SFO airport

SFO Airport has a new outdoor observation deck

Airport observation decks are a treat – and a rarity – these days.

So it’s a big deal when an airport opens a brand new one.

Better yet, an outdoor observation deck that anyone – even someone without a ticket – can visit.

But that’s what San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has done.

On February 14 – Valentine’s Day – SFO opened a new $6.3 million outdoor observation deck called the SkyTerrace.

Located pre-security in Terminal 2, the 1,460-square-foot SkyTerrace is open to the general public and, as a bonus, offers 180-degree views of the busiest section of SFO, where all four runways intersect.

Visitors will find wooden chairs and benches at the SkyTerrace, drought-tolerant landscaping, bird-safe glass panels to provide wind protection and great views.

Food and beverages are permitted on the SkyTerrace, and later this year a café will open nearby. So this sounds like a great place to hang out with friends or family before a flight.

SFO’s new SkyTerrace will be open seven days a week from 7:00 am – 10:00 pm. And while no ticket is required to access this new observation deck, visitors must still undergo a security check as they enter the space.

As a nice bonus, the SFO Museum has installed an exhibit at the SkyTerrace titled The 1954 San Francisco International Airport Terminal, which explores the history and architecture of the building that was on the spot now occupied by the SkyTerrace.

Courtesy SFO Museum

Designed in the International Style, the seven-story building was dedicated on August 27, 1954 and had panoramic views of the airfield and San Francisco Bay from multiple spectators’ terraces.  The exhibition features objects and imagery from the first decade the building operated.

SFO’s other observation deck

And don’t forget that SFO airport has another snazzy observation deck.

That one also offers 180-degree views of the airfield and is post-security at the end of the International Terminal, Boarding Area G. It also has wooden chairs, tables, and chaise lounges, ten-foot bird-safe glass panels, drought-tolerant landscaping and three bronze sculptures. Hours: 7:00 am to 11:30 pm every day.

Cool, coin-op machines on view at San Francisco Int’l Airport

“Futura” -1950s; Gypsy Fortune Teller – 1932. Courtesy SFO Museum

The newest exhibition offered by the SFO Museum at San Francisco International Airport is about coin-operated machines, which smartly combine mechanical novelty and automated convenience. 

Lukat “The Lucky Cat” (1952) dispensed gum and a prize ticket.

“At the drop of a coin, they vended goods, provided entertainment, and offered potential jackpot payouts and free merchandise,” the exhibit notes tell us, while incorporating “decorative graphics and innovative mechanisms that captured the attention of people worldwide.”

‘Whiffs of Fragrance” 1916- dispenses a bit of perfume. Courtesy SFO Museum

Take a look as some of the cool coin-operated machines from the Joe Welch American Antique Museum in San Bruno, California on view for free (no coins necessary) in the pre-security International Terminal Main Hall Departures Lobby at San Francisco International Airport.

“The Automatic Age: Coin Operated Machines is on view from December 16, 2017 through August 5, 2018

Marking the 50th anniversary of Summer of Love

San Francisco is marking the 50th anniversary of the ‘Summer of Love’ with a kaleidoscope of events celebrating the summer of 1967, when an estimated 100,000 young people made their way to the city’s Haight-Ashbury district to be part of a fresh, hip scene.

Back then, “San Francisco was fertile ground for an emerging counterculture movement that blossomed into a season that changed the world, giving rise to art, technologies, revolutionary politics, the international hippie lifestyle, and fostering emerging rock musicians,” said Anthea Hartig, CEO and executive director the California Historical Society, “All of which continue to resonate today.”

Wearing tie-dyed clothing and a flower in your hair isn’t required when attending a Summer of Love happening, but it would certainly be groovy to do so.

Especially today, Saturday, May 13, during Flowers in your Hair Day,” honoring the pop song “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” that became a “flower-power anthem” for the summer and for the hippie movement.

Today local radio stations will play the song at noon and flowers will be distributed at various spots throughout the city, including at San Francisco International Airport, where United Airlines’ specially-numbered flight 1967 will arrive from Los Angeles at Gate 67.

