The feds cut a $2.6 billion check yesterday to build the Long Island Rail Road extension into Grand Central TerminalThe summer after my freshman year, I took Amtrak from Rochester to Grand Central in Manhattan1 to meet my freshman-year roommate at her home in Medford, LI.2
The MTA built the 63rd St. tunnel under the East River for the LIRR extension in 1975. The project, however, stalled.
Amtrak doesn't go to Grand Central today?!
That would have made my life easier then.
Because I remember walking from Grand Central to Penn Station, following some directions I'd received along the way. And then, standing, bewildered, outside MSG.
Finally, I asked someone selling flowers at the curb, "Where's Penn Station?"
"Right downstairs, sweetheart."
And, downstairs, I met a friend of my friend who lived in Manhattan and had agreed to meet me at Penn Station and get me on the right train.
But, she didn't care much and put me on a local instead of an express. Which meant that my friend in Medford wasn't sure of my whereabouts.
But, eventually I showed and we had a great long weekend, at Jones Beach and Port Jeff and she showed me Manhattan, including the observation deck atop WTC. I went up there many times since.
And when it was time to leave, my friend took me back to Grand Central and put me on my Amtrak train. She returned to Penn Station and went home on the LIRR.
1 Passenger Rail Service in New York State
2 MTA LIRR - LIRR Map