Worlds Fair

Saw Comets On Fire last night (one sentence review: they were OK in 3 minute intervals, but not necessarily for a full show) and caroused around with folks until very late. Trucker hat count of 4, including an awesome sighting when a hesher-looking dude with trucker hat briefly leaned back to peek into Lit’s back room where we were sitting. It was like seeing a UFO.

My one last “urgent and key” NYC destination was the site of the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fair out in Flushing Meadows. Not much is left of the actual fair buildings. The only remaining 1939 building is the New York State pavilion which is now home to the Queens Museum Of Art.

Couple things from 1964 are still around – most notably the Unisphere. I somehow fulfilled a desire I didn’t know I had and played around in the fountain underneath it. Still unbearably hot out – could have sat in it all day long.


These things are still there, but I have no idea what they’re called.


The Queens Museum of Art was wonderfully great to wander around in. There’s obviously a lot of Worlds Fair-related stuff there including a terrific Salvador Dali exhibit with his designs, prototypes, and sketches for his surreal “Dreams Of Venus” building for the 1939 fair. The show runs through early September – check it out if you’re in NYC.

The most mindblowing thing in the QMS is a giant scale model of the New York City area. Originally built for the 1964 Fair (and since updated) the model is accurate down to the scale skyscrapers and buildings. It’s difficult to photograph, but to give you an idea of the size, yes that’s another person on the opposite side in this photograph.




OK, I stand corrected on my earlier comment about NYC feeling like the surface of Venus. Ithaca is even hotter than NYC and wins the prize for most insufferable environment. I break out into a boiling sweat just by opening a door and walking feels uncomfortably like swimming.

However, I have two major complaints neither of which have to do with the heat. First of all, Ithaca has absolutely no cell phone service. Well, it does but I’m pretty sure it’s an analog-only service. Absolutely positively no GSM service, the bastards (whoever those bastards are). Come on guys, I can get GSM signals in Lone Pine, the Mojave Desert, and even in the no-man lands on the 101, but not adjacent to an Ivy League college campus?

My second complaint has to do with public internet service. Downtown Ithaca has the obnoxiously named Wownet (their web site is SO 1991, bleh), which outrageously charges $10 a hour for using their wireless network. The Wownet staff helpfully suggested that I purchase a $50 membership and get 10 hours of computer access but didn’t seem to comprehend that I was only going to be in town for two days.

A quick bit of warwalking (with iStumbler) around the Collegetown part of Ithaca revealed a wireless connection at Stella’s Cafe. Extra special bonus, it’s air conditioned, the coffee is good, the food is very good, and there’s an attached bar. Stella’s became my default office in town and can’t recommend it highly enough. Go there, drink their coffee, eat their food, and tip well.

403 College Avenue
Ithaca, NY 14850
(607) 277-1490