Tag Archives: New York

Could this be a flight attendant crash pad?

Parked on a street in New York…

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Book Review: Miss New York Has Everything!

Only a flight attendant knows an international layover doesn’t equate to happiness.  And only an ex flight attendant who is now an author can make “flying international” sound truly miserable.  Published in 2006, Miss New York Has Everything proves not a lot has changed over the years as far as flying is concerned.  The book starts off slow, but quickly picks up as soon as Lori Jakiela moves to New York to begin her flying career.  But that doesn’t happen until halfway through the book. For that I give it 4 stars instead of 5. Based on the cover artwork, this LOOKS like a flight attendant book, so those who purchase it might be disappointed to learn that even though Lori was a flight attendant for a major U.S. carrier, this book isn’t JUST about flying. It’s about a woman from a small town who has a big dream. She wants to become a writer. At the age of 45 she decides to go for it by becoming a flight attendant and moving to New York. New York, of course, is where dreams come true. I loved reading about her life in Queens. Because like most new hires who get based in New York, that’s where most of us end up.  Lori is funny, but in a dark and depressing kind of way.  Although I really enjoyed the book, I wouldn’t recommend it to just anyone. Writers will relate to her struggle. Flight attendants will relate to how lonely and miserable the author feels at times. Women may be inspired by how she never gave up the dream, regardless of the path she took to reach it.

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Be glad you’re not a NY based flight attendant schlepping your bags through the snow today!

Photo of Kew Gardens courtesy of my roommate who is not working today, but got stuck in NY anyway.  Eventually she’ll make it home.  I think.

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Photo of the day: Flight attendant standing in the snow at JFK airport

In all my years of flying out of New York, I’ve never seen anything quite like this before.  The gigantic snow pile took up three regional jet gates at JFK airport today.  The flight attendant standing in the snow is over 6 feet tall in heels!  And she hopes to make it back to Cincinnati tonight…  Yeah, right.   

Photo courtesy of @SawaJane

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A flight attendant Christmas story

My roommate & I working on Christmas Eve

I graduated from flight attendant training on the 8th of December in 1995. Two weeks later, on Christmas Eve, my roommate and I were called out to work a trip – together. The crew scheduling God’s must have been smiling down on us that day because it’s not often a flight attendant gets to work with their roommate who also happens to be their best friend on reserve. Although we were scheduled to layover in Buffalo, or maybe it was Albany (I can’t remember), we knew we were lucky. By the way, that’s us in the photograph.

What I remember most is glancing out the window and seeing rooftops and – Oh. My. God! – we were seconds from landing and I still had first class meal trays out in the cabin! I ran like crazy to collect everything and lock it up in the galley before we touched ground, barely making it to my jump seat in time. The Captain never made the prepare for landing PA, even though he swore he did when I called him on it later, which is why I had no idea how close we were to landing. As if that weren’t stressful enough for a new-hire, things went from bad to worse (at least in my head it did) real quick.

As we taxied to the gate, I began to make an announcement, you know the one. “Ladies and gentleman, welcome to….to….to -” Oh no…where the heck are we?! For the life of me I could not remember. My brain was shot after having flown to so many cities in just two weeks on the job. With my heart pounding like crazy, I frantically searched my pockets for the flight itinerary

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Photo of the day: American Airlines announces its new route from Times Square with service to Grand Central, with 200 daily departures

Photo courtesy of Eric Hodgson

Caption courtesy of www.Minimus.biz

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VIDEO: Brickheadz breakdancing in New York at La Guardia Airport

FYI:  “Youtubing” IS a verb – and if it’s not it should be! 

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Chapter 9: Roommates & crash pads (round 2)

An excerpt of chapter 9  (first - of many - drafts)….

We had no idea who called code enforcement but whoever it was had complained about us illegally renting rooms, tying up street parking, and causing general neighborhood shoddiness and potential house price decline.  Basically someone thought we were a public nuisance and wanted us out.  Boris, the homeowner and my landlord, informed the two men in suits standing on our doorstep that we were not renters, but family.  And that is how I became the wife of Boris, an overweight, sweaty, Bulgarian cab driver.  Lucky me.  Boris then pointed to Jane and said, “My sister.”  Jane eyes bugged out of her head.  Then she forced a smile and nodded.  My other roommates were on trips, but unbeknownst to them we’d become cousins.  The two men didn’t blink an eye.  Still, they wanted to see the place, so Boris gave them a quick tour of the house and like that they were on gone.  I couldn’t believe it.  I’d only been living in the house for two days.   

