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Don’t tell anybody, but I have only been on 2 airplanes since June, and one was today! You see, air travel is no longer something I look forward to since it devolved to “bus service in the air” a couple of years ago. It was a long slow death spiral, but consistent and very much depressing.

As long time readers of NPS know, I am no longer a fan of United airlines. After 10 years of being a 100K member and 1,560,787 miles, United finally used up ALL of my remaining loyalty. That’s right. Every drop. I’m stuck with United since I live near a major hub of theirs, but I plan to do what I can to avoid flying with United.

So, for the first trip back from the famed “no fly July” we’re giving Jet Blue a shot. Lets compare and contrast, from the sublime to the stupid.

Why Jet Blue is Better than United (a one trip comparison)
1. flies modern equipment (new embrear regional jet vs United prop (?!) jet)
2. has a better commuter terminal for East coast travel at IAD (Terminal A, the “walmart” terminal sucks)
3. costs less (by $200 to get to Boston and back)
4. people at Jet Blue seem to like their jobs (at United they all know Jeff Smisek sucks and they hate working for him…really)
5. whole cans of soda water by default even in cattle class
6. United loves to talk about what they are “gonna” do, but they never get it done –> WIFI = not that hard
7. Jeff Smisek sucks and he is the CEO of United

Not that Jet Blue is perfect mind you. I don’t like paying $50 for an extra bag as a newb, but I have to have my bag of electronics for this trip. I also don’t like paying $30 more so I can get on first and stow my instruments, but I am sure as heck never checking my precious violin. So that all sucks. This trip will cost me $160 more than planned. Maybe #3 up there is wrong.

In the end it is clear that I need an airplane.

p.s. Here is a comparison between United and Delta FWIW.

Maybe the awful United express flight up here in a creaky old expressjet CRJ200 was foreshadowing of some sort? In any case, there is nothing quite like New York City to disavow you of your ego! Even the hotels and my own best guys are in on the game.

Just when we thought Kimpton loved us here at noplasticshowers, we were unable to finagle our favorite room for one of my companion’s rare visits to the city. (We admit that we waited way too long to ask nicely, but the powers that be are keeping us way too busy these days!)

And the note, though handwritten by Santo and very much personal, was handed to me with the new loyalty program chit instead of being secreted away in my room? Dang. There’s no way that a $30 minibar credit makes me feel as welcome as cold sparkling water, a bottle of wine, and some cheese. Especially since there is no sparkling water in the minibar. (Minus 10.) Maybe the corporate apartment is better.

Too many people in the Kimpton loyalty program?! The inner circle is way way wide. Horrors. Now we’re all the same?! Noplasticshowers prefers the grade inflation found outside of NY where everyone is above average.

This is not cheese?!

This is not cheese?!

Palomars where are you?? Come rescue me.

OK OK, first world problem. It’s true. And maybe this all has something to do the the scaffolding all over the building and its deleterious impact on room service? Quite possibly there is no cheese (or sparkling water) to be found.

Room 1515 is nicely way up there and has a classic 70park layout. Excellent style with good lines and great use of mirrors. We’ll feature the mirrors in the pictures this time.

Bed in the mirror.

Bed in the mirror.

Bed in the other mirror.  And an infinite mirror too!

Bed in the other mirror. And an infinite mirror too!

Bathroom mirrors can't be left out.

Bathroom mirrors can’t be left out.

But sadly, there is a shower curtain. You know how we feel about those on this blog.

Curtain over a tub.  Uh oh.

Curtain over a tub. Uh oh.

To add insult to injury, blue smoke is out of Hirsch ’76 (no more left in NY or maybe on planet earth). We are in a three showerheads kind of mood. Meh.

Want sparkling water? Well go get it yourself from Starbucks.

And then things took a serious turn for the much better (not at 70Park but in NYC). Thursday evening included a walk downtown on the high line, a visit to NYU and Washington Square, an outrageously great meal at annisa in the village (really, best restaurant ever in NY which is high praise), and the best time ever for NY mixology at Lantern’s Keep. All in one evening.

We are so glad that Raines Law Room was once again too popular for its own good, because we met barman Bob and his merry band of friends. What’s not to like about outstanding shots of agave tequila and zacapa 23 from paper cups in between delicious beverages? Real daiquiri shooters all around got us started. There was even homemade amer picon (kinda) for a Liberal. Lantern’s Keep is now high on the NY mixology list.