San Francisco International Airport

Scenic wallpaper exhibit at San Francisco Int’l Airport

Courtesy Zuber et Cie and SFO Museum

The SFO Museum at San Francisco International Airport is hosting a charming exhibition featuring a rare set of scenic wallpaper.

Scenic wallpaper? Yes.

It was and, in some forms, continues to be a thing.

Here’s the museum’s introduction to “Zuber: The Art of French Scenic Wallpaper”:

The French have manufactured several types of wallpaper over the centuries, though their nineteenth-century handcrafted scenic landscape papers are arguably the most spectacular. This unique wallpaper created a breathtaking panoramic experience with all the walls in a room covered with non-repeating scenes.

These mural-like papers transformed rooms, providing the opportunity for viewers to be swept away to an exotic place or immersed in an exciting period in history.

Scenic papers enjoyed a golden era in both Europe and North America from the first decade of the 1800s until the 1860s, though they remained in print well after this period.

Zuber et Cie is the only firm that fabricates these papers today. And they still use the original antique printing blocks, which have designated Historical Monuments by the French Ministry of Culture.

The SFO Museum exhibit includes a complete set of Views of North America wallpare as well as individual lengths from other series.

Here are few more images. You can see the full set on view at San Francisco International Airport in pre-security/departures level of the International Terminal through April 2020.

All photos courtesy SFO Museum.

At the airport: snakes, Prince and plastic bottles

A new store called “Prince” is selling merchandise related to the late musician known as Prince in the south end of the mall at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP).

The concessionaire (Airport Retail Group) says it worked closely with Prince’s estate to make sure all products are the proper shade of purple.

What’s for sale in the Prince store? Apparel, souvenirs, CDs, LPs, and photography books. Also: tickets to Paisley Park, Prince’s private estate in production complex in Chanhassen, southwest of Minneapolis.

MSP’s Prince store also displays Prince memorabilia, plays Prince music and has a large bank of screens showcasing Prince’s music videos.

Snakes at the Airport

Courtesy TSA

TSA reports that this harmless 15-inch ring-necked snake was left behind at the security checkpoint at Newark Liberty International Airport on Monday, August 19.

“It’s common for travelers to accidentally leave items at the checkpoint,” said TSA’s New Jersey Federal Security Director Tom Carter. “Typically people leave items such as their keys, sunglasses, ID, hats and gloves, but this is the first time someone has left a snake behind. We have a fairly robust lost and found program that reunites passengers with their lost items, but this passenger doesn’t need to call us about his snake.”

Watch the water at SFO

And the ban on single use plastic water bottles has gone into effect at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). A good solution? Bring your own refillable bottle and use the airport’s free water bottle refill stations.

SFO’s plastic water bottle ban.

The ban on the sale of single-use plastic water bottles at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) goes into effect on September 20th.

The move requires all airport retailers, restaurants, airline lounges, and vending machines to sell or provide water in recyclable aluminum, glass or BPI-certified compostable bottles.

The policy applies to purified water, mineral water, carbonated or sparkling water, and electrolyte-enhanced water, but does not include flavored beverages such as sodas, teas, or juices.

In a statement, SFO says it has provided retailers with a list of approved alternatives to plastic water bottles and will continue to update this list as the market for plastic-free bottled water evolves.

Of course, you don’t need to buy a bottle of water at SFO. A great option is to bring along a reusable container and fill it up at any of SFO’s approximately 100 free Hydration Stations and drinking fountains, located in all terminals both pre- and post-security.

If you don’t have your own bottle, Brita will help you out. On September 20, when the single-use plastic water bottle ban goes into effect at SFO, Brita will hand out more than 1000 complimentary Stainless Steel Premium Filtering Water Bottles. These have a double wall insulation to keep water cold for up to 24 hours and come with a replaceable filter that reduces chlorine taste and odor.

Travel Tidbits from an airport near you

Hope you had a restful holiday weekend. Here are some travel tidbits from airports you may be visiting soon. Or may want to.

