In addition to videophones for the deaf and hard of hearing that are being installed on all concourses, near north and south baggage claims and in the rental car center, ATL airport has installed a MiMuzicBox kiosk (on Concourse T) that allows users to quickly download music, movies, audiobooks and other entertainment to their own electronic devices.
Far more intriguing is the new U*tique.
Described as an “automated luxury retail outlet,” this giant vending machine on Concourse A sells 50 kinds of make-up, hair and skin products and has a touch-screen offering video demonstrations and information about each product.
On Thurs. Feb. 10, Raleigh-Durham International Airport’s Terminal 2 will unveil Friendly Folks, a mural created by local artist Jane Filer and commissioned by the Triangle Area Sister Cities (TASC).
Look for the colorful mural in the international arrivals bag claim area. The piece is 45 feet -long and depicts bright happy figures as well as birds and flowers representative of North Carolina.
In Atlanta, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is recognizing Black History Month with a great line-up of jazz, blues and rhythm & blues performances in the Music in the Atrium series. Concerts will be held in the Airport’s Atrium Friday evenings during February from 5 to 7 p.m.
February 11: Frankie’s Blues Mission
February 18: Joe Jennings
February 25: Darren Winters Ensemble
If you stop and look around you should be able to find an exhibit case at many airports filled with some of the items the US Fish & Wildlife Service has confiscated from travelers.
(Confiscated wildlife products, JFK. Courtesy US Fish & Wildlife Service)
Sadly, smuggling endangered species – and items made from the parts of endangered species – is big business. Wildlife inspectors around the country are kept on their toes inspecting cargo shipments and suitcases for everything from bags of writhing snakes to dried sea horses and mounted sea turtles. And, according to this AP article, Bizarre Finds Normal for Airport Inspectors, last year the inspectors at the airport in Anchorage, Alaska made more seizures than JFK airport in New York.
There’s the case of the women who tried to hide a bear gall in her bra cup; the sad tale of the live monkey shipped with snakes, and the chronic sea horse importer. Every time Chris Andrews opens a package or inspects a passenger in his job as a U.S. Fish and Wildlife inspection officer at Anchorage’s Ted Stevens International Airport, he chances an even more bizarre find……He says that some of the saddest cases he’s seen involve live animals shipped as cargo, including a monkey in a cage shipped with taped-up snakes. The snakes got loose and killed the monkey.”
Sad, yes; but really sort of fascinating. The article goes on to mention snake wine, elephant toenails, and jars of bear fat. I’m not even sure I want to know what these items might be used for, but it’s intriguing to read about how crafty some of these smugglers get with their contraband.
On the road but no time to visit the art museum? Don’t fret: along with fine dining, boutique shopping and full-service spas, top-notch art collections are now permanent amenities at many airport terminals.
For a slide-show on MSN.com, I pulled together examples of some of the fun stuff you’ll find in 15 airports in North America.
Artwork, some of it Texas-sized, by more than 30 local, national and internationally known artists dots DFW: Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Terminal D and the Skylink train stations. Look down to see elaborate medallions in the terrazzo floors, look up to see giant murals and mobiles and look straight ahead to see unusual sculptures such as Anitra Blayton’s 16-foot tall “Standing Ovation,” (above) made from the casts of hundreds of pairs of hands.
And at Sacramento International Airport (SMF) the big attraction is the supersized “Samson,” a sculpture in the Terminal A baggage-claim area made of two 23-foot tall towers of stacked luggage made of 1,400 pieces of cast-offs donated by area residents.