Thursday, November 26, 2009

New York World's Fair

I may have mentioned that we're now living in Queens rather than Manhattan. It's very different out here, and so far we're enjoying it.

We decided to get to know our new borough a little better and rode the 7 out to Flushing Meadows, the site of the two World's Fairs held in New York City (although the second fair was apparently unsanctioned).

Having come from Washington, I am very familiar with vestigial buildings of the Seattle World's Fair held in 1962. The Space Needle, the monorail, and much of the Pacific Science Center is leftover from that particular event. Most of those things are still in decent condition (even though the monorail keeps breaking down... but we don't talk about that in my household). New York City seems to have not cared for its World's Fair souvenirs quite as well. For instance, there is supposed to be a Fountain of the Planets, and I was very excited about this because I love the planets. But it turned out to be a big pond with an ugly square building in the center.

Probably one of the better-known examples of neglected World's Fair buildings is this one, the New York State Pavilion.

It's in almost total ruin, kind of sad to see. That ceiling apparently used to be stained glass, but they destroyed it a long time ago and in the process mutilated what was apparently a beautiful map of New York City on the floor of this building. I'm told that the remains of this map are currently in a museum, but they're not in good shape.

They do have some statues still in good shape, like this one, which I first thought was Apollo but I'm really not sure what he is supposed to be. And of course the Unisphere, of which I took many pictures but I did not post here as those are posted all over the place. (When I got home I even realized that our Queens phonebook has the Unisphere on the cover.)

What is particularly strange to me is that the Mets play right nextdoor to this park, and the US Open is held here every year. So it's not like the area is dead, yet we have these rotting buildings right next door. It's strange to me, but I do understand there are better things to spend the budget on than refurbishing an almost-fifty-year-old building.
And, just to keep us on topic here, here's a decent picture of a squirrel I got while out at Flushing Meadows. The squirrels out there were looking pretty fat and healthy; must be all those baseball hotdogs?

1 comment:

  1. The statute is the "Rocket Thrower."