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July 22, 2009 6:33 AM   Subscribe

The Manhattan Airport Foundation. From the About Us: It doesn’t take long to realize Central Park squanders 843 acres of the most valuable real estate in the world. From the FAQ: To date, nearly 100 investors have signed on to provide approximately $130M in equity with another $80M from the bond market making Manhattan Airport the most ambitious privately-funded airport development project in US history. Apparently this is for reals.
posted by allkindsoftime (77 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
The links don't seem to want to open for me. But I'd lay money that it's fake. I'm sure that the $130m equity can be matched by Park Avenue residents fighting to kill the scheme, and I feel the Dept of Homeland Security might have qualms.

Plus, you know, it's barbaric.
posted by WPW at 6:37 AM on July 22, 2009 [6 favorites]


There is no way this is for reals. Period.
posted by spicynuts at 6:37 AM on July 22, 2009


Green space has more intrinsic value.
posted by sadiehawkinstein at 6:40 AM on July 22, 2009


Those graphics make Central Park look way more spacious than it really is.
posted by hermitosis at 6:41 AM on July 22, 2009


The Manhattan Airport Foundation - coming at you live from the 58th floor of the 57 floor Woolworth Building.

Their address: The Manhattan Airport Foundation
233 Broadway, 58th Floor
New York, New York 10007

Woolworth Building Info
posted by evadery at 6:42 AM on July 22, 2009 [11 favorites]


http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/weblog/permalink/the_manhattan_airport_foundation/
posted by blaneyphoto at 6:43 AM on July 22, 2009 [6 favorites]


Airports are so 20th century. How about a spaceport! Imagine rockets leaving every 20 minutes for the golf resorts on the moon, vacation cottages on Mars plentiful lakes, and high speed commuter ships to Alpha Centauri.
posted by JJ86 at 6:45 AM on July 22, 2009


Yeah, yeah, yeah.

1) You're going to build an airport next to the most expensive housing real estate in the world? Hint -- They have more money and more lawyers than you do, and furthermore, this is a case where they have every right to fight airport expansion -- they were there before the airport.

2) Southerly winds mean departures are right over Midtown Manhattan. Read: This is arguing that flying airplanes at the Empire State Building is a good idea.

3) Northerly winds mean arrivals are right over Midtown Manhattan *and* lower Manhattan. You fly planes on an ILS approach over the WTC Memorial. Yes, you do that.


These guys need a swift kick to the ass, because that's apparently where their brains are, and their brains aren't working right.
posted by eriko at 6:47 AM on July 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


Hah, nice - I didn't have to waste my AskMe question to figure out if this was legit.
posted by allkindsoftime at 6:48 AM on July 22, 2009


It doesn’t take long to realize Central Park squanders 843 acres of the most valuable real estate in the world.

Squanders. Those trees are taking up precious space that we could by paving and filling with exhaust.
posted by DU at 6:48 AM on July 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


As if! New Yorkers will never come to accept low flying jetliners over Manhattan.
posted by Hovercraft Eel at 6:49 AM on July 22, 2009


New York City has no viable airport. JFK, La Guardia and Newark may work for people who live in certain outer boroughs.

Newark is not an "outer borough".

It’s called Central Park. Ask most New Yorkers when was the last time they visited it.

25 million visitors annually. There are 1.6 million Manhattanites

Statistically that number is fewer than one visit per person per year.

Not only is this a hoax, but it's badly written.


But how many times did those same New Yorkers go the airport?
posted by zarq at 6:49 AM on July 22, 2009


Ugh... hit post instead of preview. :P

But how many times did those same New Yorkers go the airport?

In 2008, LaGuardia handled 23.1 million passengers and JFK handled 47.8 million
posted by zarq at 6:53 AM on July 22, 2009


Careful. I now have "President" status in the foundation. I now have 500 fewer dollars too.
posted by mathlete at 6:54 AM on July 22, 2009


Airport shmairport. That's a potential 843 acre parking lot*! In New York City! Where it's a pain to find parking.

*842 acres allowing for the dozen or so Starbucks that would be built throughout the parking lot.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 6:54 AM on July 22, 2009


"Apparently, the Huffington Post didn't realize the site was a joke, and posted a link on its front page about the plan to build an airport in Central Park."

The Internet makes it easier to spread these sorts of hoaxes, but it also makes it easier to easily check whether it's a hoax. As someone who enjoys a good hoax, I find it a wee bit sad that we don't even have time to get a good outrage on before something like this is confirmed to be fake.

