A lot of people hate airports. I hate some of them, or bits of some of them. The chaos of LAX, for instance, or the merciless and unavoidable twisting bus ride leading through, around and beneath all the terminals of Paris-Charles de Gaulle. I’m not passionate about Heathrow, JFK, or O’Hare, and I’ve had miserable experiences in Salt Lake, Vegas, Dulles, Frankfurt, Tel Aviv…the list goes not.

But for the most part, I like airports. Again, I especially like bits of airports: the low-ceilinged, yellowy smoking rooms in Atlanta (yes, I like them!), the light-filled baggage claim in Ontario, CA, and the all sorts of things about a host of smaller airports across the country, where the security line is non-existent and the staff is friendly and un-harried. And on a recent quick trip to Michigan (ending one of those pleasantly small airports, Grand Rapids’ Gerald R. Ford) I realized that there is one airport I really love, and enjoy traveling through, and that airport is Detroit’s.

When I left for Logan after a full day of work for a quick two-day trip to Michigan, I was so stressed out I could feel the tension owning my whole body. The stress stayed with me all the way through security in Logan (where I opted out a body scan and was completed with complete politeness and respect by the female security agent who performed my full-body pat-down), through an overpriced beer at an airport bar, and through the whole flight to Detroit, throughout which the large gentleman next to me snored with a ferocity that rendered me both jealous and awed. Dragging myself off the plane to find the gate for my connecting flight, I was in an utterly foul mood.

But then I remembered that I was in Detroit, and after walking along the straight, wide-open and high-ceilinged terminal hallway, I reached the center of McNamara Terminal, and I stood for 15 minutes watching this:

The fountain at Detroit Metro Airport. Credit: richmanwisco

For the full effect, check out this YouTube video of the fountain in action, here. After watching the fountain until I needed to go find my gate, I got to walk through the awesome tunnel which connects Detroit’s terminals, where the colors of the walls and ceiling change to music:

credit: philosophergeek
credit: caribb
credit: blatantgizmo

Here’s a video of that, as well. Needless to say, an hour and a half, one fountain, one tunnel, and one free Junior Frosty later (thanks, Wendy’s!) I left for Grand Rapids on a tiny jet feeling about a million times better than I’d felt when I arrived in Detroit earlier that evening. And that’s pretty damn impressive for an airport. So thanks, DTW. I’ll be seeing you soon!