Projects Archive

Missed Connections | CVG

It's late in the afternoon at the end of another long week. For three nights in a row I was up long into the evenings working, punching keys on the laptop, and then up too early, hammering out the running miles to try and keep things balanced. Only on the long, desolate drive to the airport did I pause and acknowledge the fact that I've been working too hard again. Trying to do too much. No sooner than this thought registers do I find myself taking the off-ramp toward the entrance to CVG, headed home once again.

September has brought in the cool air and the days have become noticeably shorter. As I unload my bags I question whether fall could really be arriving so soon again. Over the years, Cincinnati has probably been my single-most frequented destination, and with that familiarity comes an astute sense of minor changes. The tiniest little details have a way of standing out to me each time I visit. New buildings, closed restaurants, highway construction. But each trip seems to blur into the previous ones, like the seasons of years past all blending into one another. On this particular visit, a new art installation was in progress at CVG, changing the entire appearance of the concourse even as compared to when I was last there, three weeks ago.

The first time I flew into CVG, I was young and just out of college, traveling for one of my first business-related trips. When we landed in Northern Kentucky, I panicked, thinking I had somehow gotten on the wrong plane. That was nearly fifteen years ago. A short period after that, Starbucks finally opened in the terminals. For more than a decade now, I've routinely claimed the corner table at the Starbucks located in CVG Concourse B. There, nearly every time I travel, I've enjoyed a warm drink while watching people come and go, up the escalator into the terminal and toward their departure gates. From this perch, I habitually sink back into my chair, bury myself in a musical narrative streaming through my headphones, and press the pause button on life to clear my busy mind. Even if it lasts only for a fleeting moment.


My fascination with airports stems from the temporal nature of our interactions in these spaces. In airports, the collisions of our lives with one another happen only for the briefest of periods. All of us, individually, passing through any given airport on any given day, in combinations never to be naturally duplicated again. What are the chances, then, of finding someone again after we leave?

After capturing these images, I searched through the "Missed Connections" section of the Cincinnati Craigslist looking for personal ads that included the string "CVG." Some of the results are presented here as complements to the candid images taken on September 14, 2016 when I passed through the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky airport.

Mary, if you’re reading this then you felt the same connection that I did.
Tell me how we interacted and let’s get together for a drink.
— Anonymous, found in Missed Connections under "CVG, Mary"
You initiated a conversation and asked me who I was waiting for. You asked me “do you have children?” I replied “yes, I was waiting for him to return to Northern KY from (fill in the blank so that I know it’s you).” You told me “I’m not foreign, even though I look it.” That’s okay, you seemed really nice. I really enjoyed talking to you. I do wish I had been more polite and asked for your name and contact info to stay in touch. You were meeting your daughter from Philadelphia. Do you remember where my son was returning from? And where he currently lives and works?

I hope you find this missed connection message. Anxiously waiting...
— Anonymous, found in Missed Connections under "CVG, Airport Brief Encounter"
You were a blond beauty... With your hair pulled back, comfy attire appropriate for a flight (maybe from Boston?), white top, gray pants that hugged your amazing calves soooo tightly. Chuck Taylors kept getting stretched out, and I think you might have caught me looking. I was.

Beyond how gorgeous you were, you seemed like a LOT of fun and I would like to chat with you just as a friendly conversation. Maybe drinks, lunch... Maybe even online if you are more comfortable that way. I love conversation and you seemed like a great companion.

Tell me anything about me or that night in the email to make sure you aren’t a dirty spammer, lol... Your car location, mine, what I was driving, what time/day you were there, and let’s go from there. I think we can have lots of fun together.
— Anonymous, found in Missed Connections under "CVG, Long Term Parking"

Footnotes: All images, Fujifilm X70 with fixed Fujinon 18.5mm f/2.8 / All quotes extracted from anonymously posted personal ads filed under the "Missed Connections" section of the Cincinnati Craigslist.