Blog Archives

Walking the Queens World’s Fair Ruins – Seen on Gothamist

nypavillion

I took this photo some time ago along with others documenting the crumbling World’s Fair Grounds of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

It was featured on Friday’s Gothamist.  $43 million is needed to restore the facilities and save them from destruction.

 

More of my pictures of the place are here:  https://ventilateblog.wordpress.com/tag/worlds-fair-grounds/

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US OPEN – Queens Squirrels Rule!

Flushing Meadows – Corona Park:  Home of the 1964 World’s Fair, the iconic Unisphere, the NY Mets, the Billie Jean King Tennis Center…  and a small nation’s worth of squirrels.  Of all the wild creatures that make their home amongst human city-dwellers, they are surely the most endearing.  Especially in late summer, when the badass squirrels of Queens come down from their trees and take on the U.S. Open.

For the 2nd year in a row, one of our woodland neighbors eluded security and made it onto the court of Arthur Ashe Stadium, in front of countless global viewers.

 

And this, in 2012:

 

It’s always a joy when a tiny animal can interrupt international sport; long live the squirrels of NY!

World’s Fair Grounds-revisited

During the summer I posted on the World’s Fair Grounds which hosted the worldwide exposition in 1939 and in 1964:

https://ventilateblog.wordpress.com/2011/07/16/worlds-fair-grounds-queens/

These are some photos from my most recent excursion:

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...