I was all ready to make a big post about the evils of corporations and about no profit being too filthy. Now I just scowl and move on.

It would be nice to know the motive for the hoax though. Is this suppose to make us had urban development? Seems like a poor way to do it.
posted by y6y6y6 at 6:54 AM on July 22, 2009


It would be nice to know the motive for the hoax though.

I assumed the motive was simply "being a prat", myself.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:57 AM on July 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


That's a potential 843 acre parking lot*! In New York City! Where it's a pain to find parking.

The city took care of that a couple of years ago.
posted by zarq at 6:57 AM on July 22, 2009


Wait, people are debunking what is obviously a prank?
posted by plastic_animals at 7:01 AM on July 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


It would be nice to know the motive for the hoax though.

It is funny to tease NYers
posted by kathrineg at 7:02 AM on July 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Zombie Robert Moses is kicking himself for not coming up with an idea as destructive as this hoax.
posted by piratebowling at 7:03 AM on July 22, 2009 [10 favorites]


*taps watch*

Still waiting for my gravity train
posted by doobiedoo at 7:03 AM on July 22, 2009


It would be a lot cheaper just to push all those museum pieces off the deck of the Intrepid and let people land their Cessnas there. What could possibly go wrong?
posted by backseatpilot at 7:04 AM on July 22, 2009


Wait, people are debunking what is obviously a prank?

No. Just pointing out that it's badly written. :)
posted by zarq at 7:07 AM on July 22, 2009


"Apparently, the Huffington Post didn't realize the site was a joke, and posted a link on its front page about the plan to build an airport in Central Park."

But I thought the Huffington Post had already showed us that such pre-millenial niceties as fact-checking -- you know, the kind of stuff those hidebound "reporter"-types used to do -- were irrelevant in the Digital Age! All we need is content!
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 7:10 AM on July 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


New York City has no viable airport. JFK, La Guardia and Newark may work for people who live in certain outer boroughs.

Newark is not an "outer borough".


If you're going to complain about the writing quality, you might want to brush up on reading comprehension.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 7:10 AM on July 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


The hoaxers also have a Twitter account.
posted by zarq at 7:11 AM on July 22, 2009


If it's not a hoax, they're probably thinking of something like this. (The difference being that LCY was built on then-derelict land, not a park.)
posted by cstross at 7:11 AM on July 22, 2009


If you're going to complain about the writing quality, you might want to brush up on reading comprehension.

*looks closely*

*curses softly*

Good catch. :P
posted by zarq at 7:12 AM on July 22, 2009


From the FAQs:

What will happen to landmarks such as Cleopatra’s Needle, Beethoven and Strawberry Fields?
...
Tavern on the Green will be given the option of applying for a franchisee lease in the concourse food court.


I think this is a hilarious and well done parody - why so serious everybody?
posted by 2bucksplus at 7:17 AM on July 22, 2009 [6 favorites]


Are those the talented puppetmaster fingers of Joey Skaggs I spy pulling these strings? If anybody had the stones enough to create and publicize this, it's him.
posted by Spatch at 7:21 AM on July 22, 2009


Well yes, and they have serious development restrictions on both ends at LCY, I understand. NYC can't complain, really. It took me about as long to get from EWR into Midtown on a shuttle bus as it does going from AMS into central Amsterdam, or not significantly longer, anyway.

Now, comparing that to Stansted...
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:23 AM on July 22, 2009


the grand canyon is a waste
lets start digging for stuff in it
and tear it all up
posted by robbyrobs at 7:24 AM on July 22, 2009


Zombie Robert Moses is kicking himself for not coming up with an idea as destructive as this hoax.

I dunno. As awful as this would be if it were real, I'm still not sure that it would be as devastating as the Cross Bronx. And he did attempt to level SoHo in order to put in a multi-lane highway, so...

Anyway, what really bugs me is the theory (which a strange number of people hold for real) that Central Park is taking up the most valuable real estate in Manhattan, when the opposite is true. When Central Park was created, they chose the spot based on the cheapest urban area, which was in fact so cheap because at that point there was nothing but endless urban grid as far as the eye could see. The area around Central Park is only worth any money because of the Park.

I know almost everybody here understands this, but it just bugs me to see the fallacy written down, even in jest.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:24 AM on July 22, 2009


It doesn’t take long to realize Central Park squanders 843 acres of the most valuable real estate in the world.

