all that’s solid melts into airports

Figure-2Christopher Schaberg at 3:AM Magazine:

What are these airports, what promises do they hold? What secrets do they hide? The piece gets more interesting as we read on. With a widening array of amenities and entertainment options—not to mention employment opportunities— “People will choose to go to the airport.” This is a recurring fantasy fruit that gets juiced from time to time: the idea that airports may become so desirous as to become destinations themselves. There is a threshold here, somewhere, at which point people decide that their present space takes priority over far-flung locales. If the ultimate airport is a rich, luscious place brimming with entrainment and energy, a true magnet for local citizens—and if every airport can become such a site—of what use are the airplanes, of what use the term “destination” as we know it? John Kasarda and Greg Lindsay have called these future nodes aerotropoli, but we might as well ground all the pesky planes and call such a place utopia, instead.

In the next paragraph of the Bloomberg piece, things get even more interesting. We learn about “infrastructure investments and technologies that will, in theory, allow airports to largely eradicate the dreaded waiting.” In theory. Of course, we all know that the practice of air travel is far messier and more uncomfortable than the airline loyalty pamphlets make it appear.

more here.