this point I think need to come from the state level. There's lots we can do collectively as such a small state. The city can't really get any more money out of the tax payers for the schools, and there aren't a lot more cuts that can be made, if we pooled resources with neighbouring communitees however...

Will the Warwick aiport be improved?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

There's a renovation project in the works now. The airport will be connected to Amtrak and the T which will be a huge improvement in and of itself, and I do think we will have larger runways, the business sector wants it to happen, and it's only the people in the immediate vicinity of the airport who don't. Unfortunately for them, the airport will expand.

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Discuss...

Do you think we will have a metro/subway system?

Will our skyline look the same?

Will the east side / federal hill / etc. still be in tact?

Will Pawtucket and North Providence still be their own cities?

Will the Dunk still be there?  (I say we demolish it, build a new skyscraper there.. and build a new arena furthur away from downtown..)

Will the nightlife improve?

How about the public schools?

Will the Warwick aiport be improved?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Do you think we will have a metro/subway system?...I think the city will pursue this...much dependas on 2 things - the addition of residential life in Downcity and the development of Narragansett landing AND funding

Will our skyline look the same?...No, the will be more towers a the Rt 195 vacated space opens up

Will the east side / federal hill / etc. still be in tact?...Yes, these are hallmarksof Providence history and culture

Will Pawtucket and North Providence still be their own cities? That would be the logically thing to do (especially NP) but highly unlikey in NE

Will the Dunk still be there? (I say we demolish it, build a new skyscraper there.. and build a new arena furthur away from downtown..)...It will be there

Will the nightlife improve?..Yes, as it will in 3 years

How about the public schools? Status quo unless another Great Society (LBJ) comes along

Will the Warwick aiport be improved?...You mean the PROVIDENCE Airport (people do not fly to the suburbs where airports are located) ; it is already considerd a very good airport and it will grow accordingly

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Recchia and Cotuit: Great posts... Both chock full of interesting projections. Recchia, imagine if what you propose (which I think is quite likely) comes to pass. What a change from today's situation all of that would represent!

I also think in 20 years we'll have one or two more towers in the size range of the OTW and Westin towers, it may be more residential, but I'd hope we'd see a new office tower (or two) within 20 years.

Wouldn't that be nice... I think it all depends upon the zoning issues and what they decide to do with downcity's and the Jewelry District/195 land height restrictions.

The East Side will be much the same, with what few available building spots are left filled in (the area at the west end of Wickenden Street will be totally transformed by the relocation of 195, and RISDs Chase Center will be a reality at the base of the hill).

The future of the East Side, to focus on my back yard for a minute, I think will be more interesting than many people think:

- If the price escalations continue, I think we'll see the continuing gentrification of the area West of Camp St., not without some tension, perhaps...

- What is the future of Thayer St.? Will it continue along in its patchwork quilt fashion, or will Brown get serious about outlining a comprehensive plan for the street that includes more urban friendly storefronts, more diverse retail, and well designed parking areas? Will the "crazy" rents there start to drive people out?

- Is the owner desired slow transformation of Wayland Sq from a small neighborhood retail center to a destination neighborhood (my goodness, we have 3 excellent restaurants now, 3-4 clothing stores, 3-4 lunch places, and some life after 8 PM) going to fly? What will replace Whole Foods in Wayland Sq when it eventually leaves? (2007-8 or so). What will happen when the United Way leaves the Square? Will 100 Medway ever get used for anything?

- Will the condo-ization of the East Side continue or will it implode?

- As prices climb, will the more reasonable and hip "Hope Village" and Oak Hill neighborhoods become the hottest on the East Side?

- What's going to happen in Richmond Square? Will it be a gated condo, or one day a viable, walkable, urban neighborhood in its own right? It has the potential to be both...

- Miriam's building now and they're not done. How's that going to work?

- The Jewish community in RI is starting a new community day school, and wants it on the East Side. Where on earth are they going to build that campus for less than a zillion dollars?

- How far are the Friends of Fox Point crazies willing to go to prevent the 195 land West on Wickenden from become developed?

- Brown crammed the badly needed Life Sciences building down the NIMBY's throat, and what little good will they had with that crowd went with it. There's more land (the gas station on Angell, for ex) that they want to develop. Will the neighborhood fight them to the death over it?

