A thought of the thought of my existence wasn’t even… a thought in 1964, when the architect Philip Johnson completed the New York State Pavilion at the Queens, New York World’s Fair, but I have a thing for weird architecture. Queens is also my favorite borough; it has a vast assortment of food, nice parks, a relatively laid-back atmosphere, and oh, just a couple of airports.
On April 22nd, the pavilion was opened to the public for the first time in decades (don’t fret if you couldn’t play hookey that day – especially if you’re not on the continent – because it will re-open again on Sunday, May 18th). After waiting on line, grabbing an easily-lost but free-of-charge raffle ticket, then meandering through Corona to find lunch in the hopes that they didn’t already call my number, I finally made it inside. The wait took about 4.5 hours, all for roughly ten minutes in the center of the rotunda, also known as the Tent of Tomorrow. And….guess what?! I still wasn’t alive in 1964. But it was nice to live vicariously through less young patrons recalling their experiences at the World’s Fair, and their getting exposed to microwaves, the Ford Mustang and Disney animatronics for the first time.
Speaking of former World’s Fairs’ in the ol’ USA, Seattle’s Space Needle is in fine shape, and Knoxville’s Sunsphere, well, it’s neither here nor there. But the New York State Pavilion, one of the few remnants of the 1964 Expo, is a sordid affair. Other than having a starring role in a few movies and music videos, to put it nicely, the rust isn’t getting rustier. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009, and if you’d like to spare a few bitcoins to restore this tower of tetanus, check out this link for more info.