The Sky Steward’s Layover List: New York City

The Sky Steward’s Layover List: New York City

Here’s my latest list of favorite spots in New York for your next ‘layover’

My baby sister, Kristy, was invited to compete on the Rachael Ray show in her “America’s Best Griller” competition and I was more than happy to fly to New York to show my support and get some great material for the blog at the same time.

My sister Kristy David-Williams (left) on the Rachael Ray Show

The tAAlent on my MIA to LGA Flight


I flew American Airlines from Miami to New York LaGuardia and loved visiting with some of the fantastic crew members on my flight. Other than that I was busy writing thank you notes to the hundreds of people who’ve sent me their support in a number of ways. Oh and I was sure to carry on my luggage since American has mysteriously misplaced my bags on my last 2 trips with them. hmmmm.

Ground Transportation: Lincoln Town Car

I always use Carmel Limo in New York because for about the same price as a taxi, I can take a Lincoln Town Car into the city. There are plenty of other services but I have been very satisfied with the value I’ve received when booking with Carmel. They also give AAdvantage miles with each trip. There is something about waiting in a taxi line at the airport that gets me all fermished!

Hotel: InterContinental Times Square

The view was fantastic from the 39th floor of the InterContinental Times Square

My favorite hotels are Kimpton, but upon arrival at the Ink48 Hotel in Manhattan something just did not seem right. First of all, Fergie’s name was missing from the little chalkboard in the lobby and then I received a very blase welcome at the check in desk. It was the wrong combination after a long day so I decided to leave. I went to my other New York favorite, the InterContinental Times Square and found it to be just what I needed for my frazzled nerves. We were checked into a fantastic room on the 39th floor with a gorgeous view of Times Square.

Fergie and I were enjoying the room so much, we decided to get food to go from Ca Va’, a Todd English Restaurant adjacent to the hotel lobby. I decided to keep it light and ordered the ‘Garlic Spinach’ and the ‘Truffle Mac n Cheese’ and the portions were large enough for dinner and breakfast. I did not want that Mac n Cheese to end!

Great New York Layover Dining

The Food Hall by Todd English

The next day for lunch I wanted to introduce my sister and her new friend Elizabeth to another Todd English restaurant, The Food Hall at The Plaza Hotel. I knew that she would enjoy it and I was not disappointed at her reaction. Some of our favorites were the Grilled Lobster Salad, Lobster Hush Puppies, Brussels Sprouts, Mac n Cheese (with pulled pork)

 Naples 45 in the Pan Am (now MetLife) Building

Naples 45 Restaurant at the base of The Pan Am Building

We were in the mood for Italian food that evening so we headed to one of my favorite places in the city, The Pan Am Building. I know it is not the Pan Am Building anymore but it will always be to me. Just as DCA will always be Washington National Airport to me, not Reagan National.

Anyway, the best thing to start out with when you visit Naples 45 is an assortment of anti-pasta plates that everyone can share. Of course ours went so  well with a couple or three Blue Moons while we waited for our pizza to arrive. We ordered the Barese Pizza with fennel sausage, onions, tomatoes and mozzarella and we finished every crumb. See their menu here

Heartbeat at the W Hotel- 541 Lexington Avenue, NY, NY 

The next day, while my sister was filming at the Rachael Ray show, I decided to take myself out for an afternoon cocktail. I had my luggage with me as I walked around the city and just when I was about to give up I spotted a W Hotel on Lexington Avenue and knew that I’d be able to find something good there.

Following my instincts, I was led through the lobby to the hotel’s Heartbeat Restaurant. The entire place was empty accept for a few people sitting in the bar area. When I asked the bartender if they were open for lunch, he informed me that I could eat in the bar area.

Peter, the Best Bartender in the World, got me all set up with an electrical outlet for all of my gadgets and a fabulous martini! Then as we went over the menu together he suggested the ‘Spinach Salad with the Crab Cake’. This was not on the menu, but he knew if was what I was looking for. Soon I was joined by my sister Kristy and friend Elizabeth. Peter helped us create our own ‘happy hour’ complete with Thai Shrimp and Buffalo Spring Rolls which we all divine! You must visit Peter at the W Hotel!

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@ gailendavid

Gailen David is co-creator of He was a flight attendant for American Airlines for 24 years. He's Executive Producer and Co-Host of national TV travel talk-show , "The Jet Set"as well as a correspondent with CNN Airport Network. Gailen is also very passionate about improving the lives of airline workers who've sacrificed so greatly throughout the years to help their companies survive and thrive. Gailen's Website and his Facebook Page..Plus, his Aluminum Lady and Delta Dawn videos are based on the corporate culture that exists at US airlines.

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