I've been spending a decent amount of time traveling lately. So while I'm waiting for Group 4 to board, I figured I'd comment on the latest of my poorly developed theories. I've decided that instead of visiting cities to determine if the city is a good fit, you can just spend an hour in the airport and learn what the city is all about. The basic premise is that most airports in most cities look a whole lot like the cities themselves. I'm sure that there are some exceptions, but here is my evidence thus far:
Indianapolis: This one might change (we're getting a new airport) but the city and current airport share several qualities. It's cheap. Parking is $6.50/day at the airport, and food is moderately priced, much like the city. Both the city and airport also have way too much sprawl for their size (you'll taxi for 15 minutes on the runway, to get to one of their 15 gates).
Miami: It's big and noisy. There are pushy people, obscene humidity, and a general disinterest in being helpful. It's pretty much New York + more humidity + really attractive people who make bad wardrobe decisions.
Salt Lake City: Incredibly sterile. Really clean bathrooms and really large families. I was in a line with about 30 people in front of me, but there were only 3 families.
Chicago: Too much stuff in too small of a space. Always late. Noisy. Frustrating. Always seems like someone is really close to going nuts and getting violent - both in the city and the airport.
Note: this is a commentary on Ohare. Midway is okay, I guess.
Atlanta: There are good parts and really bad parts. They allow indoor smoking and the Airtran terminal feels like a Greyhound station. Lots of greasy food.
Vegas: Lots of old people gambling. Really expensive.
So that brings me to Charlotte. Kate and I visited the city a few times before we decided to live there, but we probably could have saved some time and money by just visiting the airport. It's nice and clean and everything feels new. Good shopping and food. Oh, and they have rocking chairs.
Well that's my theory for today. Would love for the loyal YIFY readers to comment on how their airports are/aren't an accurate reflection of their city. And if you disagree with this theory, that's okay. I'm working on a couple more, including:
1. A new sliding scale on how much you can spend on something unnecessary that could potentially be memorable. Basically $100 for every year that you'll remember something. So if some meal/trip/wine costs $300, then it's only a good investment if you think you'll remember it for the next three years and reference it in stories to friends/acquaintances.
2. Houston is the worst city in the world. You can prove this by taking the city that you dislike the most, and then take away the best thing from that city (whatever that may be) and you'll probably end up with something that looks a lot like Houston. Like take L.A. and get rid of the ocean...you're basically left with Houston.
I better stop now. Using multiple subjects in the same post and starting to sound like Andy Rooney or Larry King. I think it's time for Group 4 to board.