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Old Apr 29, 17, 11:16 am   #1
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Yikes!! House hunting in Manhattan... via Virgin America and American First Class

It's been nearly a year since we moved from Denver, and Mrs. SFO777 has decided that the beautiful but sleepy 'burbs of southern coastal Orange County and its dearth of good restaurants isn't for her. So where to next? LA? No. San Francisco? Nope. Back to Denver? Not yet. Paris? Not practical. So, here we are at LAX Saturday morning heading to New York. We've always loved visiting and thought, what better place for an urban fix and great restaurants. So we decided to check it out and see how it felt and how bad the prices are for a lot less space. Crazy airfares this weekend but I lucked out and was able to find two 25,000 mile Virgin America saver First awards on alaskaair.com. Unfortunately, VX operates from the armpit of LAX, Terminal 3.



Fortunately, T3 is about to be renovated as Delta will move from the its current T5/T6.











With 20 minutes to spare before boarding, I left Mrs. SFO777 in the gate area to check out The Loft.



I guess this is the back door as took the "head up the staircase" option.



Lounge dragon took a look at my boarding pass and reservation and advised that my fare didn't give me access but I could buy a day pass for $30. LOL. I declined but was given the OK to take a quick look around. OK, not many are going to miss this place when VX moves to T6 in a month or so.









Heading back downstairs where renovations have already started.





LAX-JFK
Virgin America VX 406
A320
10:45a-7:10p
April 22, 2017
Seats 2DF


Proper priority boarding today as only First Class was invited to board first. Not like United's everyone but the kitchen sink Group 1 nonsense. Despite pushing 10 years old, the cabin is still very attractive. And the First Class seats still beat most domestic premium seats. Yeah, it's no longer competitive with the lie flat competition on this route, but still comfy for a just over 4 hour flight.















Great crew today with one of the FA's lip-syncing to the VX safety musical. Very creative.





And we're off.



Shortly after take-off, our First Class FA Logan jumped into action starting with closing the galley curtain to shield pax from the galley activity. What a concept which no major US airline thinks of doing with its Airbii.

















Showtime, Virgin America style.





My Crudité with Edamame Pesto Hummus starter was delicious.



For her main, Mrs. SFO777 went with the Chickpea Masala, which she said was flavorful and enjoyable... although she did admit that she misread it to be Chicken Masala.



I went with the Beef Filet with roasted tricolor potatoes, sautéed wild mushrooms, grilled asparagus and scallions, Burgundy demi-glace and horseradish chive creme fraiche.



Despite being well done, the filet was moist and melt in your mouth delicious... unlike the crap that I was served in AA First on our return.



The Lemon Pistacchio tart was a tasty finish to a very nice meal.



Not sure it pairs well with another Anchor Steam though.



After the carts were out of the main cabin aisle, access to the F lavs was restricted and admirably enforced.



Although VX's IFE is the a litle dated, it is still adequate. And features live satellite TV.





Goodies from the Dean & Deluca snack basket.



We arrive 20 minutes early to close in Gate 2 and thanked Logan for taking good care of us today. Sadly, Alaska will be killing off the Virgin product in the next year or so. It's been a great ride while it lasted.





... and outside where our driver had just pulled up.


Last edited by SFO777; Apr 30, 17 at 8:29 am
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Old Apr 29, 17, 11:47 am   #2
  
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SFO777 - Here's an idea, why not get a viewing at the new FS Downtown residences?

http://www.fourseasons.com/content/f...wyorkdowntown/
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Old Apr 29, 17, 9:50 pm   #3
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SFO777 - You won't like NY - the Eastbound flights to Europe are far too short to have a civilized, trip report worthy F experience and there is a lack of really outstanding F lounges at JFK or EWR.
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Old Apr 30, 17, 4:10 am   #4
  
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I love American style houses and real estate. I'd love to know what you looking at. Call me a nosy parker.