Boris bought the two-story foreclosure in Forest Hills, a prestigious section of Queens, for $200,000 ten years before I moved in.  At least that’s the story I heard.  The home had five bedrooms and each went for $200 a month, two of which were illegally constructed.  At some point my bedroom had been the other half of the living room and Jane slept in what had once been a sunroom. There were three more bedrooms upstairs on the second floor and two commuters shared the attic, which wasn’t half bad for $75 a person.  My second crash pad in three months, I wound up living there for a couple of years and not once did Boris raise the rent.  This was good and bad.  Good because my quality of life was actually quite nice for a first year flight attendant making very little pay.  Bad because my quality of life was so nice I did not dare give it up to move into the city, not when I’d have to share an expensive but tiny one-bedroom apartment with a ton of other flight attendants, especially since I spent so much of my time away from home!  It’s because of this vagabond lifestyle that people with regular jobs seek out flight attendants for roommates.  We’re never home, yet we’re still expected to pay half the rent.  No thank you.  So while I dreamed of living in Manhattan at some point in my life, bridge and tunnel I remained.   

Boris lived in the basement.  None of us had ever seen the inside of the apartment he called home, nor did we want to.  We were too afraid of what we might find – a dead body, a blow up doll, a closet full of women’s clothing, or even worse, our clothing, we just didn’t know.  It was bad enough taking the short flight of steps that led down to his door where he’d hung a wooden box for us to drop off the rent without having to worry about him walking out at the exact same time allowing an accidental glimpse of whatever lurked inside!  We had no explanation for our fears other than Boris did things a little differently.  He used kerosene to remove the linoleum floor.  He kept a carton of eggs and a block of cheese on a concrete wall under the green and white striped awning that hung above his door.  He wore the same blue sweat pants that bunched up around his gigantic calves with thin white socks and brown leather lace up shoes that had seen better days.  And he’d hole up in the basement avoiding us at all costs.  We always knew he was there because the dog would disappear.  We even knew when he was on his way home from the city because Monica, the psychic dog, would bark nonstop twenty minutes before his yellow cab would pull into the drive.

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HOTEL SLIPPERS: The Plaza Hotel – New York

By guest blogger Hotel Slippers

The Plaza Hotel, a designated National Historic Landmark, opened in 1907 and was designed by architect Henry Janeway Hardenbergh.  With an abundance of social history, this Grand Dame of hotels has intrigued as well as entertained and hosted famous guests from F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe, Jacqueline Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, the Duke and Dutchess of Windsor and Frank Lloyd Wright.  Rich in history and known for its architectural design, this hotel has been at the top of my list of hotels to visit for many years.  After reading positive (and just as many negative) tripadvisor reviews, I decided to see for myself just what this hotel was all about.

At a moments notice and on a whim, I booked a room using Expedia.com for a deeply discounted night at the legendary hotel.  From the moment I stepped out of the cab, my bags were whisked away by a uniformed staff member and taken to the reception desk.  Check-in was so easy and quick, I felt as if they had been awaiting my arrival.  A thick white folder embossed with the hotel logo, held business cards, hotel information and welcome letter, a nice start to my luxurious twenty-four hour stay. With the check-in process  complete, I was escorted to the elevator by a hotel associate dressed in black and wearing white gloves.  Within the hotel and on the walk to my room, I noticed the classic elegance of artwork on the walls and beautiful chandeliers gracing the ceilings.  

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Layover: New York – Forest Hills

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If you ever find yourself at La Guardia or John F. Kennedy International airport with a little sit time on your hands between flights, sit tight. Traffic in New York is terrible and you don’t want to miss your flight. But if you’ve got four hours or more to kill, how about doing what flight attendants do. Grab a cab and head on over to Forest Hills, New York, which is located right next to Kew Gardens, otherwise known as Crew Gardens, which is located in Queens – just a short fifteen minute taxi ride from La Guardia and twenty minutes from JFK.

TAXI! Tell the yellow cab driver to drop you off on Austin Street and 71st Avenue in Forest Hills (off of Queens Boulevard). That will put right smack in the middle of everything. Austin Street is where it’s at in terms of restaurants and shopping. There are even a few movie theaters if you’ve got the time. Approximately six blocks long, Austin Street has everything you could possible want within walking distance. When you’re ready to head back to the airport, give Kew Gardens Car Service a call and they’ll pick you up from wherever you are.

JUST WALK AROUND: After being cooped up in a germ infested flying tube for hours on end, there’s nothing better than fresh air. Forest Hills is a wonderful place to just walk around and relax. It was named best cottage community in 2007 by Cottage Living Magazine. The homes are a mixture of magnificent and charming.

Continue reading:  LAYOVER:  NEW YORK

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