1133 N. State
Named after the round-the-world route flown by Pan Am from 1942 to 1984, this small New York-based travel-accessories chain looks to the most glamorous era of air travel for inspiration, even stocking blue nylon bags emblazoned with the erstwhile airline's logo. But most of the inventory is explicitly geared to the needs of today's air travelers, who want small comforts to help them through what's become a stressful, uncomfortable experience. Displayed in a clean, uncluttered space that resembles the curved interior of a plane, offerings include a shiny Hideo Wakamatsu hard-sided rolling suitcase in a pink cherry-blossom print, No Cooties essential-oils sprays that supposedly combat the germs in recycled air, paisley silk eye masks, and loads of smart bags and doodads for your electronics. There are also coffee-table books on airline design and plenty of useful goodies for once you reach your destination, like travel guides, a gadget that translates words and phrases in five languages, and the Mobile Foodie Survival Kit, a small supply of spices and sauces to make almost any meal palatable. For good measure, Flight 001 also stocks exotic toiletries--like Marvis toothpaste from Italy and Apivita Propoline shampoo from Greece--to add intercontinental flair to your home medicine chest. It sounds contrived, but I have to admit that after five minutes in the place I was ready to jump on a last-minute flight to Paris.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Mireya Acierto.