So your job lets younlive anywhere or arecyouba retired mega millions lottery winner?
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Old Apr 30, 17, 5:27 am   #5
  
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Some of the photos on SFO777.com look awfully familiar - were you house hunting on West 87th / Central Park West? I recognised the little park just at the corner of 87th and Columbus, as I lived at number 28 for six months back in 2005. Small world, some might say!
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Old Apr 30, 17, 6:24 am   #6
  
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Since you are back you got a taste of prices in NYC, my cousin has a place in the upper east side, 5th floor, 1100 SqFt 1.5 million. There are less expensive places but you wont be in the city.
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Old Apr 30, 17, 6:41 am   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icegirl View Post
SFO777 - Here's an idea, why not get a viewing at the new FS Downtown residences?
http://www.fourseasons.com/content/f...wyorkdowntown/
Thanks icegirl. The FS is beautiful like the RC, but we're not interested in the Financial area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elitetraveler View Post
SFO777 - You won't like NY - the Eastbound flights to Europe are far too short to have a civilized, trip report worthy F experience and there is a lack of really outstanding F lounges at JFK or EWR.
Excellent point on those far too short trips to Europe elitetraveler. But the Asia flight will be longer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annalisa12 View Post
I love American style houses and real estate. I'd love to know what you looking at. Call me a nosy parker. So your job lets you live anywhere or arecyouba retired mega millions lottery winner?
Thank you Annalisa12. Indeed, since I work for myself, we can live pretty much anywhere although my businesses are in the NA Eastern time zone so living in Asia would be tough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BahrainLad View Post
Some of the photos on SFO777.com look awfully familiar - were you house hunting on West 87th / Central Park West? I recognised the little park just at the corner of 87th and Columbus, as I lived at number 28 for six months back in 2005. Small world, some might say!
Wow, good eye BahrainLad as we were indeed on West 87th.
One of the apartments we were interested in must have been across the street at number 31. Small world indeed.
Another pic...



Quote:
Originally Posted by FlightNurse View Post
Since you are back you got a taste of prices in NYC, my cousin has a place in the upper east side, 5th floor, 1100 SqFt 1.5 million. There are less expensive places but you wont be in the city.
For sure, NY prices are ridiculous but resale and rental prices seem to have softened and actually declined in recent months.
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Old Apr 30, 17, 8:04 am   #8
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Excellent point on those far too short trips to Europe elitetraveler. But the Asia flight will be longer.

Unfortunately, not in a significant way - the only eastbound routes I think you get markedly more F value is ICN/TYO-NYC vs LAX/SFO the latter being on the 'shorter' side to take full advantage of lavish F service and still sleep thoroughly.
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Old Apr 30, 17, 8:19 am   #9
  
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Exciting! I love VX F. But isn't the lax/jfk flight 6 hours? And you mentioned arrival at Logan.
I'm glad you mentioned AA F having bad food. I felt that way on my only AA F domestic flight 2 years ago and it's definitely preventing me from flying AA again. Once VX is done, I'm hoping that AS will still be decent, or at least better than UA and AA.
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Old Apr 30, 17, 8:28 am   #10
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About 50 minutes after we left JFK, we arrived at Columbus Circle and the Trump International Hotel. We chose Trump because it is the home of two fabulous Jean-Georges restaurants and we got a good rate using Amex FHR which included daily breakfast for two, a $100 food and beverage credit, guaranteed 4pm checkout on Monday... and a upgrade at check-in to an executive city view suite. Very nice although a little dated. The staff was simply superb. The biggest complain was the lilipuchin sized bathroom.









Even a kitchenette. Perhaps this was once an apartment.













Yeah, the name is everywhere. LOL.





But jeez, even your basic Sheraton has a bigger bathroom.



We unpacked and then headed downstairs for our 9:30pm dinner rez at one of our favorite restaurants, Jean-Georges' Nougatine.











Mrs. SFO777 started with the lovely Arugula and Sucrene Lettuce Salad with Fines Herbs and Mustard Vinaigrette.



