Friday, August 28, 2009

The Nearly Pointless Trip To Flushing Meadow Park

The Tent of Tomorrow Has Seen Better Days

I read on Gothamist that the Unisphere was sprouting grass because of the wet summer. Weeds growing on the icon of the '64 World's Fair, this called for investigation. Unfortunately, the Park's Department is planning on cleaning it all up after the US Open which starts this weekend. So I really had to go today. This is unfortunate because Tropical Storm Danny is milling around off the coast sending loads of rain our way. The Unisphere is in Flushing which is one of those parts of nyc that are so far away, one might as well go to Vermont for all the effort it takes.

I resigned myself to taking the car. It is fitting really. The 1964 World's Fair was something of a celebration of the automobile with the world's largest road map contributed by Texaco. The park is bounded by highways; the Long Island Expressway, the Van Wick, the Grand Central Parkway. The weather was miserable bringing out lots of heavy traffic. I regretted my decision the instant I neared the horribly decrepit Kosciuszko Bridge
. I finally made it. To my disappointment, there did not seem to be much grass growing on the Unisphere. There were a few tufts in the fountain but nothing to get excited about. Maybe the Parks Department has already cleaned it up. I glowered at the Unisphere in the rain (you can see the drops blurring my picture) I decided that the stylized globe perched on its jaunty angle made me slightly nauseous. I also noticed that it is very hard to make out Europe on the globe.

There was some wild grass growing in a woebegone fountain out past the Tent of Tomorrow. It is near a bridge that crosses one of the highways. I have always wanted to walk across the bridge and yet it always seems to be too far away. The whole park is rather sprawling.

This fountain is totally neglected, its disconnected water jets had an odd iridescent hue.

There is a happy little ecosystem sprouting up in the neglect. It looks a little like marshland.

The concrete fountain has developed a lovely patina of algae moss and dead leaves.

I would have taken more pictures of the Tent of Tomorrow which has some of my favorite decay. But it has been closed off to the public. I would love to stand inside under the skeletal wires. I couldn't see any trace of the road map when I looked through the fence.

Here is a cool web site about the Tent of Tomorrow.

I will be taking a little break for the end of summer. Be back in about two weeks.

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