Federal Hill I think will be quite different. I think we'll see a number of sub-standard buildings along Atwells replaced. We'll also see a new tower next to Dominca Manor. And the east end of Atwells will have more of a gateway building near the arch. We'll also probably see more neighbourhood retail in the way of things like a CVS as retaurants start to move off the hill into Downcity (following L'Epicureo and Gracie's). Federal Hill will still have a huge restaurant scene, but there will be more than restaurants (I hope).

Fascinating ideas... The subtle transformation of the Hill from a destination restaurant scene into a fully realized neighborhood as much for its residents as for visitors would be a fascinating one, and one long overdue... Interesting... That would be amazing... I find your prediction of more restaurants moving downcity to be an interesting one, as I know the rents up on the Hill for restaurants has been a sticking point for a while. If L'Epicureo and Gracies do well for more reasonable rents, that could be an interesting trend... Boy, would I love to see Bombay Club off Dean and onto Westminster!! Ah, outdoor seating with Saag Paneer and a bread basket... Yummm...

- Garris

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As far as a subway system goes, that will most likely never happen. The closest we would ever get to that would be the use of the East Side Rail tunnel. LRT and BRT are much more realistic.

I think we are in a good position now to get some new transit up and running, we have Chafee and Reed on key committees that were able to secure a large sum of money ($96 million....) for development of the commuter rail in RI. We have a pro-transit mayor in Providence, and other municipalities really pushing for transit development (East Greenwich, Pawtucket, for example). We have increasing densities in our urban cores and a growing preference for urban amenities and lifestyles.

Of course all of this happening now doesn't say much for our future, we could lose representatives on committees in years to come, our politicians could have different views, etc., but for the next 3 or 4 years, we should see some forward progress.

And of course, if I get hired by DOT when I graduate :whistling: , then I'll ram transit down their throat until we have an excellent system....

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...we have  Chafee and Reed on key committees that were able to secure a large sum of money...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think we better take advantage of Chafee's postition while we can, if he's re-elected it'll be a squeaker. We also face the prospect of losing one of our Reps. after the 2010 census, which will diminish our meager power in DC.

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I think we better take advantage of Chafee's postition while we can, if he's re-elected it'll be a squeaker. We also face the prospect of losing one of our Reps. after the 2010 census, which will diminish our meager power in DC.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Chaffee is a liberal Republician (if there is such a thing) who dosen't always see eye to eye with the White House, so I think he can use his vote to obtain more money for RI. The White House really went all out to get Chaffee's vote on the John Bolton nominee for Ambassador to the UN, and on other votes. It really angers some Republicians nationwide that Chaffee is so liberal. He's been discussed on national TV talk shows. Send more money/grants to RI and that boy from a famous Yankee family will vote in your favor :thumbsup: C'mon Lincoln, bring home the bacon :)

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Discuss...

Do you think we will have a metro/subway system?

Will our skyline look the same?

Will the east side / federal hill / etc. still be in tact?

Will Pawtucket and North Providence still be their own cities?

Will the Dunk still be there?  (I say we demolish it, build a new skyscraper there.. and build a new arena furthur away from downtown..)

Will the nightlife improve?

How about the public schools?

Will the Warwick aiport be improved?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hello all, this is my first post on UP.org. I just came across is last week, and have fallen head over heels with it. As much as you are are Providence nuts, I am equally as passionate about T.F. Green, and am really beginning to obsess over the city of Providence, as well. Suitably, I figured this would be an appropriate time to chime in. And since I'll leave the city of Providence topics to the experts, i'll just zero in on the real "PVD."

T.F. Green is on its way to serving a record number of passengers this year, solidifying its status as a healthy, still-growing airport. RIAC has embarked on a small (in comparison to, let's say, a brand new terminal) upgrade to the facility involving moving the EDS X-Ray machines behind the ticket counters, freeing up space in the main lobby. This will allow for the "openness" of the B.S. Terminal to once again be realized.

Starting this fall you will also see construction begin on filtering in all the arriving passengers directly to the lower level of the terminal, thus bypassing the security checkpoint. Again, clearing up the mess that was created in this post-9/11 environment, it will put us at a huge advantage, logically and ergonomically-speaking. When you think of the more major hubs like O'Hare, Logan and LaGuardia, they don't even have this ability.