Travelers will be able to take selfies with Madame Tussaud wax figures of  Jerry Garcia, and Jimi Hendrix – and in a cut-out of a hippie bus,’ the Gay Men’s Chorus will sing the song of the day.

(More ‘Flowers in Your Hair Day’ events here.)

Many other “Summer of Love” anniversary events are planned or already underway. Here’s a sampling:

On Sunday, May 7, the annual How Weird Street Faire in downtown San Francisco will celebrate the Summer of Love with music, costumes, dancing, fun exhibits, circus stage shows, live and exhibited artwork, and more.

The Monterey International Pop Festival will take place at the Monterey County Fairgrounds on June 16-18, 2017. The event is scheduled on the exact same dates as the now legendary three-day festival that took place in 1967, when Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Who, Ravi Shankar and Otis Redding made early career appearances.

Through August 20, 2017, the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park is hosting “The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll,” exhibition, featuring more than 400 posters, fashion creations, photographs, political artwork and other cultural artifacts of the time, as well as music and commissioned light shows.

80 photographs by iconic photographer Jim Marshall chronicling the hippie movement and American music icons, such as the Grateful Dead and Jimi Hendrix, from 1965-1970 are on display in the San Francisco Arts Commission Galleries at City Hall through June 23, 2017. (Admission: free).

Ohio to San Francisco, 1967. Photo_Herb Greene. In ‘On the Road to the Summer of Love’ t the California Historical Society beginning May 12, 2017.

And through September 10, 2017 the California Historical Society is hosting “On the Road to the Summer of Love,” featuring a wide array of photographs and cultural ephemera as well as a variety of associated events and lectures.

Tours and more

A long list of other Summer of Love-themed music festivals, lectures, exhibitions and events can be found here, including ideas for a wide-range of offbeat, year-round walking, bus and (even) Segway tours, such as the Haight Ashbury Flower Power Walking Tour and the Magic Bus Experience, billed as a “mind-bending combination of professional theater, film, music and sightseeing” transporting tour going back in time to the summer of 1967.

Can’t make it to San Francisco? Consider Cleveland.

In Cleveland, Ohio, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s newest exhibit, “Rolling Stone: 50,” celebrates the 50th anniversary of Rolling Stone Magazine, which was first published in San Francisco in November 1967, just a few months after the Summer of Love.

On view through Winter 2017 and occupying the top three floors of the museum, the exhibit draws on Rolling Stone’s explores the impact the magazine had on politics, popular culture and on the careers of individual artists.

 

 

Fresh art at SFO and Austin-Bergstrom airports

Courtesy Austin-Bergstrom Int’l Airport

Next time you go to the airport, see some art:

At Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, there’s a new exhibit featuring traditional art and artifacts from Mexico and artwork on loan from Austin’s Mexic-Arte Museum.

Some pieces in “Connections & Intersections,” are on loan from the Mexican Consulate General’s office in Austin. Other pieces are from the Mexic-Arte Museum’s Changarrito program, which is a mobile art vending cart that provides Central American visual artists with an opportunity to showcase and sell their work in Austin.  Look for the exhibition through the end of April, post-security between gates 7 to 11.

And, it looks like surf’s up at San Francisco International Airport.

Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii 1975; Jeff Divine

The SFO Museum is presenting a new exhibition featuring Jeff Devine’s photographs capturing legendary surfers in the 1970s and images of surf culture.

 

Gerry Lopez, Sunset Beach, Oahu, Hawaii 1974; by Jeff Divine – courtesy SFO Museum

Jeff Define: 1970s Surf Photography is on view at SFO Airport in the pre-security area of the Departures Level in Terminal 3 through May 18, 2017.

 

Keep on Truckin’ at SFO Airport

The Amazing Answer Board c. 1944 Courtesy Eugene Orlando_Museum of Talking Boards_SFO Museum

There are lots of reasons I enjoy spending time at San Francisco International Airport.

Tops among them: the exhibits offered by the SFO Museum, which currently has a Ouija board – or spirit board – exhibit in Terminal 2.

On my most recent visit, I discovered one more reason to add to the list:

A shop selling Grateful Dead stickers and other groovy accessories, so travelers can take home that San Francisco vibe.