On the Menu at Newark Liberty: Fine(r) Dining

By Cheryl Ann Albiez, Media Relations Staff

Each year, the number of passengers through Port Authority airports is setting new records. In 2017, 43 million passengers used Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) alone, as the airport continues to modernize and add best-in-class services and amenities.

That’s a lot of hungry mouths to feed, with a traveling public increasingly selective in its culinary wants and needs.

So, as part of EWR’s modernization, several new and innovative dining options are showing up on the EWR menu, including Tsukiji Fishroom, Classified and Liberty Diner, as well as Gateside Fresh Market, a traveler’s “grab and go” outlet for healthy eating.

Travelers at United Airlines’ Terminal C can now indulge in freshly sourced sushi from Japan’s Tsukiji Fish Market, the largest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world.


Several times a week, fish procured from the Tokyo market is loaded into the belly of a Boeing 777-300ER jet and flown on the airline’s nonstop flight from NRT (Tokyo Narita) to EWR.  Once the fish arrives, it goes to directly to Tsukiji Fishroom’s production room, featuring state-of-the-art forming and wrapping machinery imported from the Japanese sushi robotics innovator, Suzumo. It’s then ready for diners to enjoy the same day.

“At home, I have a very limited list of places I go to for sushi based on quality and freshness,” passenger Antonina Luppino said during a recent stop. “It was a pleasant surprise to taste how fresh the sushi at this airport was. After hearing where the fish comes from, it’s probably fresher than my local restaurants.”


Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market

A more exclusive locale at Terminal C is United Airlines’ Classified so exclusive it is in an undisclosed area, available by invitation only to select customers. Those lucky enough to get an invite to the 36-seat restaurant are greeted by a host and guided through a “secret” walkway before entering the dining room featuring a “speakeasy” ambiance. The signature dishes are the brainchild of chef Nate Appleman, winner of the James Beard Award (the Oscars of food) and vice president of culinary for OTG, the restaurant company teaming with United Airlines. 

The most recent addition to the airport’s dining experience is Liberty Diner. With New Jersey often referred to as the diner capital of the world, why not add a diner in an airport? Although located in Terminal B, an international terminal, Liberty Diner gives patrons an All-American experience.

“We sat down here because of the Johnny Rocket’s vibe and its location to our gate,” said traveler Daniela Jaramillo. “We’ve enjoyed the experience and food so far.”

Designed in the iconic retro-style of the traditional American diner, the menu features classic American dishes, from bacon and eggs and waffles to double-fisted burgers, chocolate shakes and meatloaf sandwiches.


For hungry passengers with no time to waste, Westfield’s airport concessionaire also established the Gateside Fresh Market in two locations in Terminal A. Similar to the fresh produce of a farmer’s market, Gateside offers hand-picked, healthy products, such as artisan sandwiches with premium fillings. Customers can also choose from whole fruits, top-shelf salads and a wide range of snacks and drinks, as well as other multiple grab and go options.

“I’m always excited to see new and unique ideas brought to our airport,” said Diane Papaianni, general manager of Newark Liberty.  “Our customers are important to us, and we –  the Port Authority, the airlines, terminal operators and its concessionaires – are committed to providing them exceptional value, additional amenities and dining options that will elevate their overall experience.”

Posted in Newark, Newark Liberty International Airport, Uncategorized

PA Port: Helping to Build the Region, in Spectacular Fashion

By Lenis Rodrigues, Media Relations Staff

The Port of New York and New Jersey has seen its share of big and impressive cargo imports over the years, everything from a replica Batmobile, to NJ Transit subway cars, yachts and even a giant Marilyn Monroe statue.

But another Port claim to fame is its role in helping build the region, literally. And sometimes those imports, too, are spectacular in their own way. Take one extraordinary Hindu temple in Robbinsville, N.J., about 20 miles east of Trenton.


The massive Robbinsville mandir

Back in 2014, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), a global religious and civic organization affiliated with the Swaminarayan branch of Hinduism, imported Italian marble and 13,499 pieces of stone originally carved in India through the New Jersey Marine Terminals.

From the port, the marble sections and stones were trucked to Robbinsville, where it was used to build a massive mandir, a Hindu place of worship, adorned with 236 peacocks, the national bird of India, and 91 sculpted elephants placed inside the mandir. In all, the artistic and construction materials traveled more than 21,500 miles through an intricate supply chain before they arrived in New Jersey. The Hindu temple –  133 feet long, 87 feet wide and 42 feet tall – is an architectural marvel and mostly completed.


