"I miss the PanAm Building.
Atop Murray Hill early this morning, I found myself profoundly missing the Pan Am Building. Well, I don’t miss the building per se since it still stands with MetLife emblazoned at its top. When it was graced with “Pan Am” at its sleek international style crown and the Pan Am globe logo festooned atop its tapered sides, 200 Park Avenue seemed…romantic.
When I looked up at the Pan Am Building, I was inspired to look outward, to travel to Dubrovnik, Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Bangkok and everywhere else that airline’s planes landed. Moreover, I looked forward to seeing the travelers from all those places right here in New York City.
More than figurative, romance inspired by Pan Am was real. On a solo flight from Madrid to New York in the airline’s waning heyday, I caught the eye of not one but two flight attendants, one female and the other male. Although I was seated in the 747’s coach cabin, the two attendants plied me with flutes of champagne from the forward cabins throughout the flight. Who wouldn’t love being the object of that game? Within days of landing, a brief but memorable affair ensued with one of the two.
Finance rules NYC more than ever now, as the MetLife Building reminds us. While finance business is global, there is little romantic in being plied with actuarial life tables or credit default swap terms. Then again, perhaps I am lacking in imagination as money is quite romantic for some.
So, yeah, I miss the Pan Am Building although not for the “Mad Men” period in which it rose – I would be just another invisible man in that world. No, I miss the Pan Am building for what it inspired us to be – outward looking and accepting. That loss in the shelter-in-place moment in which we find ourselves seems even greater now."
Shared with permission, thegverse@Instagram, Glenn Davis.