Posts Tagged ‘JFK’

Jet Set back to the 60s at the TWA Hotel

Nostalgia fans and fans of the Jetsons, TWA and the 60s in general, will feel right at home when they enter the TWA Flight Center turned hotel at New York City’s JFK International Airport. Utilizing the striking design elements that defined the space as conceived by Eero Saarinen and opened in 1962, the current-day TWA Hotel, its two unique cocktail lounges, and the Jean-Georges Vongerichten-helmed restaurant, Paris Café, are an instant time trip to a bygone era.  This is midcentury retro at its best, with fun twists like elevator buttons that reference present-day JetBlue and the 1960s TWA Hotel, telephone booths (remember them?), and cars with tailfins that seem to stretch for blocks.

The red and white color scheme of the hotel and the Paris Café restaurant/Lisbon Lounge space is original, using chili pepper red and white carpeting to full futuristic effect.  You can choose to sit at a very-George Jetson looking table or at seats hugging the swirling counter where you’ll be treated to servers knowledgeable in the why’s and wherefore’s of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s very appropriate cuisine.

The all-day menu varies from light bites to nostalgic faves inspired by food from in-flight TWA menus including burgers, fish & chips, and Parmesan-crusted organic chicken breast. Among the dishes with the most prominent Jean-Georges stamp are the refreshing spring pea soup, crispy salmon sushi, and black truffle pizza.

You should definitely try an expertly prepared cocktail with updated monikers from the 60s like the Passionfruit Whiskey Fizz, made with a savory-sweet combination of Maker’s Mark whiskey, passionfruit and chili.

But you also might want to save a bit of energy for a cocktail at Connie , the original TWA plane converted into a lively cocktail lounge with seating both theater-style and facing each other as in a luxury jet.  You actually climb the stairs to board the plane from outdoors. A reservation and classic in-flight cocktails like negronis and martinis are musts.

The Sunken Lounge sits in the original waiting and check-in area of the TWA Terminal. The original red carpeting is there as are cocktails with 60s names like “Come Fly with Me,” inspired by Frank Sinatra’s tune and adorned with swizzle sticks showing TWA’s original destinations.

Everything is appropriate to the look and period from the clothing worn by servers to the light switches, elevators, coin telephone booths with rotary dialing, and even the rotating panels that show departures and arrivals as well as cheeky messages.

If you’d like to get into the swing of it, you can purchase a TWA flight bag at the gift shop. Or, better still, book a room at the 512-room hotel. And, don’t worry about noise, the windows are outfitted with a glass wall designed to prevent any sounds from planes landing and taking off at the busy airport. The style is mid-century but the infrastructure is definitely current.

I was completely enthralled being back in the iconic TWA Terminal. The setting has the making of a perfect staycation, or at least for a very different evening out. And it’s another good reason to plan for an early flight in the morning – you can overnight here before you leave and avoid rush hour traffic.

Get Some Satisfaction This Holiday Season at the Rolling Stones Tour Plane Experience at JFK’s Terminal 4

From now through December 30, you can actually get what you need, and a little satisfaction, too, if your travels take you through John F Kennedy International airport.  Make a point of stopping in the retail area of Concourse A at Terminal 4 to visit the pop-up Jose Cuervo Rolling Stones exhibit.  Air Hollywood, a firm from California noted for creating airplane replicas and sets for the film industry (think, Kristen Wiig on that wonderful airplane scene to Las Vegas in Bridesmaids or the planes used in Wolf of Wall Street and Money Ball) has created a replica of the tour plane used by the Stones on their 1972 “party plane” North American Tour, set in an area covering 1500 square feet at the airport. At that time, it was Mick Jagger who reportedly asked for a tequila shot but was served a tequila sunrise instead. Mick was enamored of the orange juice, grenadine and Jose Cuervo creation and it became the drink of the tour, later dubbed the Tequila Sunrise Tour. And thus the drink’s fame began.

At this replica plane, you can try a sample of Jose Cuervo Especial between 2:30pm and 8pm, and sit around a bar that looks remarkably like the one on the Stones’ plane. There are also exhibits, Guitar Hero, and the leather seats that the Stones and their music crew sat in on their memorable 1972 tour. The seats also have the immediately recognizable lips logo. You can tune out the noise of the airport, as well, as Stones songs are playing non-stop. You might actually be happy that you have a layover.  #CuervoSunriseTour

Planning a trip to NYC?