Waiting In Long Beach

Welcome to Long Beach.

Long Beach airport is a small affair, seemingly more fitting for Dubuque Iowa than the south Los Angeles sprawl. Gates one through three are in a pre-manufactured temporary structure that’s obviously been in use for some time, but the food from the one vendor is better than in Boston and the Queen Mary Spa offers massages hidden behind a partition in the corner. A five minute of scalp rub runs $7.50 and the 30 minute works begs $45, presumably plus tax. It’s tempting despite the price.

Helicopters, R-22s, come and go with a frequency that suggests their use in a flight school. Planes unload their passengers to open stairways, and only a fenced piece of pavement connects this terminal extension to the larger airport. Travelers mingle out in the open air and jet fumes waft in through the propped doors.

A copy of Tuesday’s LA Times left on the seat boasts about growing international traffic volumes at LAX, naming the weak dollar in their list of reasons and telling of official predictions for a strong summer.

Another flyer walks over to me a says I look like one of the guys in West Coast Choppers. Tells me I should watch the show. Great.