We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Surely some of our readers went to the 1964 World's Fair (Peace through understanding, and It's a small world after all). NYC is an endless wonder, adventure, and delight to me as a country boy.
Took a trip to Queens on Friday evening to see some theatrical performances celebrating the 50th anniversary of the most recent NY World's Fair. The site is now Flushing Meadows Corona Park. A bit bedraggled but very pleasant large park filled with Queens people, mostly with kids. We spoke with a proud resident of Queens who had attended both the 1939 and the 1964 world's fairs sited there. At the edge of the park, the Mets' new CitiField, and the National Tennis Center.
A cool place. The futuristic remnants of 1964 are strange, rusting, and apocalyptic in a way. None of the fountains work. The Space Center is all gone now.
The Unisphere fountains are now a place for kids to practice bike-riding and roller-blading. The lights and structures behind the treeline are the US (Billy Jean King) Tennis Center:
Why is it that the "great new architecture" of the mid century (1964 included) has failed to carve a place in history for itself. That is to say the "great new architecture" of the middle ages still stands, still is beautiful on it's own merit, etc. But this stuff from Bauhaus until today is not holding on to our hearts, it does not speak to something inside of us that looks for the qualities that exist in some designs that are timeless. For me the only interesting architecture to have come out of the 1900's is what we call "ranch style". The long low residences that visibly offer welcome and sanctuary. I believe this design will survive as something we have accepted. Of course, one should not compare the residential era to the commercial era, but still when I look back at all the "futuristic" buildings from that time period which have already been torn down I have to ask myself why didn't we accept them as part of our culture?
Uh, much of that "great architecture" of the Middle Ages was re-built after the numerous European wars destroyed it! Its now a none-too-secret form of "Disney-esque" European architecture in its renovation/re-build.
Most Baroque and roccoco forms are preserved as a paean to the "I can't believe anyone would believe that gilded,over-adornment constitutes anything but gauchery and bad taste" school of architectural appreciation.
Art Deco and its derivatives in mid-mod architecture offer much to be appreciated, without all the excesses of baroque and the soulessness of purelythe Modern.
Can't write about a visit to Queens without mentioning that area for car repair shops known as Willits Point. Drive into that area and you feel like you've entered the twilight zone of a Mad Max movie! Row after row of seedy auto repair, auto parts and tire shops, paved streets optional! Truly a unique part of Queens and more than a little spooky to an out-of-towner.
I hear you crying out for simplicity--simple elegance. I believe this is the quality that's missing in these recent contemporary strategies. The idea of stripped down to bare minimum was a good place to start--as good as any. However, it was that nothing of quality is added to these buildings--ultimately, they are not good design.
You would be wrong to believe that I like Rococo--I was referring to the middle age religious buildings. The flying buttress, the stained glass were great "NEW" ideas at the time. Rococo was also, but it overstepped the bounds and just as we are turning away from contemporary architecture in today's world. Rococo too has lost our affection. I believe that happened within a very short time of it's popularity.
I remember my parents taking my sister and me to that World's Fair. Somewhere I recently came across some photos of us in front of one of those pre-Jurassic-Park life-size dinosaur models. In my day we didn't have CGI, we had REAL fake dinosaurs. But we were happy ...
Not only that I went to Mets and Jets games at Shea Stadium (none of this "CitiField" malarky).
I went to the fair. I was young and overwhelmed by it all.
Like Stimpy, I also went to a Mets game at Shea stadium the same year. I think it was Casey Stengel's birthday. I only got to go because a friend of my brothers' had to drop out - it was their birthday present. Yes, twin brothers.
I went to the 1964 World's Fair. I was seven. I will never forget it, and am glad my father took us on an adventure. I remember a lot, but mostly the display of Michelangelo's Pieta (we went through twice!)