Flushing Meadows Corona Park

July 8, 2011 –
Once upon a time, this Queens, NY, site was a trash dump described as a “valley of ash” by F. Scott Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby. Then, in 1939 it became the location of the New York World’s Fair. Almost thirty years later, in 1964, it became the location of a second world’s fair. Today it’s a 1,255-acre park called Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and it still features many of the amazing artifacts, buildings, and monuments left over from both of those future-facing international events (although mostly from the second one) in conditions ranging from amazingly well preserved to post-apocalyptic

The park also has a zoo, Arthur Ashe Stadium (where the U.S. Open tennis tournament is played), Citi Field (home of the Mets), and various museums, soccer fields, pools, meadows, and playgrounds. By contrast, my local park has a creaky swing set and a crooked gazebo where the senior citizens from the nearby retirement home go to make out. Sometimes there’s nothing on TV for me to watch.

The rotting remains of the New York State Pavilion from the 1964 world's fair.
Currently most famous for being the site of the climax of Men in Black.

The observation tower is 250 feet at its tallest point, while the plaza measures 250 by 350 feet.

The interior floor was covered by a giant mosaic of New York made up of more than 550 panels.

Form, the once-rotating (maybe still, but not while I was there)
\Jose De Rivera sculpture for the 1964 world's fair.

The dominating feature of the park is the Unisphere, a massive 12-story-high globe.

The back of the New York Hall of Science, constructed for the 1964 world's fair and still open today.

A series of about a dozen circular mosaics installed in 1998 at the main entrance to the park celebrates
the art and architecture of the two world's fairs.

Forms in Transit, created by Theodore Roszak for the 1964 world's fair.

A Mercury-Atlas rocket beside the Hall of Science.

A Gemini-Titan rocket, also next to the Hall of Science.
Three of the six playgrounds in the park are dinosaur-themed, including the Dinosaur,
Jurassic, and Triassic playgrounds.

Freedom of the Human Spirit, the 28-foot-tall Marshall Fredericks
sculpture created for the 1964 world's fair.

The 43-foot-tall Rocket Thrower, created by Donald De Lue
for the 1964 world's fair.

Site of the Vatican Paviliion from the 1964 world's fair.

Location of two time capsules, one from each world's fair, scheduled to be opened in 5,000 years.
Here's more about the capsules and their contents.

It's all fairs and games until somebody gets hurt. A memorial  to the two bomb squad officers  who died removing a
time bomb from the fairgrounds during the 1939 world's fair. The culprits were never caught. 

The world according to Queens.