A beautiful sleepy sunny morning, a calm gracious side of New York awoke me today.
Jumping directly on the 7 at Grand Central and making my way to Willets Point deep inside Queens was an incredibly smooth procedure.
I headed towards Flushing Meadows and Corona Park.
A big stretch of parkland that separates Flushing Bay and Union Turnpike.
It was originally developed for the 1939 New York City World’s Fair, which it hosted again in 1964.
Converting F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘valley of ashes’ (from the Great Gatsby) into Gilmore D. Clarke’s ‘mans achievements on a shrinking globe in an expanding universe’ (the tag line for the ‘64 fair by the Unisphere architect).
The park is also home to the Queens Museum of Modern Art.
A strange redundant hybrid art space.
One part stuck in nostalgic homage the other reaching for contemporary relevance.
Subsequently achieving neither.
For a period it was the temporary hang out for the homeless United Nations.
Refurbished and dressed up a little it became the New York City Pavillion in ‘64.
The only original building from the ‘39 fair to stand in the park now.
An amalgamation of potentialities and burnt dreams.
Flushing/Corona is a beautiful relaxing park.
Full of big old trees and birds.
Populated with young hispanic families bombing around underneath the unisphere on bmxs and teenagers on skateboards.
‘World’s Fair’ is a typically Victorian concept, initiated with a view to showcase industrial advancements on a national scale.
As time went by they metamorphosized to showcase the thematic topic reflected in the climate of the times.
Industrialisation, cultural exchange, technological progression and from the mid nineties to now branding.
Large scale barren monumental elephants.
Architecture constructed with an eye to the spectacular and not the functional.
Monuments and buildings that are to be witnessed but not used.
To list a few ex-fair sites so you understand how Flushing/Corona felt:
Crystal Palace in London, Grand Palais in Paris, the Space Needle in Seattle, the Biosphere in Montreal and the Atomium in Brussels, to name but a few.
There is a stark contrast of present day useability and utopian monumental desires for an iconic spectacle of national glory in these sites.
The second part of my day was spent listening to a little gig in Brooklyn by a band called Project.
They were very good.
Day six - spectacles of light and dark.