black holes and gray matter. in one thousand tangos.

             

What was once an ash heap in Corona, Queens, became the site of the 1939 World’s Fair. Its avenues, in turn, provided the layout for the 1964 World’s Fair. …A few structures from the fair stand in good condition; others have fallen into disrepair; and still others have been reinvented.

Shea Stadium. Opened five days before the World’s Fair in 1964, it became the home of the New York Mets and the New York Jets. On Aug. 15, 1965, the Beatles played a 30-minute set before 55,000 screaming fans. The stadium was torn down in 2009 and turned into a parking lot; Citi Field, the new home of the Mets, was built next door.

Singer Bowl. An open-air stadium seating 18,000, it was built in 1964 by the Singer Sewing Company. In 1973, it was renamed the Louis Armstrong Memorial Stadium. (Armstrong, in fact, lived only blocks away until his death in 1971.) It was the centerpiece of the U.S.T.A. National Tennis Center when it opened in 1978, and it remained so until 1997, when Arthur Ashe Stadium was built.

Port Authority Heliport. An actual heliport topped the structure; the Beatles landed there on their way to their 1965 concert at Shea. The restaurant at the top, Terrace on the Park, is still open as a catering hall, with views that are said to be more spectacular than the food. When Madonna first came to New York, she lived in Corona and had a job running the elevators there.

New York State Pavilion. Consisting of an oval pavilion, a theater and three spaceship-like towers, the complex was designed by Philip Johnson. Murals that had decorated the outside of the pavilion, including Andy Warhol’s “Thirteen Most Wanted Men,” were painted over before the fair opened.

New York City Pavilion and Ice Theater. Originally built for the 1939 World’s Fair and later used as the home of the United Nations General Assembly, the 1964 pavilion featured a ride around a panoramic model of the city, as well as an ice skating show. It became a museum in 1972, and until 2008 the city operated an ice skating rink in the south end. The museum still houses the panorama.

Hall of Science. The Hall of Science, built for the fair, reopened as a science museum in 1966 and has since undergone several renovations. Nearby, in Space Park, were spacecraft and rockets, donated by NASA and the Defense Department. The Atlas and Titan II rockets remain outside; the Mercury I capsule is in the museum.

Chrysler Pavilion. The Queens Zoo opened on this site in 1968. The zoo’s aviary is the former New York World’s Fair Pavilion (later the Winston Churchill Pavilion), a geodesic dome designed for the fair by R. Buckminster Fuller.

Then & Now The Fair to End All Fairs

More here, here, and here.

“DURING his run for mayor, Bill de Blasio pledged to eradicate the Central Park horse-drawn carriage business. He called the industry inhumane, and proposed to replace the retired horses with electric-powered replicas of vintage cabs. Since taking office, he has not agreed to meet with the operators or hear their views. …
The majority of New Yorkers, however, do not agree with him. The latest Quinnipiac poll shows that 64 percent of New Yorkers polled support the horse carriages.
I have been a New York City resident for over 20 years, and have enjoyed Central Park for as long. … I can appreciate a happy and well-cared-for horse when I see one. It has been my experience, always, that horses, much like humans, are at their happiest and healthiest when working. Horses have been pulling from the beginning of time. It is what they have been bred to do.
Horses and their caretakers work together to earn a decent livelihood in New York, as they have for hundreds of years. New York’s horse-carriage trade is a humane industry that is well regulated by New York City’s Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene and Consumer Affairs. Harry W. Werner, a past president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, has visited the stables and “found no evidence whatsoever of inhumane conditions, neglect or cruelty in any aspect.”
Every horse must be licensed and pass a physical examination by a veterinarian twice a year; typically, the horses spend about six hours per day in the park. They cannot work in excessive cold or heat, and must also be furloughed for five weeks a year on a pasture in the country.
New York’s horse carriages have made an estimated six million trips in traffic over the last 30 years. In that time, just four horses have been killed as a result of collisions with motor vehicles, with no human fatalities. In contrast to the terrible toll of traffic accidents generally on New Yorkers, the carriage industry has a remarkable safety record.
A majority of carriage drivers and stable hands are recent immigrants, often raised on farms in their home countries. They love their jobs and their horses, and they take pride in being ambassadors for this great city. I can’t help but see the proposed ban as a class issue: Their livelihoods are now at risk because the animal-rights opponents of the industry are well funded by real-estate interests, which has led to speculation that this powerful lobby wishes to develop the West Side properties occupied by the stables.
As a result, an entire way of life and a historic industry are under threat. We should ask whether this is the New York we want to live in: a sanitized metropolis, where local color and grit are thrown out in favor of sleek futuristic buildings and careening self-driving cars?”
Liam Neeson | NYT

