With the upcoming release of the Tom Hanks-Steven Spielberg collaboration, The Terminal, coming out soon, it was inevitable that local newspapers would try to take up the challenge of living in an airport, much like movie main character Viktor Navorski does at JFK. The NY Times has Andy Newman experience JFK for 24 hours, complete with slideshow of photos taken from his cameraphone, but the Post is more imaginative, sending reporter Philip Recchia to live there for real. Recchia reveals that he manages to stay at the airport so long by missing his flights and not making standbys...he also realizes that wearing the bathrobe is the key to his riches as well as making other people nervous:

5:10: I decide to kick the comfort factor up a notch. In the men's room, I slip on my boxers, bathrobe and slippers. I can feel an Asian man dressing me with his eyes. As he leaves, he says, "There's something weird going on in there."
5:24: I emerge into the Gate 11 waiting area. I ask a businessman if I can borrow his copy of USA Today. He quickly hands it over - afraid, I suspect, not to.
5:40: Bored by the paper, I sidle up to the Howes, an Australian couple on their way to France. I ask Mr. Howe if I can borrow his book. He says, "When I saw you walk out here, I told my wife, 'What's this nutter doing?' But you seem like a nice guy." Emboldened, I ask to borrow $10. He hands me a $20.
6:12: I move closer to the boarding area, where Joy Mistele, 49, offers me a piece of her Nature Bar. I tell her I'm on standby. "That's good," she says, "because I thought you'd lost your mind. Either that or you were on your way to L.A."
6:50: I line up for my flight, but the ticket-taker informs me there's no room. Otherwise, he's unfazed by my appearance. (Security ... ha!)

Gothamist likes how the Post makes its reporters act like like a crime family boss. It's all well and good, but let's face it, no one really expects to live in an airport, let alone be there for 24 hours. Whenever Gothamist sees the people stranded at the airport because of snowstorms, it doesn't look so fun.


Terminal was based on the real-life story of Merhan Karimi Nasseri stranded at Charles de Gaulle Airport. Gothamist is wary of The Terminal, but if we see it, we'll be seeing it for Kumar Pallana, who plays one of JFK's employees who befriends Hanks' character. Our favorite Pallana role thus far is still Kumar in Bottle Rocket, but seeing him knife Gene Hackman in The Royal Tenenbaums is pretty good too.