Nov 17th, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Travel

Seniors Interested in Airports

So why a blog about airports?  It seems like there has been a lot of activity going on to make life more enjoyable for seniors passing through terminals on their way to various destinations.  Several major airports and a couple of smaller ones have turned to art, architecture and food to catch the attention of passengers.

The November 2011 issue of Travel & Leisure Magazine (p. 148) noted various airport makeovers that are worthy of note and wrote that terminals across the nation are becoming easier and more enjoyable to pass through and visit. They noted in particular the food, the art, the seating, the technology and lastly the architecture are getting special attention. Of special interest to me was the fact that O’Hare (ORD) just set up 28 beehives on unused land and expects to harvest 700 pounds of honey. I just like bees and their honey. I use it  daily.

Both O’Hare and Midway in Chicago have added Taste of Pat LaFrieda which uses ingredients from NYC’s king of ground beef.  A new Balthazar pastry case and Bisoux Market can be found in LaGuardia’s Terminal D.  In SFO,  Napa Farms Market showcases such local favorites as Cowgirl Creamery and Tyler Florence’s Rotisserie and Wine and now JFK has a new Croque Madame and an in-gate dining area not to be missed.

Siemens has installed the next generation of baggage-handling systems at LAX’s T5 which x-rays bags and checks for explosives.  This state of the art system replaces the heavy old clunky machines that are now in operation most everywhere else.

Seniors Enjoy Fine Art in Nice Airports

Raleigh-Durham International Airport is the first major airport with a wooden-truss structure by Fentress Architects. RDU has thousands of signatures from the nearby residents incorporated into an LED-lit glass installation by local artist Dunne Dittman.  San Jose is said to be a showcase for interactive art, with Chronos and Kairos, a ceiling-mounted piece that responds to movements of folks walking below.  How about that?  SFO has the Butterfly Wall by Charlie Sowers that lets passengers control the movement of 20 acrylic butterflies.  How about that as well?

If you have been through the Denver Airport you have noticed a very modern and highly decorative interior as well as an appealing exterior. Other recent wonders are the Jackson Hole, WY airport which opened in 2010, and Portland, Maine – both by Gensler – and are studies in timber. The eCLOUD is a dynamic sculpture inspired by the volume and behavior of an idealized cloud. Made from unique polycarbonate tiles that can fade between transparent and opaque states; its patterns are transformed periodically by real time weather from around the world. This installation by Dan Goods, Nikolaus Hafermaas, and Aaron Koblin at San Jose has to be seen to be believed.  Airport art is not an oxymoron, at least not at SFO. The San Francisco airport is now a destination for serious art. Time to get up in the air again and pay particular attention to these few airports. jeb

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