DURING his run for mayor, Bill de Blasio pledged to eradicate the Central Park horse-drawn carriage business. He called the industry inhumane, and proposed to replace the retired horses with electric-powered replicas of vintage cabs. Since taking office, he has not agreed to meet with the operators or hear their views. …

The majority of New Yorkers, however, do not agree with him. The latest Quinnipiac poll shows that 64 percent of New Yorkers polled support the horse carriages.

I have been a New York City resident for over 20 years, and have enjoyed Central Park for as long. … I can appreciate a happy and well-cared-for horse when I see one. It has been my experience, always, that horses, much like humans, are at their happiest and healthiest when working. Horses have been pulling from the beginning of time. It is what they have been bred to do.

Horses and their caretakers work together to earn a decent livelihood in New York, as they have for hundreds of years. New York’s horse-carriage trade is a humane industry that is well regulated by New York City’s Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene and Consumer Affairs. Harry W. Werner, a past president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, has visited the stables and “found no evidence whatsoever of inhumane conditions, neglect or cruelty in any aspect.”

Every horse must be licensed and pass a physical examination by a veterinarian twice a year; typically, the horses spend about six hours per day in the park. They cannot work in excessive cold or heat, and must also be furloughed for five weeks a year on a pasture in the country.

New York’s horse carriages have made an estimated six million trips in traffic over the last 30 years. In that time, just four horses have been killed as a result of collisions with motor vehicles, with no human fatalities. In contrast to the terrible toll of traffic accidents generally on New Yorkers, the carriage industry has a remarkable safety record.

A majority of carriage drivers and stable hands are recent immigrants, often raised on farms in their home countries. They love their jobs and their horses, and they take pride in being ambassadors for this great city. I can’t help but see the proposed ban as a class issue: Their livelihoods are now at risk because the animal-rights opponents of the industry are well funded by real-estate interests, which has led to speculation that this powerful lobby wishes to develop the West Side properties occupied by the stables.

As a result, an entire way of life and a historic industry are under threat. We should ask whether this is the New York we want to live in: a sanitized metropolis, where local color and grit are thrown out in favor of sleek futuristic buildings and careening self-driving cars?”

Liam Neeson | NYT

In a lot of ways this is a city built on Pretend. We pretend that we aren’t getting older, that we can still be out until four in the morning and it won’t be any different when we wake up than it was in our early 20s. We pretend that we have plenty of time to accomplish all the goals we think are still within our reach. We pretend that the careless ways we act and the carelessness with which we allow ourselves to be treated in turn are merely temporary stops on the way to the true happiness that we think is surely our reward for working so hard at the things we pretend make a difference or mean something. We pretend that everything is practice, everything is temporary, and that on the one day we finally decide we are ready to take ourselves seriously the world will stand up and applaud and say, “Finally! Have anything you want, it’s no less than what you deserve!” If we catch a glimpse of ourselves in the mirror as we pass by we pretend that we don’t see the wrinkles, the hard-set eyes, the dents and dings and damage and decay that the years of hard living have chipped out of us, the sad and addled residue that is the inevitable result of what can only be characterized as a toxic lifestyle. But most of all we pretend that everything we eat here hasn’t been touched by rats at some point. Because as rough as all the other stuff is, you can probably cope with it if you really have to, but there’s no way to get by if you are forced to acknowledge just how much anything you put in your mouth has been all rubbed up on by vermin. Now let’s never talk about it again.”

Don’t Mention the Rats

©2011 Kateoplis