airports we have known

Reno, NV (RNO)
I lost $36 playing video poker here, and then subsequently lost $3 feeding myself pretzels and diet coke. This was an unintentional visit, but it was nice to get it out of the way. This airport is kind of crappy, I’m not going to lie

Oakland, CA (OAK)
first articulation of my Spring 07 weird frequent getting into verbal altercations with older women (there are only two articulations). i almost swore at a baggy old lady who tried to get me to leave the baggage check line, despite the fact that i clearly wanted to check a bag. this airport also had a mom in front of me in the security line, of whom i could not tell whether she was, as they say, hot. this took up most of my mental energies for my stay in the airport. i had a bullshit “caesar salad” sandwich from the “california pizza kitchen.” then i sat still and read sports illustrated until my goddamn plane took off and i escaped back to flatland.

Louisville, KY (SDF)
i went to the woodford reserve grill the day after my sister’s wedding and ate some kind of ginormous nacho and or hamburger combination, then spent the next two hours pacing waiting for the super bowl to start. ashtray paid for my food because i was bitching about how much money i spent that weekend. this was after two hours of driving around downtown louisville looking for the place that serves the Hot Brown sandwich, which i had seen in a Rick Sebak film earlier that month. i had no intention of eating it, just confirming that it was there. this airport had a golf-and-horse-racing themed polo shirt and pantsuit boutique; i approve heartily. kentucky’s branding campaign as the upscale border state is, in the end, fitting. i left kentucky with 400 more cigarettes than i came to it with.

inero 2007: new item: Seattle-Tacoma
has a mall in it, joining pittsburgh in the ranks of “cities with malls attached to the airport for no discernible reason.” this is the airport where i saw dan savage of “savage love” medium notoriety, recognized him after 15 minutes of confusion, said “oh, it’s dan savage” then got on the plane, fell asleep, and then had dan savage sitting next to me. so actually only the first part of that story happened at the airport. the rest of it happened 6 miles in the sky above idaho or something. this airport got me pretty bad in my limited exposure. i ate a staggeringly weird egg concoction for breakfast on the way out. i had been planning on getting several servings of fried clams for breakfast but somehow talked myself out of it. then the egg thing was so bad that i decided that the only way to get my morning back on track was to eat breakfast a second time. so i got a scone and ate it while transfixed by the list of places that Air Alaska flies to, such as Kalispell, MT. i am currently watching 3 Women by robert altman. this shit is giving me The Fear. Shelley Duvall: can someone explain her to me.

# noviembre a.d. 2006: Vancouver mid-size first nations art flea market and sometimes airport
i don’t have much bad to say about vancouver, apart from the shit where people there are actually in the 21st century and don’t feel weird about it. their airport, on the other hand, was for busters. you have to walk like two miles just to get to the customs bullshit. then, if you are me, you get the kind-eyed but clearly not an attractive woman customs official who seems kind of bored with you (the cop at the end of all the other lines was a hot woman in a bulletproof vest, and i really needed, at that point in my own personal afternoon, to get smiled at by a hot woman in a bulletproof vest). treat me better.

#August 2006: Memphis TN international airport. this airport is probably more fun if you are a fedex parcel. the non-shipping human-filled part of the airport is small, with a low ceiling, and most of the employees have gold teeth and/or glasses that have been taped together. i tried to get a cab to downtown memphis and a guy in a holiday inn van forcibly interdicted me and took me downtown for $10. unclear that a cab would have costed even that much. i saw a guy sleeping on a church stoop who has been sleeping on that same church stoop for the next three days. he’s not dead, i watched to see if he was breathing. people there are non-ironic statues of in downtown memphis:
nathan bedford forrest
jefferson davis
elvis presley (nothing wrong with that i guess)
pau gasol (ok, i only saw a picture of pau gasol, but that is like a statue)

