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Film History

The World of Today: How the New York World’s Fair connects to the Marvel Cinematic Universe

The New York World’s Fair of 1939-40, held in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, was an extravagant wonderland of ideas, filled with technological wonder and futuristic imagination. It was fun for all ages — if you could afford it. Children were a key audience, of course, and the fair was advertised to them in a variety […]

Categories
Podcasts Queens History

The World of Tomorrow: Visiting the World’s Fair of 1939-40, the kitschy futurescape of Queens

PODCAST Visiting the first World’s Fair at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the unimaginable playground of the future, planted inescapably within the reality of the day. Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the fourth largest park in New York City and the pride of northern Queens, has twice been the doorway to the future. Two world’s fairs have […]

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf Sports

Opening Day at Shea Stadium: A nostalgic trip to the New York Mets’ beloved old home

Shea Stadium has been gone ten years now. With mourning fans looking on, the final section of seats were torn out on the morning of February 18, 2009. Awaiting fans a short distance away was the sparkling new Citi Field which would open for business with a thrilling game between the San Diego Padres and the field’s home […]

Categories
Landmarks

It’s Open House New York 2015! Adventures await at these free sites

 Open House New York is the absolute best time of the year to wander the city and visit dozens of New York City’s greatest historical landmarks and architectural wonders.  Unfortunately, reservations for some of those places pretty much filled up within ten minutes. But never fear! This year, it seems that a great number of the most interesting […]

Categories
Bowery Boys Gilded Age New York

Odds and Ends: Washington Irving, Modern Ruin, Tourist Advice, The Slide

Irving Place is the remarkably pretty street that travels from the south side of Gramercy Park to the less charming ruckus of 14th Street.  It was named for the great writer Washington Irving during his lifetime by developer Samuel Ruggles.  The house at East 17th Street and Irving Place purports to be the former home […]

Categories
Amusements and Thrills

The 1965 New York World’s Fair: Opening Day

The New York World’s Fair opened for its second and last season on April 21, 1965.  The grand opening the previous year had been rocky indeed — protests, rain, even a parking lot riot.  Thankfully the second season was met with beautiful weather and abundant crowds.  In order to jazz it up a bit — not […]

Categories
Podcasts Queens History

Ruins of the World’s Fair: The New York State Pavilion, or how Philip Johnson’s futuristic architecture was almost forgotten

  A little bit Jetsons, a little bit Gladiator, a little bit P.T Barnum. Photo/Marco Catini PODCAST The ruins of the New York State Pavilion, highlight of the 1964-65 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, have become a kind of unofficial Statue of Liberty of Queens, greeting people as they head to and from LaGuardia […]

Categories
Queens History Robert Moses

Robert Moses rejected this terrifying Margaret Keane painting from hanging at the 1964-65 World’s Fair

The World’s Fair of 1964-65 at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park was a major American event forward-looking in its intent and, in many ways, backwards in its practice.  In particular, Robert Moses did not care for cheap carnival amusements, nor did he care for music or art that was particular edgy or controversial. Moses’ tastes ruled supreme […]

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Queens History Robert Moses

Robert Moses rejected this terrifying Margaret Keane painting from hanging at the 1964-65 World’s Fair

The World’s Fair of 1964-65 at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park was a major American event forward-looking in its intent and, in many ways, backwards in its practice.  In particular, Robert Moses did not care for cheap carnival amusements, nor did he care for music or art that was particular edgy or controversial. Moses’ tastes ruled supreme […]

Categories
Current Events

Open House New York: From Teddy’s home to a secret cottage Ten FREE historical spaces to visit in all five boroughs

An old postcard of Cass Gilbert’s U.S. Custom House, one of the highlights of this year’s Open House New York. You have no excuse now.  This weekend is the 12th Annual Open House New York, the city’s annual celebration of history, architecture and design.  Hundreds of places throughout the five boroughs will throw open their doors […]

Categories
Queens History

A new film about New York State Pavilion, the space-age ruin from the World’s Fair 1964-65

Many cities have turned the sites of World’s Fairs into public places that have endured through the decades.  Chicago’s Jackson Park and the Midway were greatly upgraded after their use in the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.  The odd-looking Sunsphere, a highlight of the Knoxville World’s Fair in 1982, is now the city’s most recognizable monument. […]

Categories
Preservation

Root for the Mets and help save the World’s Fair Pavilion!

The New York State Pavilion in its prime. (NYPL) The New York Mets owe much to Robert Moses and the World’s Fair of 1964-65.  The fledgling baseball team was still playing at the decrepit old Polo Grounds when plans were hatched for their new home out in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, named for their primary benefactor William […]

Categories
Queens History

The religious controversy behind a lonely Roman column just standing around by itself in Flushing Meadows Park

. The second oldest manmade object in New York City — outside, that is, not in a museum or private collection — is a solitary little Roman column built in 120 AD for the Temple of Artemis in the ancient city of Jerash.  It once stood among a chorus of ‘whispering columns’, creating an effect […]

Categories
Amusements and Thrills Queens History

African lions and dinosaurs, musical plastics and electricity: The sights and sounds of the 1964-65 World’s Fair

The World’s Fair of 1964-65 opened fifty years ago today!  We visited this unusual New York mega-event on the podcast a few years ago.  Give this show a listen to get a good introduction to our city’s strangest celebration of the future.  You can listen to it here or download it from the Bowery Boys […]

Categories
Robert Moses

Robert Moses was born 125 years ago today. Here’s ten ways to celebrate/mourn his magnificent, controversial legacy

One hundred and twenty-five years ago today, Robert Moses was unleashed upon the world, born in New Haven, Connecticut, on Dwight Street.  He remains today one of the most powerful civic figures in American history, and obviously one of the most controversial.  Because of Moses, we have the modern New York City.  Many of its […]