We’ve all been there, rushing between B and C concourses in Terminal 1 at O’Hare. But have you ever stopped to consider that the multi-colored, flashing tunnel that has appeared in countless movies and music videos is actually an art installation?
Its name is Sky’s the Limit, by artist Michael Hayden, installed in 1987.
Another part of the piece is Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue playing in the background; although, the last couple of times I’ve been at O’Hare, I haven’t noticed any music.
Hi can u do a story where is rucas first Christmas as a couple?
(Sorry this took so long! I hope you don’t mind, but I altered the prompt a little and this is going to be their first Christmas as a married couple!)
“This is an announcement for all passengers travelling on flight 1370 to New York. This flight has been delayed four hours due to inclement weather. For passengers who will be missing a connecting flight, please go to the customer service desk of your…”
“Oh no.” Riley groans, scrolling through the weather on her phone. She hadn’t even thought about the weather back in New York when preparing for their trip other than ‘bring warm clothes, it’s cold on the east coast’, but sure enough… “The city is getting slammed by a blizzard.”
Lucas wraps an arm around his wife’s shoulders, drawing her close into his side. “It’s just a delay. All it means is a few extra hours before we get back to the–,” he drops off when she shoves the phone under his nose and he reads the weather report. “OK, so they’re being polite and saying delay because it’s Christmas Eve and nobody wants to be the person that tells everyone they can’t get where they’re going for Christmas…” Lucas sighs.
The very thought fills Riley’s eyes with tears. She knows in the big picture of the world it’s stupid and not very important, but she so desperately wants to spend Christmas in the city with her family. She hasn’t seen them in nearly nine months, not since she and Lucas got married and moved out to California for their work, and she already missed her first Thanksgiving ever away from her parents in order to go with Lucas to Texas to see Pappy Joe. She’s been so excited, making plans with everyone, figuring out exactly how she wants to present Lucas with his gift…Christmas in New York always seems so magical and all she’s thought about for the last month is getting to the city, seeing everyone and sharing that magic with Lucas for the first time as her husband.
And instead it looks like they’ll be sharing the magic of Concourse C in the Des Moines International Airport.
She sniffs. “Think there’s any chance of Santa picking us up here and putting us under the tree for tomorrow morning?”
“I think even Santa wants to avoid a storm that intense.” Lucas realizes that the joke was the wrong answer when Riley’s sniffles turn into actual tears. “Riles, I didn’t mean–,”
“I know.” Riley nods, wiping at her face. “I’m being stupid. It’s not like this is even our first Christmas together, just our–,”
Lucas finishes with her. “Our first Christmas as an official family. I know. I know how important this was to you, Riley, and how many plans you’ve been making..,how much you wanted to share this with me. If I could snap my fingers and control the weather for you I would.”
“There’s just…so many traditions we get to be a part of now.”
“Well, you never know. The weather could change at any moment and we’ll get to head out. And if not…we’ll make our own traditions right here. I don’t know about you, but I think watching Miracle on 34th Street with an Orange Julius and a Cinnabon cuddled on the floor near the charging station we’ve staked out could definitely embody the Christmas Spirit.”
Riley smiles. She does love cuddling with him. And at the end of the day, the most important thing is that they’re together. “Or kissing under the Starbucks mistletoe.”
“Skyping in to hear your dad’s reading of The Night Before Christmas…”
“Exchanging gifts under the glow of the departure screen.”
Lucas chuckles. “Only if you’re OK with your gift being a t-shirt from the gift shop. I put my present for you in our checked bag.”
“That’s OK. My gift for you is really for both of us.” Feeling a bit better about the whole situation, Riley starts to dig through her carry on, where she had stowed part of Lucas’ present (she had been far too nervous to trust it to checked baggage).
“Your gift for me is also a gift for you?” Lucas raises an eyebrow. “That doesn’t seem fair.”
“I just…have a feeling that you’re going to share it with me.” Riley pulls out a small, red and gold wrapped box, and holds it out. “I wanted to give it to you in front of everyone, but if we’re going to start new traditions, maybe our first could be exchanging a gift on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas. So…Merry Christmas, Mr. Friar.”
Lucas takes the box in one hand and leans over, kissing her gently. “Merry Christmas, Mrs. Friar.”
She has to prompt him once more to open the box, and when he does Riley bites her lip in anticipation, watching as Lucas removes what looks like a small, silver dumbbell. It jingles quietly as he turns it over in his hands. “You won’t really get to use it for a few more months, but–,”
“Baby Friar.” Lucas reads the engraving off of the end, and then looks up at her, eyes wide. “You got me a rattle. Engraved for…we’re having a baby?!”
“Hey, hey, hey! Hello and welcome to Seatte-Tacoma International Airport!” says Quincy Jones, prerecorded and played back over the airport’s overhead announcement system. Linger inside long enough and you’ll hear Jerry Cantrell announce that smoking is not allowed (“Major bummer, dude”) and Ben Gibbard encourage travelers to connect to SeaTac’s free WiFi.
As of yesterday, you can take Gibbard home with you from the airport — on vinyl, at least. The Sub Pop Record Store opened at SeaTac’s Concourse C, next door to the Exofficio store and across from a Starbucks. It’s not the first of its kind — Waterloo Records has operated a shop at the airport in Austin, TX for years and in the 1960s Motown founder Berry Gordy opened the original label-owned brick-and-mortar store in Detroit. It is, however, the best-smelling — thanks to that new record store scent.