#new: San Jose, CA International Bearport (SJC) 
get jetways! you are not an airport! also, despite the existence of nothing to do or see or want or fear within the city of san jose (which includes this airport) they still managed to work things so that one cannot possibly get within walking distance of this airport without taking a cab ride or like seventyfive buses. out of all the nothing they have in san jose, some plucky architect conjured up several thousand acres of subnothing in fill in the space between the airport and the places in san jose that have food and beds in them. if you ever need a pastel-tone san jose sharks ballcap, i recommend the gift shop across from the burger king. also, if you ever went to burger king and felt like it could use some unhappy vietnamese senior citizens working behind the counter, you should check out this airport ASAFP. what little redemption i can give: the security dude was both very pleasant and comically fat; the toilet was very nice and spacious, and my flight out of this shitburger involved sitting next to a dude (reminscent of garrison keillor) who was explaining things to his russian mail order bride, who was confusingly and tastefully very very attractive for being like 50 and some kind of extended-warranty late-middle-age-targeted mail order bride.

Pittsburgh International Airport
Mostly just looks like a highway cloverleaf ramp except with an air traffic tower poking out of the side. In the plus column for this airport: a dinosaur skeleton (t rex, great), a formerly functioning mail plane named “Miss Pittsburgh” suspended over a concourse, some kind of historical exhibit titled “Yesterday’s Airport of Tomorrow” which is sort of sad. Minuses: Airport has a mall in it? With signs that promise that you will only get ripped off a little bit more than usual? Also, not enough sidney crosby jerseys. And i refuse to accept that the countryside 30 miles outside of pittsburgh is so overdeveloped that there needs to be a monorail to whisk people around. especially considering the monorail only went about 1000 feet. also, get a bus with more than 20 seats that is the only non-taxi or private car route to the medium sized city you allegedly are in.
Denver International Hairport
The tented, sort of unpleasant looking concourse device looks like mountains, if mountains looked more like a dadaist mutant cow utter attached to 7 trillion acres of colorado waste prairie. eastern colorado does not have much going for it; people from the mountains apparently have a UP/eastern washington drive going to forcibly contract this part of the state or just give it to oklahoma or kansas. i haven’t been to oklahoma or kansas but i would warn them that they’re getting a bad deal, they should hold out for western nebraska instead.

anyway it’s supposed to look like mountains, even though it’s 30 miles from denver, which is some miles from mountains, and either way you can’t see the mountains if it’s even remotely smoggy, which it is, because everyone in denver is required by municipal code to keep three cars idling at all times. (denver: we liked the west side of chicago so much we made an entire city out of it and then someone grafted downtown charlotte to its neck). so apparently they blew up the old denver airport (named after former red sox standout mike stapleton) and replaced it with condos designed to look like housing projects if housing projects were sold at ikea and then moved the airport to kansas, essentially.

salient features of DIA:
1. the concourse thing is actually nice, even though you have to take the bustrain device to your terminal. i spent most of my time in the “lounge” which has a one drink minimum and that one drink cost me $6 (i did pay an extra dollar to get a double. and they did have big olives although one olive was missing its pimento.) actually now that i think about i spent most of my time doing 10 laps of the C concourse because i had leg cramps and didnt want to sit down.
2. why is the airport train-station entrance to the C concourse a fake mayan temple? if you are building a fake mayan temple and you read in the blueprint that suspended directly above your fake temple will be a decommissioned Los Angeles Lakers-logo lear jet and your temple will also have a monorail running through it, wouldnt you just give up.
3. i am sick and tired of fake handicapped people. just because you are over 60 or problem-level overweight or just sort of sickly, this does not mean that you should be pushed through the terminal in a wheelchair or go-kart unless you can’t actually walk — not if you’d prefer not to walk, if you can’t actually carry yourself over a distance exceeding 1/2 mile but not a whole mile. also, people who have leg injuries that clearly resulted from leisure sports should not be given primacy in boarding my plane. at least not primacy over me. and if your kid is ugly, again, no pre-board.

Islip Long Island Airport
you are not an airport, you are a southwest terminal that somehow landed 45 miles from the other nyc airports.

