Animals at Anchorage Int’l Airport

I checked in with Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport yesterday, asking after the status of some of the taxidermy animals I remember seeing on my last pass through.

Turns out the record-setting polar bear is not currently on display, but many othre specimens are still there.

Sharing some of my snaps from a while back. Not shown: a record-setting halibut and a big moose.

If you pass through, please share snaps of what you see.

And let us know how you feel about seeing taxidermy animals in airports…

Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport Polar Bear
Musk Ox on display at Anchorage International Airport

Vintage Indy 500 cars at Indianpolis Int’l Airport

Car racing fan?

Then you might like the fresh set of vintage Indianapolis 500 race cars that are on display at the Indianapolis International Airport (IND).

IND 14 car

The #14 Bardahl Special led more laps of the 1966 Indianapolis 500 than any other car.

Driver Lloyd Ruby took the lead from defending world champion Jim Clark on lap 65 and proceeded to lead 68 of the next 86 laps. Just when it appeared the race might be Ruby’s, a chronic oil leak developed, causing the car to be black-flagged twice and finally retired after 166 of the 200 laps. In the summer of 1968, sporting a different paint job, it was one of the cars used in the making of the motion picture “Winning” starring Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward and Robert Wagner

Find it: on Concourse A near the exit to Civic Plaza.



“This car appeared at Indianapolis three times, driven in 1957 and 1958 by Rodger Ward (winner of the “500” in 1959 and 1962, but in different cars) and in 1959 by Len Sutton (who finished second to Ward in 1962, also in another car). Although it was entered each time with a 170-cubic-inch supercharged Offenhauser engine, it was decided for 1958 to switch to a more standard 255-cubic-inch non-supercharged version. Ward was running second in 1958 when a magneto failed after 93 laps, but later that summer he won the prestigious 200-mile race at Milwaukee.”

Find it: on Concourse B near the exit to Civic Plaza

Coloramas at New York City’s Grand Central Terminal

Cabin and Canoe – Herbert Archer. Cabin & canoe, Saddleback Lake, Maine, displayed September 16–October 7, 1968. Copyright Eastman Kodak Co. Courtesy George Eastman House

These days, airports are the major crossroads of modern life. But not too long ago, train stations had that honor. And if you stop in at New York City’s Grand Central Terminal during a busy weekday morning or afternoon, you can still feel some of that ‘everyone is rushing somewhere’ excitement.

In addition to the round information booth with its four-sided clock, the astronomical mural on the ceiling and the grand staircases, some (literally) big attractions at Grand Central for many years were the giant, panoramic Kodak Coloramas on view in the main concourse.

Promoted as the “world’s largest photographs,” these 18-foot high, 60-foot wide back-lit transparencies were impossible to miss during an advertising campaign that included 556 images and ran from 1950 to 1990.

Now 36 of the Coloramas from the 1960s are back for an exhibit at the New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex in Grand Central.

The images are from the 1960s and are smaller than the original Coloramas –two feet high and six feet wide –but still quite lovely. Here are two more from the series.

Harvesting a Wheatfield – Ansel Adams. Harvesting a Wheatfield near Pendleton, Oregon, displayed August 28–September 18, 1961. Copyright Eastman Kodak Co. Courtesy George Eastman House.

Teenagers on Bikes – Peter Gales. Teenagers on bikes at beach, Monterey Peninsula, California, displayed March 11–April 1, 1968. Copyright Eastman Kodak Co. Courtesy George Eastman House.

The Coloramas will be on view at Grand Central Terminal through November 1, 2012. The images are part of an international traveling exhibition created by George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, which holds the entire Colorama archive.

Rwandan baskets at Miami International Airport

The newest art exhibition at Miami International Airport is Rwanda: A Path to Peace. It features intricately woven baskets by women from former warring tribes within the African country who have literally found a common thread after a violent conflict in 1994 that led to nearly one million deaths.

It’s pretty to look at, but also educational and important:

The exhibition (on display through December) is opening during the anniversary of Rwanda’s 100-day war (April to July, 1994), which left the population ratio at 70 percent women.

Today, non-profit groups are working with thousands of these women – from both the Hutu and Tutsi tribes – and they now weave side by side in a project that offers economic development, reconciliation and rebuilding.

Museum Monday: the history of high-heeled shoes

When I leave the airport and have a day or two to spend in a city, I’m always armed with a list of special museum exhibitions and local offbeat collections open to the public.

That’s how I knew to leave a few hours free in Yakima, Washington recently to visit the Yakima Valley Museum, which has a display of 600 pairs of exquisite high-heeled shoes from the collection of David Childs, who told me that the museum-quality footwear from the 1800s to the present (much of it my size; but alas, securely behind alarmed glass) was just half of his collection.

“I don’t do flats, boots, practical shoes, matching handbags or sets,” said Childs, “This is a cultural history of the 20th century as told through pristine, displayable, high-heeled shoes.”

By that he means Art Deco shoes from the 1920 and 1930s, platform, ankle-strap shoes of the 1940’s, pointed stiletto heels from the 50s and other eras (“Wait around and the styles come back,” says Childs) and some unusual, experimental and one-of-a kind models from the 1950s and 60s.

Here’s a short video about the exhibit put together by the Yakima Herald Republic.