The runway issue is slow in development. Realistically, the only option we have is to extend the main runway, 5/23, south towards the Main Ave/Rte 113 direction. RIAC is looking for 9,500 feet, which is a nearly 2,400 feet addition. It might not get to that length, based on political and community opposition. Depending on the final outcome, we could be looking at either spreading it south by 1000'-1500' and "displacing" the runway 5 threshold, or going for the whole enchilada and tunneling Main Ave.

Obviously, it seems, most of us here are more familiar with the train station that is in the books. Last we heard a new EIS was being conducting on the future site of the facility that is due to be complete this year. We are also optimistic to hear of the $1B grant RI received last week from Congress to upgrade regional transportation. I believe it somewhere in the neighborhood of $40M allocated for the automated people mover connecting the station with the terminal. That's hot.

For more information on T.F. Green, check in at:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tfgreenairportwarwickripvd

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I love TFG.  It, along with Westchester County in NY, might be the easiest and most pleasant airport I've ever used.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I don't travel much, but I thought Portland's PDX was an excellent airport (and it was under heavy construction when I was there, for the LRT extention). Portland does a lot of things right.

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I don't travel much, but I thought Portland's PDX was an excellent airport (and it was under heavy construction when I was there, for the LRT extention). Portland does a lot of things right.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Ah, I forgot about Portland. That's a great airport too. I took their LRT downtown my last time there. I'll be heading there (and Seattle too) hopefully next month!

- Garris

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Ah, I forgot about Portland.  That's a great airport too.  I took their LRT downtown my last time there.  I'll be heading there (and Seattle too) hopefully next month!

- Garris

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Portland is a great city all around. Their mass transit is great, and its even easy to find parking right downtown. It's prolly the only place besides PVD that I would want to live. Good stuff.

The only thing I dont like is their "bus only" blocks downtown. They generally arent very well marked and I drove down them more than once in the ole rental car greatly aggravating everyone and sheepishly ducking down in my seat.

Liam

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The only thing I dont like is their "bus only" blocks downtown. They generally arent very well marked and I drove down them more than once in the ole rental car greatly aggravating everyone and sheepishly ducking down in my seat.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That's what you get for driving, you should have been riding the trolleys. :lol:

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Ah, I forgot about Portland.  That's a great airport too.  I took their LRT downtown my last time there.  I'll be heading there (and Seattle too) hopefully next month!

- Garris

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes, I often remark to myself that PDX and PVD are my favorite airports, both for ease of use and for food that is not disgusting. :) I feel lucky that they are the two airports I use most often - as I'm a Portland resident and a Newport native.

By the way, feel free to drop me a line if you make it to Portland next month. I live here (and work as a transportation planner) and would love to meet up for coffee to discuss providence or portland (two of my favorite topics) or whatever. My girlfriend and I have a couple extra bikes if you want to borrow one to cruise the neighborhoods. It's definitely the best way to get a sense of the city, particularly the old neighborhoods that were built around streetcar lines/main streets on the east side of town.

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Yes, I often remark to myself that PDX and PVD are my favorite airports, both for ease of use and for food that is not disgusting.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Is PDX an international airport?

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Yes, the Portland Jet Port is international, but only in the sense that it has a few flights to Canada.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Actually the Portland Jetport is PWM, Portland, ME. Portland International is PDX, Portland, OR.

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Is PDX an international airport?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

PDX is international. The flights I know of that go directly to another country include:

Frankfurt, Germany (good arrival point as its a rail-hub in europe's train network)

Tokyo, Japan

Vancouver, Canada

Mexico City and Guadalejara, Mexico

http://www.oregoncuisine.com/getting_to_oregon.php

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Welcome!  Great post, and thanks for the info.  I took a quick look at the Yahoo group as well, and it looks fantastic.  Thanks for the link.

I love TFG.  It, along with Westchester County in NY, might be the easiest and most pleasant airport I've ever used.  I find it mind boggling that the local community and some politicians want to tie the hands of such a phenomenal local asset. 

What are considered TFG's biggest challenges right now?