Fuck you.
posted by a3matrix at 7:25 AM on July 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


The thought of flying right into Manhattan reminds me of those gloriously bizarre landings on planes into Hong Kong, right into the city, back when the old Kai Tak airport was still in operation. It was so astonishing, and oddly exhilarating, to come in for a landing that close to buildings, in such a densely-packed urban environment. You really could see into apartment windows, laundry hanging off the buildings, all that. It was amazing.

Now, just think, if this wasn't a hoax and they actually did this in Manhattan, you could look into Park Avenue windows and see the wives of the captains of finance and industry, as they gently but firmly reprimand their servants, or talk to their decorators about what sort of curtains they want for the annual redecoration!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:25 AM on July 22, 2009


Certainly, residents would just go wild over the sound of aircraft instead of birds. Actually, Sully or Skully, whatever his name was, might just be a trend setter. Floating airports have been an idea floating around for some time now, there are even a number of floating airport patents. But the problem of course is that there is no runway shoulder, and therefor limited room for error or accident. It might just be used for cargo planes, but there may best be an added commercial pilot training and license category. Though it could be done, I doubt whether it will fly... the insurance companies would demand too high a premium. If minimum auto insurance for NYC is about $2500/yr, imagine the added cost to cover a cargo plane. So whichever way you cut it, no way, Jose...
posted by vvurdsmyth at 7:27 AM on July 22, 2009


It's funny except that until the day I left (2006) whenever I saw an airplane flying even close to the city (and considering how many airports are in the immediate area this happens often) I had to take a deep, calming breath. It will always be "too soon."

Otherwise - nice hoax. Asshole.
posted by From Bklyn at 7:27 AM on July 22, 2009


high speed commuter ships to Alpha Centauri

High Speed? Pbtpbt!

Crawling through the Oort cloud at .05 c because the yahoos are rubbernecking out their portholes at the stupid comets?

The same inertia-killing yahoos who bisect your course three times on approach because they can't decide whether to correct for α Cen A, B or C?

That commute's a total bitch.
posted by CynicalKnight at 7:32 AM on July 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


Riverside Park might have worked though.
posted by smackfu at 7:36 AM on July 22, 2009


It's funny except that until the day I left (2006) whenever I saw an airplane flying even close to the city (and considering how many airports are in the immediate area this happens often) I had to take a deep, calming breath. It will always be "too soon."

I wasn't in NYC during 9/11. But that reaction seems to be common in many cities I've visited since then. Even in Philly, where some of the regular approaches are over the city, I heard this constantly.

The question I always have is: do you really think they're going to do it again? Try to kill some Americans at some point, sure. But the same exact way?
posted by Netzapper at 7:44 AM on July 22, 2009


The Manhattan Airport Foundation - coming at you live from the 58th floor of the 57 floor Woolworth Building.

Whatevs. I have it on good authority that this is where the secret manatees hold their dark gustatory rituals.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:51 AM on July 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


My reason for why its obviously a hoax: the benches don’t have the anti-sleep arm rests. This is UNPOSSIBLE
posted by parhamr at 8:00 AM on July 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


THANK YOU FOR IT BEING A HOAX

made my throat close up there for a bit.
posted by grubi at 8:01 AM on July 22, 2009


Sorry to harp on the same note as everyone else, but there's a lot of oxygen being squandered to support the life of a bunch of assholes who don't recognize the value of green space.
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:02 AM on July 22, 2009


NYC ProTip: Park Avenue does not, in fact, border the park. That's 5th Avenue.
posted by nasreddin at 8:02 AM on July 22, 2009


NYC ProTip: Park Avenue does not, in fact, border the park. That's 5th Avenue.

Ack. And of course I knew that, too. I lived in NY for 11 years, and had a part time job as a private chauffeur for a Park Avenue-residing captain of finance for 8 of those years. Used to drive down fifth all the freaking time, as well as up and down park and all over most other parts of Manhattan, too. Knew my shortcuts through the park... I mean, talk about your pro tips, I was a Manhattan street pro if there ever was one. So... chalk up my mistake to, what, 14 years in Tokyo, I guess...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:10 AM on July 22, 2009


They should turn more of Manhattan into park land. Start with Midtown.
posted by Marnie at 8:19 AM on July 22, 2009


Ruin Central Park for an airport in Manhattan? You can have both!
posted by hangashore at 8:30 AM on July 22, 2009


I just want my zeppelin flights that dock at the Empire State Building.
posted by ryoshu at 8:30 AM on July 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


The question I always have is: do you really think they're going to do it again? Try to kill some Americans at some point, sure. But the same exact way?

