Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I'm Off

I am not usually a procrastinator. I always try to get things done early, but beginning my month in Europe on a relaxed note has been impossible. I finished my internship on Friday, moved out of my apartment in Salt Lake and came home on Saturday, unpacked on Sunday, and couldn't start preparing for this trip until Monday. My flight left Salt Lake at 11:23 a.m Tuesday morning. Or at least it was supposed to. The plane was 45 minutes late due to heavy air traffic. I travelled with Tim, Susan, Wendy and Megan P. We finally arrived in San Fransisco, rushed to the international terminal, and got through security in time to find that our connecting flight had left 6 minutes early. Thanks to a flight attendant telling us the wrong gate we missed the connection to Heathrow by a few minutes. The next flight to London didn't leave until 7:00 p.m.

Six hours is a long time to wait in an airport, but it could be a lot worse. San Fransisco is a nice airport to wait in. The building is well designed. It's bright and contemporary, comfortable to be in, and easy to find your way through. The high ceilings let in ample daylight and the white Richard Meier-esque corridors contrast with black granite partitions. It was well past lunch time after we got on stand-by for the next flight, so I broke down and paid $8.61 for a plate of penne pasta with tomato cream sauce and goat cheese. The tables in the food court have a playful Modrian pattern with a curved metal band. The chairs was utliltarian and plastic, but they had a nice shape and were surprisingly comfortable. So I picked one up and turned it over to see who made it. It's the Genoa chair.


The airport map had a room labeled as a mediataion area. You don't see that often so we went expoloring. It is called The Reflection Room and located in a corner of the terminal overlooking the hillside. You enter the room through a vestibule with a large compass inlaid in stone on the floor. The room is situated north. I wonder what the symbolisim behind it is, and whether it was the architect or the designer who planned it. Inside is a collonade of maple columns with metal beams. It creates a wonderful transition from the outside world. It is a peaceful space with comfortable chairs and a glass encased room for religious services. We went in and sat down, but we were not the only ones in the room. The tranquility of the setting was broken by a traveller in one corner, and a homeless man in another, both snoring away.

Reflection Room


Time passed quickly and we made our way to the gate. The gates are a level lower than the concourse which is a nice seperation of space. You feel more protected and the space is much quiter than the usual airport waiting areas. The carpet is the same pattern as it is ay GSBS, with an arc of a contrasting solid cut through it. I think I'm doomed to notice details like this for the rest of my life. We are now scheduled to leave at 7:23 p.m. PST.


1 comment:

Loralee Choate said...

I am loving all the wood in the airport. Of course, I am also turning a mottled green with intense envy as well. :D