This year, instead of going through Chicago or Denver or Minneapolis to attend Wiscon in Madison WI, I flew a Delta red-eye via Detroit (DTW). It got me into Madison around 10.30 a.m, a pretty convenient time that allowed for a nap before the Guests of Honor readings at “Room of One’s Own.”
I hadn’t expected much of Detroit airport, given the image of the city. But I was pleasantly surprised.
Dawn was breaking as we descended.The land below was so green and lush that, half-asleep, I mind-slipped into thinking we were landing somewhere in Southeast Asia. As we deplaned, the gate agent was waiting to provide directions. Walking toward my gate, I found neatly folded blankets and airline pillows scattered in the seating areas.
I was delighted by a shiny red train, inside the terminal. It looked like a life-size toy zooming back and forth overhead. The Express Tram is apparently enough of a thing to have its own wikipedia article.
Then I saw this dancing fountain.
The air was filled with the chirping of birds. At first, I thought it was recorded bird-song to go with the faux trees decorating the concourse. But no – there was an actual flock of free-flying sparrows. They were tough to photograph, tiny against the immensity of the concourse, but I got this blurry shot of one poking his head out of a ceiling vent.
All in all, quite a charming airport.
On the return journey, however, there were no blankets and no sparrows. I hope it was only the time of the day – late in the afternoon – that accounted for the absence, and not administrators and exterminators.