I don't think logic enters into it. The experience was traumatic to many people, to varying degrees.

On 9/11, my brother in law was working in the Travelers Building, in a 35th-floor office whose windows over looked WTC, about 7 blocks away. He heard the first plane hit, and watched the second. Saw people falling and jumping to their deaths. He still cringes when he hears or sees low flying planes, even though he knows rationally that there's no danger.
posted by zarq at 8:34 AM on July 22, 2009


Hee. MeFi users are bigger suckers than I'd imagined.

(And I can imagine a lot.)
posted by rokusan at 8:34 AM on July 22, 2009


Obvious hoax.
posted by w0mbat at 8:55 AM on July 22, 2009


hangashore: "Ruin Central Park for an airport in Manhattan? You can have both!"

I was initially laughing at that a bit, but then I thought about it and it's not really that far from the realm of impossibility. Certainly it's easier than some of the great engineering feats of the 20th century, like the Panama Canal. The construction wouldn't be all that different from the huge freeway flyovers we build all the time.

Not that I think it's really a good or practical idea — an airport located somewhere out in the sticks for transcontinental flights and high-speed trains for inter-city transportation is a lot better — but I do like the sheer ballsiness of it.

Even in a magazine like Mechanix or its modern equivalent, I don't think you could toss something like that out with a straight face today. Although we certainly haven't lost the capability, we seem to have lost the desire or motivation for massive civil engineering projects of the Panama Canal-type scale.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:02 AM on July 22, 2009


Pave the earth
Chrome the moon
posted by Eideteker at 9:20 AM on July 22, 2009


NYC could make some serious coin by developing a ring of housing on the outside boundaries of the park. Say a ring 50-60 feet wide. All the infrastructure is there already so they wouldn't need to build new roads and the park would be quieter because the buildings would block some of the road noise.
posted by Mitheral at 9:38 AM on July 22, 2009


...there's a lot of oxygen being squandered to support the life of a bunch of assholes who don't recognize the value of green space.

What does that mean? I live six blocks from Central Park. Does that make me an asshole? As zarq said, the park gets 25 million visitors/year, so obviously someone values the green space.
posted by plastic_animals at 10:03 AM on July 22, 2009



...there's a lot of oxygen being squandered to support the life of a bunch of assholes who don't recognize the value of green space.

What does that mean? I live six blocks from Central Park. Does that make me an asshole? As zarq said, the park gets 25 million visitors/year, so obviously someone values the green space.


I think you mis-read the author's intent.
posted by lordrunningclam at 10:22 AM on July 22, 2009


NYC could make some serious coin by developing a ring of housing on the outside boundaries of the park. Say a ring 50-60 feet wide. All the infrastructure is there already so they wouldn't need to build new roads and the park would be quieter because the buildings would block some of the road noise.
posted by Mitheral at 9:38 AM on July 22 [+] [!]


Sweet zombie Jesus, no! (Purely an emotional reaction.)

I don't spend a lot of time in Central Park, but I can't remember a single time I was there thinking there was a noise pollution problem. Maybe I'm just desensitized? At any rate, the collective noise of all the protesters who would show up to try and stop the city from executing a plan to make it smaller in order to build more super-luxury housing would probably be very noticeable.
posted by ben242 at 10:40 AM on July 22, 2009


I think Mitheral's proposal was actually to destroy Central Park West, 5th ave, and uh...57th and 125th streets and put housing there instead.
posted by kathrineg at 10:50 AM on July 22, 2009


That's a potential 843 acre parking lot!

Central Parking!
posted by sexyrobot at 10:51 AM on July 22, 2009


I was initially laughing at that a bit, but then I thought about it and it's not really that far from the realm of impossibility.

Not that I think it's really a good or practical idea — an airport located somewhere out in the sticks for transcontinental flights and high-speed trains for inter-city transportation is a lot better — but I do like the sheer ballsiness of it.

I do too. Forgetting the complete impracticality of the concept for a moment, it does seem feasible.

Build a good foundation: new buildings whose structures could withstand both its weight and any horizontal stresses that might occur from having a braking plane moving across their roofs. Would the buildings all have to be the same height? Some sort of fail-safe to prevent planes from sliding off onto the streets, buildings and pedestrians below, especially during icy or wet conditions would be needed.

