World Travel: Big News from John

sfo-international-terminal.jpgI’m on an adventure. I begin this post at SFO, en route to Morocco where I’m to shoot the pilot of a new international TV series. And guess what? I’m the presenter. The show follows Lonely Planet writers as we discover off-the-beaten-path locales for adventurous travelers. I can’t quite wrap my head around the implications of this (nor do I want to), but I do know that the next three weeks will change my life.
I can’t speak publicly of the broadcaster or distributor, but I will say this: they are household names. The show will be a 13-episode series. I’ll host at least two, potentially more. It will premier next autumn in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America; then will be distributed worldwide by ___. I’ll keep you posted as things develop. I must say, I’m psyched to be one of our city’s first international ambassadors following Obama’s election. It’s a good time to be an American abroad!
On the subject of our fair city, did you know that until recently, SFO was the only airport in America that had zero advertising? Instead our lovely terminals were adorned exclusively with well-curated art installations. Then, around the year 2000, nasty Clear Channel quietly began blighting our public commons—with no public comment period that I ever heard about. Since then, billboards and kiosks have multiplied like cancer cells in the domestic terminal, ruining the aesthetic. The international terminal remains mostly untouched—for now. SFO is owned by the city, and belongs to us. Speak up. Reclaim public art.
united-airlines-cheese-course.jpgBut I can’t think about SF at present. I’m writing from seat 12-J, aboard UA930, somewhere over Hudson Bay, just wrapping up the cheese course of my supper—and I’m having such a fabulous time in business class (a rare indulgence) that I don’t even want to pop an Ambien. (For the record, and from the point of view of an expert, United’s premium-cabin service needs upgrading, but it sure beats economy.) Expect silence from me till at least mid-December, when I return from North Africa. Meanwhile, remember to remove the wishbones from your holiday turkeys before roasting to ensure long, even slices of breast meat. And a very happy Thanksgiving to all! —John