Apologies to Billy Joel.
JAMAICA, N.Y. — The hum of foot traffic is underscored by a terrible remake of Celine Dion’s terrible version of “Drive All Night.” Only the periodic unintelligible announcement provides relief here at Gate 19, Terminal 5 of John F. Kennedy
Idlewild International Airport.
JetBlue flight 1130 arrived 27 minutes early from Syracuse, punctuating the news that our connecting flight to Washington’s Dulles International Airport was rescheduled to 10:35 — 35 minutes after its original landing time. My CEO sits across from me, reviewing something in a manila folder. The chatting has ended, likely due to the massive breakfast we just finished.
Terminal 5 underwent an impressive renovation during the past few years, adding a food court that would challenge most shopping malls — it’s certainly nicer than the Carousel Center in Syracuse. After our flight landed, The Boss and I went to breakfast at 5ive Steak. Borrowing the naming convention and concept from Las Vegas’ N9NE, the open air restaurant serves fine steaks during normal hours. Its breakfast menu was extensive. Cooked-to-order omelets, eggs benedict, brioche French toast…quite impressive. The Boss went with the prix fixe brunch, which included coffee, OJ (mimosas aren’t available until 8 a.m.), home fries and her choice of granola, two eggs and meat or a breakfast croissant. She chose the latter and was greeted with an overstuffed croissant, filled with eggs, bacon and cheese. I didn’t take a picture…I thought it would be rude and overstep my bounds.
I opted for the tomato and goat cheese egg white omelet. The two extra-large eggs were incapable of holding the enormity of the filling. Everything tasted (gasp) fresh. Sure, breakfast was $40, but considering that our Syracuse Airport breakfast would have nailed me $10 for a three-day old bagel and a bottle of Dasani, I was delighted.
Coffee was the next order of business, but Dunkin Donuts was packed and I’m impatient as a rule. Instead, I experienced my first Jamba Juice. Truth be told, I make a better smoothie at home, but this was up there. I’m still working through my Five Fruit Frenzy — peach, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry and banana. I’m only a little jealous of the fruit cooler, loaded with berries.
As I sit here, laptop plugged into the Samsung Mobile Recharging Station, I think about my morning wait in Syracuse. No restaurants were open. The vending machines were half empty. My gate was tucked down a back hallway; a secluded afterthought in an airport of shuttered gates. I realize that comparing these two airports are like apples and oranges, yet other airports in Upstate America seem to get it.
Nothing about Hancock Airport says, “Welcome.” Instead it screams, “Why bother? We don’t.”
Now back to my Jamba Juice.