First: check out this nice assortment of souvenir snow globes I spotted over the weekend at the Budapest Airport. Quality-wise, these are nicer than the snow globes we come across in many airports, and these had a nice assortment of local buildings to boot!

Will you be passing through St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL) before November, 2019?

Courtesy STL Airport

If so, be sure to look for the exhibit sent over by the Missouri Botanical Garden (MBG) that highlights the special connection between plants and people through history. Plants and People: The Collections of the Missouri Botanical Garden is on display through November 10, 2019 in the Lambert Gallery near the C Concourse exit in Terminal 1 .

Here are some more snaps from the exhibit:

Courtesy STL Airport
Courtesy STL Airport

And, at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), the SFO Museum has a new exhibition all about… Victorian pedestals.

Sounds like an odd topic, but we trust the SFO Museum to bring us exhibits that not only look intriguing but teach us something as well.

Here’s the pitch on the pedestals:

Victorian pedestals, meant to showcase sculpture, are fascinating decorative art objects to behold. The most ornate pedestals were made in the United States during the Gilded Age—a time following the Civil War until the turn of the twentieth century, when the country experienced rapid economic growth. From the mid-1860s through the 1880s, in particular, collecting and displaying sculpture led to an increased demand for pedestals. Wealthy Victorians preferred elaborate furniture on a grand scale and richly ornamented rooms. Several pedestals displaying artistic objects might adorn the drawing room or parlor. Victorians selected pedestals that suited their tastes and living interiors. Pedestals, as a result, offer an intriguing look at the design styles popular at the time.

Courtesy SFO Museum

The Style of Display: Victorian Pedestals is located pre-security in the International Terminal Main Hall Departures Lobby at San Francisco International Airport through January 12, 2020.

Travel Tidbits from an airport near you

Tampa International welcomes visitors past security

This week Tampa International Airport (TPA) introduces a program that offers non-ticketed guests access to the shops, restaurants, artwork and gate areas beyond security.

TPA’s program is called All-Access and will issue passes to 100 people each Saturday, starting on May 4. Passes will be good all day, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

TPA has four distinct Airsides (A, C, E and F) and each week the 100 passes will be divied up by 25 passes issued for each Airside. So, to figure out which Airside to request, visitors should check out TPA’s shopping and dining guide.

Tampa International Airport is the second airport in the nation to offer non-ticketed guests this perk. Pittsburgh International Airport’s MyPITPass started in 2017 and offer passes on weekdays.

Airport Restaurant Month

HMSHost has brought back Airport Restaurant Month to 60 of its dining venues in airports across the country.

Throughout May, diners can choose from a selection of three appetizers and four entrees at the participating restaurants.

The menus may vary a bit by restaurant, but most will offer their take on Seared Salmon, Flatbread Prima Vera, a Spicy Slaw Burger, a Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich and an AM Wrap.

The meals include a dark chocolate sea salt bar as well.

See the menus and find the full of list of restaurants participating in HMSHost’s Airport Restaurant Month here.

SFO moves pick-up spot for ride-hailing pick ups

Starting June 3, travelers getting picked up by ride-hailing services such as Uber, Lyft or Wingz at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) will have to head to the Domestic Hourly Parking Garage.

International Terminal pickups will continue in the current location (at the center island of the Departure level roadway) and all ride-hailing drop-offs will continue to occur at designated upper-level departure curbside areas.

The change is designed to lighten traffic on the airport’s terminal roadway and comes after Uber X and Lyft began offering their customers a $3 discount if they chose to be picked up in the Airport’s Domestic Hourly Garage instead of at curbside.

That didn’t do much to reduce congestion, so in June SFO is going ahead and moving all domestic ride-hailing ride pickups to the Domestic Hourly Parking Garage.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, McCarran’s Las Vegas International Airport and an increasing number of other airports direct ride-hailing customers to a central garage area for picks ups as well.

And this from the TSA Week in Review:

Between April 22 and 28, TSA security officers found 85 firearms in carry-on bags at airports. 75 of those firearms were loaded and 28 of those firearms had a round chambered.

Alarmed?