They’ll Fly Away! South West Porch Opens in Bryant Park, Courtesy of Airline

Last night, jet-setting guests stood in the southwest corner of Bryant Park to celebrate the launch of the South West Porch, a new spot for hanging around and drinking and snacking, sponsored by South West airlines. Manhattans and ginger margaritas were served against a backdop of pedestrians and park-goers, waiting for  Gold Digger, the Monday night movie, to start.

Tim Zagat (of the Zagatsdining guide) sat on a stool eating a hamburger, an item that most people wished they actually served on South West airlines. “This is going to do a lot for New York City,” Zagat said of South West’s opening a terminal at La Guardia.  A waiter wearing the signature yellow “South West Porch” T-shirt walked up to Mr. Zagat, offering him another hamburger, but he politely declined, and said, “I want one, but I can’t”

It was a couple of hours before the sun set. Chef Tom Colicchio, founder of the Craft restaurant empire and head judge of Bravo’s Top Chef, who is bringing his casual ‘wichcraft menu to the South West Porch, was hanging around, too.

Mr. Colicchio noted that he doesn’t expect great food on airplanes.

“I have a certain expectation, and it is not that high going into planes, so I’m fine with the food on planes. I don’t have a problem with it. If you have to eat on a short flight, then bring something of your own food! I am not expecting a lot.”

Kelly Bensimon from The Real Housewives of New York City (Bravo again!) ordered a beer, making a point that beer is the only kind of alcohol she drinks.

“It’s funny because one time they did this thing about me in the Post, saying I was drinking and downing whatever it was, and I was like ‘Anyone who knows me knows that I only drink beer, so that would be a joke!’”

Some people sat in the rocking chairs and porch swings, while others stood at the bar. Stylist Robert Verdi was quite preoccupied with his pulled pork sandwich.

“This brings out the worst in me, the part that’s hungry.” Verdi said. “This is why I don’t have sex anymore! It’s really the substitute.”

Verdi, a man known for his expertise in style, looked quite fashionable, even as he ate his sloppy sandwich.  Wearing dark jeans, an orange sweater, and sunglasses on top of his head, he said in a serious tone, “I would take a pulled pork sandwich over a hand job any day … I would!”


They’ll Fly Away! South West Porch Opens in Bryant Park, Courtesy of Airline