Tag: 24 Hours In Airworld
by Rob Verger | 06.10.09 | 10:59 AM ET
I’ve seen the terminal go through nearly a 24-hour cycle now—from busy in the morning, afternoon, and evening, to the quiet of late night when the last flights are shipping out, back to the busy hum of the morning again.
by Rob Verger | 06.10.09 | 8:14 AM ET
I slept, kind of, for a couple hours, my blue rain jacket pulled over my head. I had managed to get a good spot on one of the leather couches by Gate 14, and awoke early this morning as Flight 819 boarded for Santo Domingo in a loud rush of Spanish. (Did you know that, in keeping with airport superstition, there’s no Gate 13 here?)
Outside, the expanses of the Kennedy airfield I can see now are gray with fog. A tall cup of coffee (the Illy place has been open since 4:30 a.m.) is making this morning feel a little more manageable. But now I’ve been hanging out here for about 20 hours, and a lot of that time has been somewhat less-than-fun.
by Rob Verger | 06.10.09 | 2:21 AM ET
The terminal empties out for the night.
by Rob Verger | 06.10.09 | 12:12 AM ET
A few basketball fans linger as the terminal gets quieter.
by Rob Verger | 06.09.09 | 11:21 PM ET
The beat goes on here at T5. Last I checked—at around 10:20 pm—JetBlue still had about 15 more flights to get out tonight (delays were frequent today with the bad weather), and then the first flight out tomorrow morning is the 5:45 to Puerto Rico.
While delays may be bad for the traveler, they’re good for the restaurants in the terminal, including Deep Blue, where I ate a quick dinner of tasty but too-spicy Pad Thai followed by a big cup of green tea. (Anything to warm me up in this hostile, freezing environment.) I enjoyed sitting in the white and blue bar space there, looking out at the rest of the terminal as things began to wind down. From the shopping area here, as I mentioned before, it’s hard to tell you’re in an airport. (Although the people walking by pulling suitcases are something of a giveaway.)
by Rob Verger | 06.09.09 | 8:20 PM ET
Airport terminals are, by their nature, transitory places. Nearly 12 million people flew through Kennedy airport on JetBlue (the largest carrier here, measured by passenger volume) between March 2008 and March 2009, according to numbers from the Port Authority. And so I’ve often wondered: Do airport restaurants and bars have regular customers? Do they have a rhythm to them, the way other places might?
I ate lunch today at a tapas place called Pequillo here in T5, and afterwards, went and sat at the place’s bar, which is set in a cave-like space where it’s easy to forget you’re in an airport. (It advertises itself as the first tapas restaurant in an American airport.) I talked to the gracious bartender there, Kenia, regarding my question about airport bars and regulars. She was born in Honduras, and now lives in Brooklyn, and says that regulars—maybe 20 or 30 different people—come in about twice a week. “If you remember their name, and whatever they drink, it makes them feel good, I guess,” she said.
by Rob Verger | 06.09.09 | 3:11 PM ET
It was raining this morning in New York City as I made my way to J.F.K. to spend 24 hours hanging out in JetBlue’s Terminal 5. Every time I come to this airport, I’m reminded how far away it is from Manhattan. I took the 1 Train to the 2 Train to the E Train to the AirTrain to get here—a trip longer than some short flights.
On the elevated walkway from the AirTrain to T5, I was able to look out on the old Eero Saarinen TWA terminal—JetBlue’s new terminal sits in front of the beautiful, soaring old building, which is currently closed for renovations and is under the management of the Port Authority. Once it opens, JetBlue will have two self-service kiosks in there, and there’s a rumor that the building could one day become a museum—or a pod hotel. Today the building sat there closed, under gray skies, a landmark from another era, connected to the new building through the old tubes.
by Rob Verger | 06.09.09 | 10:54 AM ET
JetBlue’s terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport sparkles. At a cost of $743 million, the 635,000-square-foot terminal known as T5 opened in October 2008. I’ve passed through it twice and was impressed with how bright and scrubbed clean it felt. And it offers what every terminal needs: free Wi-Fi.
This last detail makes it perfect to work from—perhaps even, for a very short period of time, to live in.
So starting today, with the permission of the good folks at JetBlue, I’ll be living in T5 for 24 hours and blogging about it as I go. I’m not flying anywhere. I’m headed to the airport just for fun and will spend a full day and night writing about the pulse of the place and anything else that comes up.
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