San Francisco International Airport

DEN’s new Capital One Lounge +SFO’s newest exhibit

Traveling to or through Denver International Airport (DEN) soon?

Certain Capital One cardholders and anyone willing to buy a $ 65 single visit pass can now spend their airport dwell time in the comfy Plaza Premium Lounge on Concourse A, on the mezzanine level near Gate A34.

Amenities include local artwork, plenty of comfy seating areas, private workspaces, phone booths, shower suites, a parents’ room, relaxation rooms, and plenty of tasty offerings for food and drink.

As with its other lounges, some of the dishes and drinks are very local. Here, for example, there’s a Colorado Ground Bison Sloppy Joe on the menu, draft beers curated by Cerveceria Colorado and some specialty cocktails created by Denver’s Yacht Club Bar.

(Images courtesy Denver International Airport)

SFO Museum presents Kay Sekimachi: Weaving Traditions

The SFO Museum at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is offering a new exhibit featuring the work of pioneering fiber artist Kay Sekimachi.

Her weavings feature a wide range of media and techniques, including on- and off-loom textiles, stitched-paper forms, and molded fiber bowls.

The exhibit, Kay Sekimachi: Weaving Traditions, presents a retrospective of Kay Sekimachi’s extraordinary woven art from the collection of Forrest L. Merrill and is at SFO’s Harvey Milk Terminal 1

(Photos courtesy SFO Museum)

Travel Tidbits from an airport near you

New artwork to greet passengers at Salt Lake City Int’l Airport

Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) already has several large-scale artworks by artist Gordon Huether, including the 400-foot Canyon (above).

Coming soon: the completion of his 90-foot outdoor art piece echoing the mountain peaks for which Utah is famous.

SFO Airport is celebrating Dia de Los Muertos

San Fransisco International Airport (SFO) is celebrating Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) with an altar, a mural, and live cultural performances through November 7 in Harvey Milk Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.

In Harvey Milk Terminal 1, look for the “Tree of Life” altar created in partnership with the Mission Center for Cultural Arts, and feel free to add the names of your loved ones to the altar.

In Terminal 2, artist Adrian Arias will paint a mural titled “Ancestral Hummingbird with Moon,” influenced by his Peruvian background.

Pittsburgh International Airport’s new terminal progressing nicely

Travel Tidbits: Fresh Art at SFO

(Dancing figure by Gabriel Bien-Aimé, Courtesy SFO Museum)

A new exhibition from the SFO Museum at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) celebrates the Haitian art form of cut-metal sculpture.

The exhibit, titled The Enduring Spirit of Haitian Metal Sculpture, is located pre-security in the International Departures Hall at SFO.

Here’s some background on this art form, courtesy of the SFO Museum:

Discarded steel oil drums have historically served as the base material for Haitian metal artists. The drums are flattened into sheets and designs are chalked on; pieces are then cut and sculpted using only hand tools and further enhanced by hammering, embossing, cutting holes, and bending the metal. Sculptures reflect everyday life portraits, imaginative themes, and motifs of Haitian Vodou, an African Diasporic religion. Some of the many forms that appear include angels and winged creatures, mermaids and other aquatic figures, musical bands, animals, and earthly, paradisiacal scenes.

Entwined figures by Georges Liautaud. Courtesy SFO Museum

Some electric transportation news

When you buy an Amtrak ticket, you sometimes end up riding a diesel-powered bus instead of a train pulled by an diesel-fueled, dual-powered (electric and diesel) or electric (in the Northeast) locomotive.

Now at least one of the diesel-powered buses in the Amtrak network is being replaced by an electric-powered bus.

Passengers traveling mid-day on the Amtrak Cascades route in the Pacific Northwest through Oregon and Washington to Vancouver, B.C. will now get to ride on an electric-powered bus between between Seattle and Bellingham, WA instead of on the diesel-powered bus that has been serving this trip segment.

The bus is the first electric vehicle (EV) in the Amtrak National Network and can make the nearly 200-mile roundtrip on one single charge

A ride in the right direction.

SFO Airport will help save energy in an emergency

It’s another very hot summer. And airports around the country are doing their part to reduce their draw on the elecricity grid during times when air conditioners and other appliances are in heavy use.

Denver International Airport, Chattanooga Airport , Indianapolis International Airport (IND) and many others have large solar farms that provide much, and in some cases, all of the electricity needed to power airport operations. And Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) is completely powered by natural gas and solar via its own microgrid.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO), which earned an award in 2019 for being the world’s first Zero Net Energy (ZNE) facility at an airport, has a large rooftop solar farm. But SFO still gets some of its electricty from the city’s hydroelectric grid.

So to do its part for added energy conservation during the city’s Flex Alerts, which the cities issues when extremely hot weather drives up electricity use, the airport is committing to a variety of measures which may have a slight impact on passengers. The airport expects it will get 24-hour notice on these Flex Alerts which usually run from 4 pm to 9pm. So if anything on the list below alarms you, be sure to check the SFO website before you travel.

  • The AirTrain people mover may reduce the frequency of service from every 4 minutes to every 8 minutes.
  • Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers in all SFO Parking Garages may be temporary deactivated.
  • Airport cooling may be adjusted to reduce electricity usage, allowing terminals to be just a bit warmer than usual.
  • Airport lighting may be reduced throughout terminals.

Museum Monday at LAX and SFO airports

Say “Hi, Barbie!” at Flight Path Museum at LAX

A visit to the Flight Path Museum and Learning Center at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is an avgeek delight anytime.

Located on LAX property, a short drive or taxi ride from the terminals, the museum includes one of the largest airline uniform collections, as well as space exploration memorabilia, a great research library, and a wide range of commercial aviation artifacts.

Right now is an especially good time to visit because the museum has Barbiemania. In honor of the new Barbie movie, the museum is showing an exhibit of aviation-themed Barbies and Barbie accessories, including Barbie dolls inspired by famous aviators, including Bessie Coleman and Amelia Earhart.

Unconventional enamels at SFO Airport

The SFO Museum at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) oversees twenty-five sites throughout the airport terminals. So if you’ve got a long walk to your gate or a long layover at SFO, it’s a good bet something will catch your eye.

One of the newest exhibitions at SFO features the unconventional enameled art of June Schwarcz (1918–2015) on view in the Harvey Milk Terminal 1, Departures Level 2, Galley 1 E now through early May 2024.

Here’s an intro to Schwarcz’s work from the SFO Museum;

Inspired by nature and fashion, as well as abstract, African, and Asian art, Schwarcz developed unique metalworking techniques, always experimenting and embracing complex technical challenges. She initially worked with copper panels and spun-copper bowls, infusing them with her own interpretation of traditional enameling. During the 1960s, Schwarcz pioneered electroforming, an innovative method that involved electroplating pieces made from thin copper foil. Schwarcz focused on sculptural vessels and when asked about her abstract forms, she explained, “They simply don’t hold water.” 

(Images of June Schwarcz’s artwork courtesy of SFO Museum and the collection of Forrest L. Merrill)