Condé Nast Traveler: Where Are You? Contest
view the rules › | enter to win ›
A great deal of capital and industry went into erecting the fluid and lofty structure before youin celebration of an event that never happened. You haven't entered the twilight zone; rather, this shiny aluminum exhibition hall was spawned to chronicle the paramount geo-political state of affairs during the last half of the last century. In effect, this institution memorializes the fact that global stasis remained just so; that things didn't get worse; that we didn't go MAD.
Opened four years ago, the center belongs to a larger museum devoted to military aviation. The architectural conceit is to portray countervailing forces in the international realm: A pair of 400-foot-long curvilinear triangles are poised in opposition as they rise 100 feet to form a seam at the top. Its 66,000 square feet are crammed with paratroop carriers, refueling tankers, and bombers, and jet fighters hang from the rafters. Since temperatures and humidity are regulated via low-energy ventilation, the designers have earned the right to trumpet their environmental cred.
You are touring this nation's most rural county. Yet at every turn there are riveting (perhaps literally) sites from the early days of the Industrial Revolution. You'll be gobsmacked by the exquisite little cast-iron bridge that spans the country's longest river. And how apropos that a seminal naturalist who deeply pondered issues of survival came from here.
As you tour the exhibition displays, a bleak Churchillian turn of phrase and perhaps even a fancy French word for relaxation in mind, consider that this lustrous museum was founded so that younger generations (for whom Thor and Vulcan might just be video games) would never forget this perilous age. Indeed, recent spontaneous political uprisings could well be the last gasp of the world order established in those dark old days. Welcome to the twilight of the gods.
Where are you, anyhow?
Escape to one of the world's finest luxury resorts - Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. Consistently ranked among the world's premier travel destinations, this alluring Southern California vacation spot provides the perfect getaway for the discriminating guest. Restore your spirit in the cleansing waters of our brand-new spa. Enjoy innovative seafood cuisine in our ocean-view restaurant. Treat yourself to a romantic California coast vacation in our richly appointed accommodations in a striking oceanfront setting.
Make Your Opinion Count!
Sign up to participate in Condé Nast Traveler reader polls, and you may earn a chance to win a free trip in one of our survey sweepstakes.
more information ›