One of 236 hand-sculpted peacocks that adorn the mandir’s interior

But work continues on other components of the facility, including the BAPS’ Swaminarayan Akshardham Mahamandir, a cultural complex that showcases and celebrates Indian art, culture, traditions and values. Also under construction are a visitor center, exhibition hall and a youth activity center. 

“Thanks to the Port of New York and New Jersey, we were able to get the materials without trouble on time here. Today, the mandir is open to anyone, and it’s all thanks to them,” said Lenin Joshi, a mandir spokesman and volunteer.

The Hindu temple project illustrates the wide range of products and materials that flow through the Port, from furniture, beverages, clothing and food products to the type of Italian marble and stunning artistic flourishes used not only in the constructing the mandir, but in the development of the Oculus at the World Trade Center Transportation Hub.

Port Authority Port Department Assistant Director Bethann Rooney noted the remarkable range of goods that flow through the Port to become part of historic regional projects.

“Building materials are a perfect example,” she said. “We have seen the transport of giant beams used for One World Trade Center to the materials coming through the port to build this temple.”

Posted in Port Authority, Port Jersey-Port Authority Marine Terminal, Port Newark/Elizabeth Marine Terminal, Port of New York & New Jersey, Port Region, Port Region of New York and New Jersey, Uncategorized

A Quarter Century Later, First WTC Attack Still Jarring for PA Leaders

By Steve Coleman, Media Relations Staff

Twenty-five years after the first major terrorist attack at the World Trade Center site, the horrific memories of that snowy winter day are still vivid to Alan Reiss and Lillian Valenti.

Reiss, employed as the Port Authority’s lead electrical engineer for the World Trade Center towers at the time, was on the B-2 level of 1 World Trade Center at 12:18 p.m. on February 26, 1993 when terrorists detonated a bomb inside a Ryder rental truck parked nearby. Immediately, he saw a big piece of steel fly behind him, but it took a few minutes for him to process the fact that a bomb just exploded.

After first helping Port Authority colleagues and others evacuate the area, Reiss returned to the basement area where the blast occurred and saw complete devastation: cars flipped over, water pipes broken, a huge crater left from the impact. Electrical circuits were arching and a heavy thick black smoke filled the area, migrating upwards into the massive office towers. Six people died in the attack, and more than 1,000 were injured.

“It was like a scene out of Dante’s Inferno,” said Reiss, who became Director of the Port Authority’s World Trade Department in 1998 and today serves as the agency’s Director of World Trade Center Construction.

Valenti, currently the agency’s Chief Procurement Officer, was a Senior Human Resources Specialist and on the 61st floor of 1 World Trade Center that day. She and her colleagues had no idea what happened, but thought initially it was caused by a Con Ed transformer. Soon realizing it was a more serious event, she moved quickly to begin evacuations, paying particular attention to the disabled, those suffering from asthma or women who were pregnant. A triage center was established on the 43th floor, and groups were sent down the stairwells to safety up until 6:10 p.m.


Alan Reiss and Lillian Valenti

This Monday, Reiss and Valenti will attend their 25th Memorial Mass at St. Peter’s Church near the WTC, along with colleagues and the families of the victims. The annual commemoration event helps keep the memories of that day, and the efforts to restore the towers to normal operation, fresh in both of their minds

“It was a herculean effort to get the towers reopened,” Valenti recalled. “Every step of the way, we never lost sight of those who lost their lives, and they were the source of our energy and resilience.”

Hours after the 1993 attack, when the incident scene stabilized, Reiss was finally able to call home and speak to his wife and son. During that conversation, he told them: “You won’t see me for a couple of months because I have to rebuild this place.” His words turned out to be prophetic. Valenti also called her husband that night from a hospital, where she had accompanied a pregnant staff member, to say she was fine.

“There was a building and people who needed my help and I probably would need to be at my ‘home away from home’ for some time,” she said.

In the weeks and months that followed, Reiss spent many sleepless nights restoring key electrical and HVAC systems to the towers and shoring up the building structure where the bomb had exploded. “This was my home, my building,” he said. “We were ready to do whatever had to be done to get it back opened.”During that same time, Valenti organized a staffing operation on the first floor of what was then the Alexander’s Department Store space to accommodate displaced agency staff and third-party vendors. It was a 24/7 operation to deploy field, operations and management staff in an organized manner. On March 19, 1993, the first tenant – New York Gov. Mario Cuomo – moved back into the towers. In the following months, all but one tenant, a law firm, returned to the towers.

All these years later, Reiss believes that day changed the way Americans looked at terrorism. “Before this attack, I don’t think this country ever thought about this type of terrorist attack before,” he said.


Posted in 1993 World Trade Center Bombing, Uncategorized, World Trade Center