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 […]

Categories
Museums

The Crystal Palace: A new gallery show brings its marvels to life

Bryant Park is a rather remarkable physical space. During the winter it becomes a skating rink and outdoor market, while in the summer, its lawn host hundreds of movie buffs every Monday for the park’s popular outdoor film festival. Its neighbor — the main branch of the New York Public Library — keeps millions of volumes […]

Categories
Amusements and Thrills

The Bronx World’s Fair of 1918: the failure which became a magical park

Nobody remembers the Bronx World’s Fair of 1918 or, more precisely, the Bronx International Exposition of Science, Arts and Industries. Nor should they really. Modest in scale and only partially completed, the exposition failed to bring the world marvels on the scale of the elevator (from the 1853 Crystal Palace exposition) or the television set (from the […]

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
Amusements and Thrills Podcasts

The Crystal Palace, America’s first World’s Fair and bizarre treasury of the 19th century

PODCAST New York’s Crystal Palace seems like something out of a dream, a shimmering and spectacular glass-and-steel structure — a gigantic greenhouse — which sat in the area of today’s Bryant Park. In 1853 this was the home to the Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations, a dizzying presentation of items, great and small, […]

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
Podcasts Pop Culture

New York City and the birth of the television industry, experimental broadcasts from the city’s greatest landmarks

An illustration from Science & Invention, one of Hugo Gernsback’s many technology journals, demonstrating the possibilities of his ‘telephot’ system. (Courtesy The Verge) PODCAST It’s the beginning of The Bowery Boys Summer TV Mini-Series, three podcasts devoted to New York City’s illustrious history with broadcast television — from Sarnoff to Seinfeld!  In our first show, […]

Categories
Museums

“Designing Tomorrow” glimpses the elegance of modernity via the earnestness of the World’s Fairs of the 1930s

The Museum of the City of New York‘s new exhibition “Designing Tomorrow: America’s World’s Fairs of the 1930s” examines the aspirational vision of the American future in the automobile age, and the use of a mostly-defunct style of public exhibition as a way to sell that vision. There were over two dozen World Fairs in […]

Categories
Museums

“Designing Tomorrow” glimpses the elegance of modernity via the earnestness of the World’s Fairs of the 1930s

The Museum of the City of New York‘s new exhibition “Designing Tomorrow: America’s World’s Fairs of the 1930s” examines the aspirational vision of the American future in the automobile age, and the use of a mostly-defunct style of public exhibition as a way to sell that vision. There were over two dozen World Fairs in […]

Categories
Queens History

Mitt Romney visits the New York World’s Fair, May 1964

Apparently there’s some controversy involving the latest campaign ad from presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.  The ad, aimed at Michigan primary voters, displays the photograph at top while Mitt’s voiceover discusses ‘going to the Detroit auto show’. That may have just been some unfortunate sound editing, as Mitt was not in Detroit, but rather at the New York […]

The rockets’ red glare, over the 1939 World’s Fair

An elaborate fireworks celebration over the grounds of the World’s Fair of 1939-40. (I’m not sure which year this picture was taken.) The wars of American independence, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War and World War I are represented in a lighting display in the foreground. And you also may have noticed something familiar over […]

Auf Wiedersehen to a well-travelled World’s Fair original

In 1965, at the completion of the World’s Fair in Flushing-Meadows, many components like fountains, sculptures, lighting features and even whole pavilions were moved to other areas of the world. Most famously, the ‘It’s A Small World’ collection of animatronics made their way west to Disneyland. The Spanish pavilion moved to St. Louis and became […]

The strangest Veterans Day pictures you will see today

The picture above is not of actor James Franco. If captioning can be believed, this is the ‘youngest veteran’ of World War I, posing with other more appropriately aged and clothed veterans, next to some clearly satisfied women. (Notice what the lady in black is staring at.) Yes, he is handcuffed. These pictures were taken […]

Attention trivia lovers: take the Panorama Challenge

We don’t have another trivia night lined up yet, but the Queens Museum is offering a fine alternative this Friday — with the glamorous Panorama of the City of New York as a backdrop. Using the miniature replica (designed for the 1964 World’s Fair), The Panorama Challenge is geographical trivia night, so polish up on […]

Balloon Girl Found!!

No chance of this young lady floating away with her helium souvenir from the New York World’s Fair 1939-1940 [courtesy here]