Deleted scene for post-rehab Midway
i am strongly in favor of suspending old fighter planes over concourse areas: at the same time, can you use more rope just so i dont have to worry about getting crushed by the old fighter plane.

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE)
I am incredibly afraid of the giant metal paper airplane sculptures that dangle in the atrium over the moving sidewalk/escalators leading to Terminal D. The one that is fake dot-matrix paper is going to fall and kill me one day, probably like on my way to meet my future wife I will be chopped in half vertically by a giant striped piece of metal and then one half of my body will ride the escalator while the other half lies at the bottom

Newark Liberty Airport (EWR)
Considering buying either 3-liter bottle of Johnny Walker for myself or a carton of cigarettes for NT. I cannot remember the circumstances in which I was at this airport, or i can’t remember which specific set of circumstances it was.

Fiorello H. LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
the traffic circle outside LGA is hell. i’m not listening to rebuttals. also, get inside one building, please. LGA is the only place i have ever seriously considered suicide just to point out my frustrations with travel procedure. also the only airport (other than JFK) that you can’t get to, unless you already own an airplane.

O’Hare International (ORD)
Like Crerar library, in that it has a dinosaur in it. otherwise, to be avoided. not really one airport so much as it is seven different airports united in their universal distaste for your convenience.

Chicago Midway (MDW)
I liked Old Midway with the white christmas piano better

Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI)
I think it’s weird that you can take a cab from BWI to Annapolis, which is a third place that is not Baltimore or Washington, and it’s not that expensive (maybe $40?) Annapolis is cooler than you think, especially when you consider there is a dormitory at the Naval Academy that 8000 people live in, all at the same time.

Philadelphia (???)
I remember i have only felt like I was actually going to die during plane travel twice, and the second time was landing in Philadelphia. the plane hopped, literally hopped, the first time the bastard tried to land and i was very upset and later glad to find out that we would be taking the train to NYC and boston on the next leg of the college tour trip.

Los Angeles (LAX)
only airport where i or a travel partner have been ambushed by a crazy golf-playing WASP screaming GIMME BACK MY HAT. and also only airport where there are open-air glass-encased pods throughout the concourse for people to smoke cigarettes in. with little fake palm trees and stuff. v. v. strange.

San Francisco (SFO)
I don’t rememebr this very well other than it was one of the last times I wore Blue Enro, the shirt I bought for $35 that singlehandedly got me a job at the Chicago Tribune. this might actually have been the beginning of the end because i spilled something greasy on it during or immediately before this flight. actually i remember that it was coffee. one of the many airline tickets that i didn’t pay for (this is almost all of them, except for the one time i flew from NYC to cleveland and then drove to chicago and back to cleveland to fly back to NYC to get my shit, which i then mailed back to cleveland not three months later. and now i’m back in chicago, so what’s the lesson: don’t let me do things.

Tampa-St. Petersburgg Int’t Airport (???)
i remember that one time we flew in and i looked at the stadium and even at the young age of 12 i had no fucking idea why Chris Berman called the old tampa stadium The Giant Sombrero. It didn’t look anything like a sombrero. File this as the first moment where I began to realize Chris Berman is a jackass.

The first one in Japan (Not Tokyo-Yokohama)
The second one in Japan (Not Tokyo)
Possibly a third and fourth airport in Japan

The airport that used to be on Sprague Road in Strongsville (FAA Identifier: 4G8)
Dimensions: 3152 x 40 ft. / 961 x 12 m
Surface: asphalt, in poor condition
Runway edge lights: non-standard

Boston Logan (BOS)
the first time i got to fly first class, because we knew the stewardess, because she used to work at the Berea City Pool for my mom. i always thought, in my younger days, that the particular former lifeguard/future stewardess was extremely good-looking. i feel vindicated? anyway that flight left from Logan, which is on an island, or east boston, which is like an island in that it is filled with Italian people. I want less airports on islands. just so i feel better about shit.

Cincinnati (???)
I may not have been in this. I do remember that it is the movie Rain Man.

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