- Garris

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Thanks for the warm welcome, fellas. I was 3 paragraphs into a response when I accidently clicked X instead of _ (at work like most of the rest of y'all), so I'll keep this one brief.

PVDs biggest challenge now is the getting the NIMBYs to understand the importance of the runway extention. (Un)fortunately RIAC is one of the more neighbor-friendly airports I know of, and alot of concern for the neighborhood and its quality of life is factored into airside improvements. The tough part about it is the shortsightedness of these NIMBYs. They're bent on the concept that a longer runway would allow for longer flights (absolutely) on larger (yup), louder (nope) aircraft. RIAC has been very considerate in conducting iinformational sessions every so often, usually around PR time when tensions run highest and NIMBYs get to remind the rest of us of that 2x4 still securely lodged up their :w00t:. What they refuse to accept is that longer runways allows for a higher safety margin for the airplanes that use, and the airport located in, "their backyard." More concrete allows for lower thrust settings on takeoff because there's less of a need to reach takeoff speed by the time the runway end nears. Lower thrust settings allow for lower noise levels occupying a smaller footprint. These realities have literally been beaten into the heads of the Warwick residents, but to no avail. It's a linear concept with these people. If this, then that.

Currently our longest flight is PVD-PDL (Ponta Delgada, Azores), a chain of Portugese islands 2,500 miles away from here, off the western coast of mainland Europe. It's a summertime-only flight done every Saturday from mid-June to early-September on Airbus A310-300 equipment. On this particular route, we are fortunate to be located so far east and have the prevailing westerlies from the jetstream at our backs to make this flight feasible. Second-best is PVD-PHX (Phoenix, AZ) about 2,200 miles out being served 2x daily on Southwest Airlines 737-700s. This route is so popular that it routinely goes out full with passengers, bags and freight and makes the load planning very tedious at times to the meticulous demands. During the summer time when it gets hot and the loads are high, they often have to weight-restrict to allow for safe, legal takeoffs. If you ever witnessed one, it might not appear overly exhilarating, but trust that the margin of error is significantly lower than for what an O'Hare or Charlotte run would be.

Recently our sister-city airport, MHT (Manchester, NH) extended both their runways, and one of them reaches 9,500'. MHT, while currently less busy than PVD when it comes to aircraft movements, passengers served and airline presence, is in a position to eventually outpace T.F. Green if the market dictates flights (particularly unreachable west-coast destinations like LAX, Las Vegas and San Diego) to certain cities.

The city of Warwick has a huge economic engine in hosting the airport, however they can't afford to allow its importance to be forgotten. As in the City of Providence, the officials should have already realized the value in expanding. 10 years ago the terminal was an eyesore with limited importance to both the population and airlines. The state needs to tighten the leash around Mayor Asevedian soon, or begin entertaining that whole emminent domain concept.

Well so much for keeping it brief.

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I used to live in Warwick, and still have tons of family there, and I can second you that they are NIMBY's out of control when it comes to the airport. Everyone HATES it. They don't see it as an economic engine, they see it as noise and traffic on Airport Road. Airport expansion has become one of those dreaded topics around there. My parents even moved out of Warwick cause they hated "the noise", but stupid them, moved right next to Quonset, right into the path of national guard planes that fly even lower.

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I used to live in Warwick, and still have tons of family there, and I can second you that they are NIMBY's out of control when it comes to the airport.  Everyone HATES it.  They don't see it as an economic engine, they see it as noise and traffic on Airport Road.  Airport expansion has become one of those dreaded topics around there.  My parents even moved out of Warwick cause they hated "the noise", but stupid them, moved right next to Quonset, right into the path of national guard planes that fly even lower.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

:rofl: Your kidding!!!!!!???????? Well, I noticed that there is a group out there against airport expansion which includes Cranston residents. But I must note that I live in East Providence and the planes coming into runway 23left fly/take off directly over my house/Riverside so EP residents may have an issue also. But it dosen't bother me. I always look at the big picture.

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Every so often a plane will make an approach over Federal Hill which is noticable.

I used to live right under LaGuardia's flight path in Flushing, Queens. THAT was noisy, it felt like I could reach up and touch the planes, they went right over the house. Long Beach in Nassau County, NY is a cool place for plane spotting, you can play in the surf and watch 747s from Kennedy seem to skim across the dunes.

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