World’s Fair Grounds – Queens

Unisphere - with the Holga

 

 

In 1939 and 1964, at two great turning points of the 20th century, Flushing Meadows hosted the World’s Fair.   The fairs were visited by hundreds of thousands- my grandparents saw both of them, and my father and wife’s mother were at the 1964 fair as little kids.  I wish I could have seen them.

 

All that remains now is scattered in ruins throughout the park–   Ruins of structures that represented the deepest ideals of their time and that expressed an imagined future of hope and progress.  It is interesting and sad that many of the promises presented by both Fairs were completely trampled in the years immediately following them.

 

 

NY State Pavillion

 

 

The park is woefully neglected and fantastically hard to access- finding open access points is abnormally difficult.  Ironically, the highways built in the 1930’s to bring visitors to the World’s Fair now bind the park in such a way that keeps most people out.

 

But actually, all this is a blessing, as, once in the park, you can be nearly alone amongst the relics of 20th century idealism.   There is a strange surreal serenity here- like the landscape of a 1960’s post-apocalyptic, failed-utopia science fiction movie.

 

Also, the park’s neglect means you can approach a lot of the structures un-bothered.  There’s no other place in the city where you can skateboard around and even CLIMB  on  such internationally iconic structures as the Unisphere.

 

 

This is an excellent site about the ’64 Fair – the maps are especially superb: http://www.westland.net/ny64fair/

These are some pictures of the 1939 Fair: http://www.life.com/image/first/in-gallery/41782/future-vision-ny-worlds-fair-1939

with the Holga

The Westinghouse Time Capsules- one from the 1939 Fair and the other from the 1964 Fair. To be opened in 5 millennia...

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About ventilateblog

http://www.createdbymattlogan.com/ MUSIC Classically trained cellist. Attended Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University - degree in Music Composition, and three years of recording arts and audio electrical engineering. Multiple works for chamber groups and orchestra have been produced and performed. Singer-songwriter with rock and folk roots.. Electronica. Today, it's about mashing together all these things into improbable hybrids. Also, a longtime educator of music. PHOTOGRAPHY Unpredictable and in the moment is what I love. Streets, architecture, and people. Ruined places. History. Frozen moments. Great love for imagines wrought by beautiful mystery of film and vintage cheapy cameras. WRITING The vague, ephemeral. The historical - the ghosts behind the veil of time. Delving deeply into the intricacies of our physical and cultural world. Relaying memory and longing. And sometimes the absurd. Life runs deep. Life

Posted on July 16, 2011, in abandoned, NYC past, photography, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

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