While I had my usual Jean-Georges starter, the Fried Calamari, with Aji-Amarillo Chili Emulsion and Cilantro. Outstanding.



Mrs. SFO777's Roasted Dover Sole was to die for. OMG. With Potatoes with Lemon, Herbs and Brown-Butter.





My Veal Milanese with Parmesan, Escarole and Lemon was amazing.



And a wonderful way to end the evening.





And some early morning pics.









With the sheers open, a beautiful morning in the city.















Still on Pacific time, Mrs. SFO777 was sound asleep. So I headed out across the street to Central Park. What a gorgeous morning.

































Then back to the hotel to check on Mrs. SFO777 and get ready for the rest of the day.




Last edited by SFO777; Apr 30, 17 at 10:15 pm
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Old Apr 30, 17, 8:47 am   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elitetraveler View Post
Unfortunately, not in a significant way - the only eastbound routes I think you get markedly more F value is ICN/TYO-NYC vs LAX/SFO the latter being on the 'shorter' side to take full advantage of lavish F service and still sleep thoroughly.
True but anything over 12 hours is a perfect F flight in my book.

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Originally Posted by gaobest View Post
Exciting! I love VX F. But isn't the lax/jfk flight 6 hours? And you mentioned arrival at Logan.
I'm glad you mentioned AA F having bad food. I felt that way on my only AA F domestic flight 2 years ago and it's definitely preventing me from flying AA again. Once VX is done, I'm hoping that AS will still be decent, or at least better than UA and AA.
Thank you gaobest. LAX-JFK is shorter and faster than the return, in the 4.5 hour range. Westbound will be roughly an hour longer in the 5.5 hour range but can feel longer with typically longer JFK taxi time. Logan was our FA's name, not the airport.

As for AA, it's a real shame about AA or what I call the destruction of AA by the US/HP bean counters. A once great airline is now a sorry excuse of an airline. Domestic food even on transcons is basically inedible. I do give Parker credit for being at the right place at the right time and knowing what to do... taking advantage of a greedy, gullible union and scoring a deal for AA out of BK. As an airline operator, he won the lottery, as even the sorriest airline exec can make money in these days of limited competition but especially cheap oil.
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Old Apr 30, 17, 8:53 am   #12
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Great to hear you're moving to the "Big Apple", SFO777. Such a very interesting and photogenic city which we'll hopefully get to see more of.

I was just there last month, although it was a little cooler:

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Old Apr 30, 17, 9:59 am   #13
  
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"you can't walk any restaurants worth visiting [from Battery Park]"

I would say that North End Grill, Delmonico's and L'Appart are all walkable from Battery Park and all worth visiting.
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Old Apr 30, 17, 11:08 am   #14
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Great to hear you're moving to the "Big Apple", SFO777. Such a very interesting and photogenic city which we'll hopefully get to see more of. I was just there last month, although it was a little cooler:
Stunning winter pic DanielW. Thank you.

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"you can't walk any restaurants worth visiting [from Battery Park]" I would say that North End Grill, Delmonico's and L'Appart are all walkable from Battery Park and all worth visiting.
Thanks NickW. I'm sure they are all worth visiting but by "walk to a restaurant" I meant a block or two.
Mrs. SFO777 is not going to walk 0.5 to 0.8 miles or 8 to 12 blocks in heels.

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Old Apr 30, 17, 11:10 am   #15
  
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Wow I definitely didn't think lax to jfk was under 5 hours!
Sudden thought - why didn't you use Mint? :-)
Anyway another thought as I read your check-in pictures... WE NEED MORE PICTURES OF SFO777. Sorry for shouting but...
Finally since you did fly AA on return, will you stop booking them for the rest of 2017? I can understand that you may already have them on upcoming itineraries.

My "bad" experiences on AA and UA are the main factors for avoidance when I book my 2-4 annual trips... but maybe it would differ if I flew more.
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