Sunday, November 06, 2005

DCA: Visit National Airport's Historic Terminal A, Just Don't Take Any Photos

As I mentioned yesterday, I was detained by police, which is a first for me as a journalist. (Remind me to have press credentials on my person at all times.) Now, what's your definition of detained? To me, being questioned and brought down to a secured keycode-only entry area in an airport terminal's basement and having your name entered into a database, that's detention, in some capacity of the word's definition.

My crime? I was taking photos of airplanes and "different areas of the airport." But if you go to my photos on Flickr, you'll see that I was only taking photos of the architectural detailing of National Airport's Historic Terminal A, which is a museum/connecting corridor between DCA's terminals A and B. After I was released from the terminal's basement, I went back into the museum area and sure enough, there was a person taking photos. The police officer had told me that people are allowed take photos in the other areas of the airport, but they aren't questioned because they are travelers/tourists. He said I didn't look like a tourist. Apparently visiting a museum is a suspicious activity, at least to him, because when I was telling him I was interested in Historic Terminal A, he didn't seem to understand why I would be interested in the unused terminal.

Well if Mr. Police Officer is reading, I hope this past post can explain.

If you do go, be sure to go to the Exhibit Hall, where you can see displays on the complete history of the airport and some interesting artifacts, like glass balustrades and other examples of streamlined Art Deco ornamentation.

11 Comments:

At 3:29 PM, Blogger Patrick J. Fitzgerald said...

Get a haircut, hippy! ;)

 
At 3:49 PM, Blogger Michael said...

I can assure you my hair is moderately short. Mr. Fitzgerald, no baseball metaphor?

 
At 4:14 PM, Blogger WWB said...

I've gotten strange looks from security guards and Hill police when taking pictures around federal locations, but you've got me beat here.

Although my credentials have, on occasion, been a call to my boss.

 
At 7:30 PM, Blogger James said...

I'm about ready to do a photo show of shots that got me detained, questioned, warned, and threatened. The latest was the of the exterior of the Hoboken ferry terminal. In San Francisco it was Fort Point and the underside of the Golden Gate Bridge. That brought two soldiers with M-16s surrounding me with fingers ON THE TRIGGERS, even though the guns were held down at my feet. Later the same day I was visited by police as I walked around the Presidio--now a national park, hasn't been used by the army in forever--taking photos.
The terrorists did win.

 
At 10:45 PM, Blogger Best Parking said...

"The terrorists did win."

That's the saddest comment of all. Here we are spending billions in anti-terrorist wars abroad, while being driven to paranoia and fortress mentality at home.

 
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At 7:26 AM, Blogger Jenna Catlin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 3:48 AM, Blogger carla grace said...

That is quite a detention for taking a few architectural detailing photographs... but take it like a new experience, for not everyone goes through it.... lol gatwick valet parking

 
At 3:48 AM, Blogger carla grace said...

That is quite a detention for taking a few architectural detailing photographs... but take it like a new experience, for not everyone goes through it.... lol gatwick valet parking

 
At 6:45 AM, Blogger perry cole said...

Security measures at some places are quite strange. but taking architectural photographs is bothering at high security areas. gatwick parking deals

 
At 1:17 AM, Blogger Jenna Catlin said...

oh this is really sad that he got detained by police. if he was really taking photos of architecture then they should not detained him.
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