As Amtrak and NJ Transit passengers gritted their teeth and cursed row upon row of “DELAYED” notifications during last night’s storm, they had no idea that it was their last dance with Penn Station’s beloved departure board. By this morning, the 16-year-old board had ceased operations, and was covered by a tarp on one side.
Commuters have known since August that this gentle giant was not long for this world, as it’s being replaced by smaller LCD screens. But that doesn’t make the slaying of the beast any less painful to watch. Everyone who went down to the Women’s March on Washington DC got one final look at her in action, but now she’s just sitting there like a beached whale, ready to be hauled off over the course of the week.
Suddenly, in a matter of weeks, we’re living in a city without Nat Hentoff, without Wayne Barrett, and without the giant sign board you looked up at to find out which precipitous stairwell to shove your way toward and funnel into on the off-chance there was a seat on the train. (Actual quote from last night: “If anyone touches me I will fucking stab them, so help me God.”) At least there’s now a Shake Shack in Penn Station?
This wasn’t the old-fashioned Solari flipboard of the kind that graced Penn Station till 2000 and that can still be found in Philadelphia (although that one isn’t long for this world). Even that Solari wasn’t nearly as sexy as the one in the TWA Flight Center. Still, people are not taking this well.
I'm so sad. thx for everything, departure board | An iconic piece of Penn Station is fading into history on Monday https://t.co/aBJ2S83PED
— amanda brennan (@continuants) January 24, 2017
— Exhausted ❄️ (@Shubtweets) January 24, 2017
— River Oaks Gay (@SCFLLATX) January 23, 2017
literally the only good thing at penn station is being dismantled: https://t.co/oONkExmi6b
— cale g weissman (@caleweissman) January 24, 2017
— Matt Greller (@OMGreller) January 20, 2017