The Atlantic Update – Wednesday 12 June 2019

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New York Skyline
New York Skyline (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

Hello and welcome to the The Atlantic Update providing a weekly bulletin on developments on transatlantic travel between Europe and North America. The Atlantic Update is published every Wednesday morning at 06:00 BST.

The Death of the New York “Power Lunch”

New York’s Four Seasons restaurant closed for the final time yesterday, Tuesday 11 June.

The Four Seasons restaurant originally opened in 1959 in the Seagram building in New York. After a difficult start, it became the ultimate symbol of the New York “Power Lunch”, a term coined in 1979 by former Esquire editor Lee Eisenberg.

The point was not the food, but to do deals over elongated lunches in its Grill Room and to see and be seen amongst Wall Street deal makers, editors from Conde Nast, TV news anchors, fashion designers and politicians.

The Four Seasons left the Seagram building in 2016 – its contents were sold for over $4m at auction – and reopened last year on East 49th Street. Times have of course changed. Expense accounts are not what they were. Profligacy is frowned upon. Formal lunches are an anathema to Facebook and Google who now occupy vast swathes of New York real estate. Deals are not done over lunch but at informal meetings and over Skype.

Also in New York:

Uber has announced plans to launch “Ubercopter” which will offer helicopter rides between Manhattan and New York JFK from Tuesday 9 July 2019. Trips will cost in the region of $200-$225. Access will be restricted Platinum or Diamond Uber Rewards users. You also won’t be able to take checked luggage with you. This is the wrong solution to Manhattan’s poor links to JFK – what it needs is direct rail line.

The Museum of Modern Art closes temporarily on Sunday 16 June 2019 for a $450m remodelling. The museum will reopen on Monday 21 October 2019. It promises free access to ground floor galleries, improved traffic flows between floors, additional space for permanent collections and better representation of artist diversity. (MoMA)

It’s conventional wisdom that New York is best avoided in summer due to the stifling heat. However, the markedly more relaxed atmosphere as locals leave for the summer does have its attractions. There are also many free film screenings in Bryant Park, Hudson River Park and many other New York City parks.

Whereas London spreads outwards, Manhattan simply goes up higher. New York’s skyscraper boom. (New York Times)

Citylab on the nostalgic escape offered by the newly opened TWA Hotel at New York JFK. (CityLab)

Also of note this week:

One of the very few bright spots in rail travel in America are Amtrak’s Acela trains which operate between Boston, New York and Washington. CBS News takes a look inside Amtrack’s next generation train which will enter service in 2021. (CBS News)

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