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TWA Hotel – Eero Dynamic

Eero Saarinen kept his feet on the ground, but designed architecture for the stars.  No structure of his exemplifies that idea and his modernist design brilliance more so than his Trans World Flight Center, which opened at Idlewild Airport in 1962  (a year later, JFK would be assassinated, and the airport would be renamed in his honor)

Well, TWA went belly up in 2001, and with it, the use of this space.  Call it terminal illness, if you will.  Although not much was done with the space since then, besides an art exhibition and some Open House New York visitations, the powers that be had the foresight to not let it go to waste or ruin.

A couple years back, the idea to build a hotel on the site was hatched, and once that clock started ticking, I started to count down the years, days, minutes and seconds until I could enter this space and breathe in its beauty.

I was not disappointed.  In fact, once I entered it, I never wanted to leave.  Hotel California who?

TWA may be dead, but long live The TWA Hotel!

it’s easy to get to via AirTrain at the Terminal 5/Jet Blue stop

most people will enter thru the back way via Jet Blue check-in area, but I recommend taking to the street and entering thru the original front entrance, to experience the terminal like those who did back in the 60s and beyond

and while the inside is a sight to behold, don’t sleep on its exterior

but once inside, you may never want to go back outside

pro tip – turn your photo black and white and it will look like its from a bygone era! it’s true!  I’m a pro!  and that was my tip to you!

also, if you take photos earlier in the morning, there will be less people milling about!

check in was a little confusing at first, but pretty easy once you find your place and use the self-check in kiosk, with employees on hand to help if need be

the terminal waiting area is now the hotel’s lobby, which apparently has instantly become one of America’s largest hotel lobbies!

make sure you make time to sink yourself into The Sunken Lounge area.  you can even make a reservation to have a seat and enjoy a drink or lite snacks.  walk-ins are welcome, but it never hurts to make that reservation!  The Jet Blue terminal blocks the runway view, but there’s still plenty to observe –  an old clickity clackity departures board, gloriously restored by the same Italian company that made it in the first place – Solari Lineadesign, and this little guy in front of you…

The Connie – aka, the Lockheed Constellation

The Connies, in their day, held transcontinental speed records, and even served as Air Force One for Eisenhower in the 50s

and the one parked at the TWA Hotel now serves as an Instagram worthy backdrop, and its interior as a place to have drinks!!! woah!!  I was able to walk in and walk through multiple times to have a look, but it is also a place where you could make an advance reservation, should you want to sit and unwind

there are plenty of food options onsite.  near the main entrance on the bottom floor is Departures Hall Dinning, featuring Halal Guys, Fresh & Co, an empanada place, an Italian sandwich spot, and açai bowls & smoothies joint.  they are currently not open very late, so check the hours should you grow hungry in the evening, as the only other option would be the gorgeous Paris Café by Jean-Georges…

stunning.  Stunning.  STUNNING!!! you’ll want to eat all your meals here, but it comes at a price – like $$$ kinda price, but totally worth whatever they charge, as the ambiance and views have no price value.  they are PRICELESS!!!

I cannot preface this enough – if you plan to eat at the Paris Café for breakfast, lunch or dinner (I had 2 out of 3, no lunch), DO DO DO DO make a reservation.  DO IT NOW.  DO IT.  You will NOT want to just show up and take the chance of being turned away!  There is a bar on the side of the restaurant that may have space for walk-ins, but don’t take the chance.  RESERVE A SEAT!!

And if you eat dinner, get the endive salad and get this three cheese, egg and truffle pizza.  SO FREAKING DELICIOUS!!!

so how about the rooms? I didn’t take this picture below, but this is pretty much what my ‘Deluxe King With Runway View’ room looked like

and if you do plan on staying overnight, which I would highly recommend (yes, even for those who live in New York), you MUST get a runway facing room.  First, the rooms that DON’T face the runway face the terminal/lobby, which means everyone in the terminal/lobby will look into your room.  Well, if that’s your thing Mr(s) Exhibitionist, then go ahead.  But foreal, it’s runway or the highway.  YOU GET TO WATCH PLANES TAKE OFF IN FRONT OF YOUR EYES – DAY OR NIGHT!!!  The glass is superTHICK so you will NOT hear a sound from the outside.  Although the sound of your black out shades opening/closing will be the loudest sounds you hear

I love that everything that can be TWA branded is… TWA branded!!  you’ll want to take it all home with you!!

and if you can’t, you can always buy it in the gift store, a bit hidden off the main lobby

some REAL killer swag! 

sadly these sweet cashmere sweaters are $250

but these SICK-a$$ Gola shoes are a not so bad $65.  me and the mrs bought them sight unseen and seen!  (I’m always scared to wear white anything, so I feel like I already need 10 back-up pairs!!)

if you can’t make it to the store, it exists online too!  

so, besides eating, drinking, sleeping and buying, what else is there to do?  EXPLORE YOU BUTT OFF.  Check out every dang inch of the place.  DO IT!!

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN!!

catch my drift?

did you catch me?

so groovy!

2001: A Ground Odyssey!

curved, for everyone’s pleasure!!

it’s polite to stair here

sadly these are not for sale

not sadly, THESE are for sale

take a seat

take a peek around every corner

think about what could be – your wedding, bar mitzvah, quinceanera, next bidness meeting could be here!!  and it will be an event no one would ever forget!!! 

imagine your friends and family or clients here!  

and this stuff is all new.  no Eero, but in the same vein!

so so so so fabulous 

so make some time to visit.  you got a JFK flight?  come an hour early and walk the grounds.  you want more?  stay the night and take your time to enjoy it

before everyone else takes all the good ‘grams

what time is it?  no time like the past, present or future

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that’s the #TWA

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up, up and away.  but stay grounded and enjoy the layover!

bravo TWA Hotel.  can’t wait to be inside you again

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Minnie Flirt

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Disney sued the Lampoon for $11 million over this cover

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