Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Down and Up

Walking through Flushing Meadow, it's easy to forget to look down and up, but some of the most beautiful remnants of the World's Fair are on the ground, in the sky, in places just out of the range of easy sight.

When you enter the park from the Shea Stadium subway stop, there is a plaza with several mosaics. One of them, by Andy Warhol, shows Robert Moses:

Up close, he looks a little psychotic, and appears to have a major cavity:

Another one, a few steps away, is an abstract piece by Salvador Dali:

As far as I can tell, it is a mermaid, bent double, over the black outline of a heart. That Dali--such a kidder!

I don't know who did the one of the "Fountain of the Planets," bit it's beautiful:

Unfortunately, the real fountain is empty and gated. It looks like an industrial waste dump:

Over near the Unisphere, there is a small plaza with sandblasted murals commemorating both World Fairs. They are almost impossible to see, and are usually covered with skaters, but are really beautiful:

A few hundred feet away, the remainders of the New York State pavilion are still standing. The towers were designed as platforms for viewing the Fair and the city, and the oval space beside them had a fiberglas "tent" over it, covering a gargantuan map of New York state.

After the fair, the New York Pavilion was made into a roller skating rink. However, it had a few major design flaws. A few years later, the fiberglas covering started to fall apart, so it was removed, and the floor was patched with concrete. Finally, though, the whole space was fenced off and left to rust.

In the meantime, the towers were also shut down. One of the glass elevators was stored in the sub-basement, while the other was left halfway up the tower, where it has spent the last thirty years falling apart.

Having seen Men in Black, I expected the towers to be slick, exciting, ultra-modern structures. In person, though, they look incredibly depressing:

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  • I bet the fountain of planets includes Pluto!! poor pluto...

    By Blogger Claudia, At November 28, 2007 at 1:01 PM  

  • Shit, man. That does look like hell. that looks like Ryker's Island.

    By Blogger M@, At November 28, 2007 at 1:58 PM  

  • About those towers from Men in Black... you gotta remember that the last time an alien drove that ship was like 10 years ago, and the guy crashed it. Of course it's gonna look a bit rusty.

    By Blogger tokenscot, At November 28, 2007 at 4:21 PM  

  • I love how you go off exploring.


    By Blogger Glamourpuss, At November 29, 2007 at 3:05 PM  

  • Do you know how many times I drove right by this and never stopped in? Too many. Thanks to you, I don't have to! :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 30, 2007 at 7:48 AM  

  • Claudia-
    As long as it lives on in our hearts, Pluto is still a planet.

    At least, that's my take.

    I know. The kind of water you're afraid to touch, y'know?

    They're supposed to be made of space-age metal, man. They're not supposed to rust!

    Thank you! And I'm sure that you do the same--London is perfect for it. BTW, I really appreciate the award!

    Not so fast. You have to climb up the Unisphere with me!

    By Blogger Crankster, At November 30, 2007 at 1:55 PM  

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