Ah well. It's unfortunate that VTOL aircraft use so much fuel and that they aren't suitable for commercial purposes. There are heliports which could accommodate them.
posted by zarq at 11:01 AM on July 22, 2009


I think Mitheral's proposal was actually to destroy Central Park West, 5th ave, and uh...57th and 125th streets and put housing there instead.

Minor nitpick: CPS is 59th Street. Lots of luxury buildings (and hotels) are already across the street from the Park. Very nice view of Harlem. :)
posted by zarq at 11:04 AM on July 22, 2009


Central Parking!

It's been done.
posted by zarq at 11:06 AM on July 22, 2009


Minor nitpick: CPS is 59th Street. Lots of luxury buildings (and hotels) are already across the street from the Park. Very nice view of Harlem. :)

Ah, thank you. And I recommend the bar at Asiate for an amazing view of the park.
posted by kathrineg at 11:24 AM on July 22, 2009


I haven't been there. I'll have to go, thanks. They're relatively near my office.

An uncle used to live at 222 CPS who had floor to ceiling windows overlooking the park. The view was spectacular. :)
posted by zarq at 12:01 PM on July 22, 2009


I dunno. As awful as this would be if it were real, I'm still not sure that it would be as devastating as the Cross Bronx. And he did attempt to level SoHo in order to put in a multi-lane highway, so...

Yeah, I know. And in reality he'd be against this airport because it's not his style; he'd never pick on people who had money (although he did rail against Shakespeare in the Park for being free and tried to destroy a shaded playground in Central Park to make way for a parking lot for Tavern-on-the-Green).

His huge multi-lane Lower Manhattan highway system, which would not only have gone across Soho and the west village and destroyed Washington Square Park, was only really stopped because he massed with people who weren't necessarily wealthy, but had cultural capital and were able to halt the project. It also killed the Mid-Manhattan Expressway (which would have gone around 30th st) and the Cross-Harlem expressway (125th).

The more I look at the site for the airport, the more it looks like some parody of Moses' thinking style. To make way for cars, the ONLY solution he had was to pave over as much land as he could. When that created more congestion, he never learned from his mistakes and kept right on razing and paving. The thing on the site about an additional airport "alleviat[ing] severe flight delays" just smacked of his kind of thinking.
posted by piratebowling at 12:03 PM on July 22, 2009


The Manhattan Airport Foundation - coming at you live from the 58th floor of the 57 floor Woolworth Building.

Though clearly a hoax, it is possible to have an address on the 58th floor of a 57 story building, since most tall buildings (in the U.S.) omit the number 13 when numbering floors (because of triskaidekaphobia I assume).
posted by LooseFilter at 1:13 PM on July 22, 2009


Green space has more no more or less intrinsic value.
Fixed that for ya.
posted by davidmsc at 1:26 PM on July 22, 2009


The Yes Men perhaps?
posted by jettloe at 4:02 PM on July 22, 2009


Estimated real estate value of Central Park: $528,783,552,000
posted by Rhaomi at 4:10 PM on July 22, 2009


THANK YOU FOR IT BEING A HOAX

IHBT. IHL. HAND.
posted by eriko at 4:09 AM on July 23, 2009


This joke is almost as funny as that time a couple of vaguely European artistes decided to pollute the park with a bunch of orange tarps hung from goalposts. NYC's response: "Breathtaking!"

Christo & Jeanne-Claude are comic geniuses.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:40 PM on July 23, 2009


...vaguely European artistes...

Hmm. Last time I looked those two weren't vaguely European. They were, um, European.

NYC's response: "Breathtaking!"

Of course, you know better than those so-easily-dupable NYC dwellers. Buncha ignorant artiste worshippers!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:09 PM on July 23, 2009


I guess I'll be taking my tongue out of my cheek now.

Christ...
posted by Sys Rq at 10:43 AM on July 24, 2009


Perhaps a tongue-in-cheek emoticon is called for. Quite impossible to tell, from a comment like that, that your tongue was anywhere near your cheek. Heck, even the aforementioned Christ probably couldn't have discerned that...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:12 PM on July 24, 2009


This is the opposite of chicago. Daley bulldozed the airport downtown to install another park on the lake front.
posted by garlic at 8:31 AM on July 30, 2009


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