Some people couldn’t care less about airports. They consider them mere utilities, no better than the dirty cab they took to get there or the ugly meeting room they are going to spend hours in when they get off their flight.
Personally, I love them. Always have. My dad used to work at the Nice Côte d’Azur airport and every chance I had to visit was a treat. Airports were, and remain, the boarding point for one of the things I love most in the world, flying.
But we must agree that not all airports are created equal. Some are boring, or busy, or disorganized or just old. Others are works of inspiration, of poetry*, they are inviting, beautiful, well designed, efficient and clean. They feel alive. They make you happy to be traveling.
Vancouver’s YVR is such a place. The terminal is stunning and uses water very artistically. Even Canadian customs formalities are pleasant, the officers being, as always, much friendlier than their southern colleagues. It must be my favourite airport in the world. But then again, so is the city.
To celebrate its 80th anniversary, the folks at YVR have put together a rather interesting challenge: they are going to chose someone to come and live on the premises, day-in day-out as my cat would say, for 80 days and 80 nights and report to the world. The project is called Live @ YVR. I like the ambiguity between “live” as in “to live there” and “live” as in “a live show.” Because for the chosen one, it will be both.
The lucky winner literally will not be allowed to leave Sea Island – on which is built the airport – for the duration of the project. To quote the official web site, “… we are looking for someone to live at YVR for 80 days and share the stories of the airport with the world. That’s right. Live here. Sleep here. Eat here. Shop here. For 80 consecutive days.” Cool. But not necessarily an easy job, I would think. A one person show, however short, to be kept live every single day no matter what, filming, recording, editing and presenting life at YVR.
I was first alerted to the event by another good VancityBuzz post, which incidentally led me to discover that Vancouver, outraged and ashamed by the Stanley Cup riots, had decided to fight back positively with a message of love and tolerance, people taking to the streets to clean up the mess and going as far as covering a police cruiser with love notes. Now, that’s the Vancouver I know! But I digress.
I had posted a few pictures of the Vancouver airport here. Strangely, I had also written about leaving YVR behind in 2009, when I took off bound for NYC, and my short story was called Free @ YVR. Go figure.
If you are interested and have the soul of a reporter, July 18 is the deadline to apply. Make sure you can handle close to three months on an airport. Bring lots of books. No, scratch that, I’m sure they’ll let you shop at the bookstore. So bring your cell phone. Make sure you arrange for Chambar to deliver their extraordinary Moules Frites Coquotte at least once a week.
One has to have priorities.
*Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds