Crankster

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Diorama

Please excuse my recent absence from your blogs. Unfortunately, Verizon has recently cut off my internet connection, so I can only access the web from the local library! Hopefully, the problem will be dealt with soon. In the meantime, here's a final Flushing Meadow post.

Near the Unisphere, there's a huge marble neoclassical building that is the only surviving remnant of the 1939 World's Fair. Named the New York building, it originally housed the New York exhibit in the first fair. Afterwards, it became a recreation center and ice rink. Later, from 1946 to 1950, it became home to the United Nations General Assembly. This, in fact, is the building in which the partition of Palestine and creation of Israel occurred.

It was subsequently renovated for the second World's Fair and, in 1972, became home to the Queens Museum of Art. Half of it houses the museum, and the other half still has an ice rink.

Most of the art in the Queens Museum of Art is fairly interesting, but isn't particularly worthy of a visit. However, the museum has an amazing collection of World's Fair paraphernalia. Of particular interest is the New York Panorama.

The Panorama is somewhat misnamed. Actually a diorama, it was built for the 1964 World's Fair. It is a gargantuan model of New York City, featuring every building, park, field, and waterway. Every so often, it is updated to reflect the changing face of the city.

The Panorama is showing its age somewhat. It has visible creases showing where the individual sections are connected, and the city could do with a bit of dusting, but it is still pretty amazing. Best of all, a glass pathway goes most of the way around the room, making it possible to view almost the entire city from a fairly close range.

All in all, visiting the Panorama made me feel a lot like Godzilla.

Here's a picture of Manhattan looking South from the Bronx:


And here's a somewhat blurry picture of George, my wife, and our friend Katie laying on the glass for a birds-eye view:


Here's Prospect Park, near my sister Jen's apartment:


This is Northern Queens, looking South from the Bronx. LaGuardia airport is on the right:


Here's Flushing Meadow:


Here's the Fordham area of the Bronx, where I live:


And here's a close-up of my neighborhood. Poe Park is on the right:


This is Coney Island. The parachute jump is toward the left:


Here's my wife, looking out over the whole thing:


And here's my foot, hovering over a small part of the city as the denizens lie below, unaware of the threat that sits but a few feet above their sleeping heads:


It's hard to avoid feeling godlike at the Panorama.

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