A photo of an Amarillo, Texas hotel was recently posted to a popular Facebook group "Liminal Spaces," garnering many likes and comments. I have to agree that the image is spot-on as a liminal space, and I'm particularly fond of it. But first, what is a liminal space, and why do they simultaneously make us feel both nostalgic and unsettled? 

This image from a Canadian building is a great example of liminal space- empty hallways always are. This is because "liminal" refers to a place that is transitional or exists as a boundary. Or, the place between "no longer" and "not yet," as you are no longer in your room and not yet in the parking lot, for example. Liminal can be used in various ways. For example, divorce can be described as liminal. It's also fair to call the week between Christmas and New Year's Day as liminal for many.

unsplash
unsplash
loading...

Are you still with me? Great!

Now that we've defined liminal as an abstract/temporal concept, moving to liminal as a physical space is easy. Any transitional space is technically liminal, but spaces that give us that liminal vibe are generally empty, allowing us to feel as if we are the only actors moving through them. I suspect that's part of the reason they can feel creepy for some, and introspective for others. Without people, animals, or too many distinguishing features to focus on, the space can become unanchored to reality or dreamlike, and yet they are abundantly real- we've all moved through something very like them at some point, which can also give us a pleasant nostalgic feeling. Here's another example:

unsplash
unsplash
loading...

This empty mall escalator is another perfect example. Escalators are inherently transitional, and if you told me I had been here before and just didn't remember it, I'd have a difficult time disproving you with no other added information.

Now, for this delicious Amarillo example.

Facebook
Facebook
loading...

We get the sense of transition from the mezzanine and the nostalgia comes not only from the pool itself, but the two neon floaties are chef's kiss. The emptiness adds to the unease as does the fun detail that the pool happens to be... coffin-shaped.

Remember: there is nothing wrong with a liminal space, even if it happens to make you a little uncomfortable. Life is full of transitions, and in many of them, you will walk alone. That's the beauty of it, isn't it?

Sold This Year: Infamous Darlie Routier Murder House in Rowlett, Texas

Gallery Credit: Renee Raven

Grisly Texas Property For Sale: Landlord's Body Left To Rot In Backyard

An elderly Texas landlord's body was found in the backyard of his property. We take a tour of this property for sale and reveal the heinous details of the crime.

Gallery Credit: Renee Raven

Luxurious Texas Home For Sale Is A Castle With Modern Amenities

1611 La Mirada in South Lake, Texas is an exquisite estate that is modeled after English manor houses and castles, but with plenty of modern amenities.

Gallery Credit: Renee Raven

 

More From Talk 103.9 & 1340