A new ride for highfliers
If you have some money to spare -- skip the traffic and go by air, make your hard drive blue, and bond with a baby dinosaur.
By Kate Bonamici FORTUNE reporter

(FORTUNE Magazine) - Everyone has CEO fantasies. But mine aren't about running a multinational; they're about fabulous offices, sweeping views, luxe travel. So a test-ride on US Helicopter's new Manhattan-to-J.F.K. airport shuttle (launching March 13; $159 each way) is total wish fulfillment.

My imaginary flight departs J.F.K. at 10:30 A.M., yet I arrive at the Wall Street helipad at ten, with just a half-hour to spare.

Pleo will be available in time for the holidays.
Pleo will be available in time for the holidays.
Type 1 Lotus watch
Type 1 Lotus watch

10:02 I breeze through TSA security at the heliport (if I were flying American Airlines (Research), I could check bags to my final destination).

10:07 Settling into a cushy eight-seat Sikorsky S76, we lift off effortlessly, quickly soaring above the poor slobs stuck in Town Cars below.

10:15 Touch down behind the brand-new AA terminal at J.F.K.

10:18 Once inside we're behind security--and mere yards from the entrance to the gleaming Admiral's Club.

For now US Helicopter can land only behind American's gates, but CEO Jerry Murphy says he hopes to soon prescreen passengers on other airlines. By mid-April flights will also depart from the East 34th Street heliport, with future service planned to LaGuardia and Newark and from the West Side.

Sadly, instead of winging off to an exotic locale, I catch the subway back to the office. But my fantasy continues: Given my CEO salary, taking a time-saving whirlybird is a boost to my company's bottom line.


Sip: Instead of twirling knives, knock back sake with Benihana founder Rocky H. Aoki's RKA Sake Club--specialty bottles or accessories arrive monthly. $299, rha-sakeclub.com

Dine: For Iron Chef Morimoto's brand-name take on Japanese, you no longer have to travel to Philadelphia. Try the omakase chef's-choice menu at his new Manhattan digs, and savor nine courses of (mostly) fish bliss. $120, 212-989-8883

Store: Designer Karim Rashid gets techie with the Skwarim, a rubbery external hard drive from La Cie. Each is a little more than three inches square and a half-inch thick; the bright-blue model holds 60 gigs. $199, lacie.com

Gear: Lotus Design, creator of the iconic Lotus racecars, has released its first watch, the Type 1 Lotus--a stunner in black, silver, and a shot of orange. Time your next road race with the ultra-precise stopwatch. £149 (about $260), lotuswebstore.com

Petbot: Another Demo winner: Pleo, an amazingly lifelike baby dinosaur robot from the co-creator of Furby. Manufacturer Ugobe says Pleo will toddle to stores in time for the holidays. Around $200, www.ugobe.com Top of page

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