LAX, Entry and Departure in LA
Visitors’ first impression of a new place can often be, in
this age of air travel, the airport they arrive in. With people constantly
coming and going through its terminals, today’s airport in some ways represents
a strange space of in-between-ness. Packed with souvenir shops and all manner
and kind of express attractions, airports go all out to provide travelers with
mementos, last-minute meals, some representation of this locale to carry
throughout the world. As airports go, the
Los Angeles International Airport, or LAX, sees some of the largest volumes of air
traffic in the world. If you’ve ever been, what kind of impression does the
place leave you with? If you haven’t, what would you imagine it to be like?
LAX is no different from the aforementioned initial
commercial characterization. It is an airport like any other, with its share of
shopping and dining opportunities. Some people I have talked to consider it an
airport like any other, one that even fails to meet somewhat large-than-life
expectations which precede it. However, LAX displays some unique qualities in
line with its general identity as a city. With cultural exhibitions such as the
Influx Art Walk or live dance-music performances, LAX also supports local
artists and seeks to edify travelers, reinforcing the city as entertainment hub
of the world.
As UCLA students, we might recognize the name on the sign
for LAX’s new International Terminal, which reopened after renovations in
September 13, 2013. International students first arriving at the college might
be welcomed in Tom Bradley International Hall, named after the first African-American
and longest serving mayor of Los Angeles. In the same way, even people visiting
the city who know next to nothing about Los Angeles can bear witness to the
history of local leaders whose very legacy is built into the foundation of the
By Samantha Ching
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