That's the Big A, as depicted in the amazing Panorama of the City of New York, originally constructed for the 1964 World's Fair (yeah, I was there), and now permanently housed at the Queens Museum of Art in Flushing Meadow Park. It's accurate down to the building level, and if your house or apartment was built before 1992, you can find it there, though you might have to bring your binoculars. And it's one place where the Twin Towers still stand tall.
I suppose that, in 1964, when Aqueduct was averaging crowds of 31,500......on Mondays!......people might have thought that the model of Aqueduct seemed vast and empty. Now, it just looks like Aqueduct. Who's to say at this point what that spot will look like if they update the Panorama in ten years?
It's not too often that you get an artsy Manhattan crowd more than a couple of subway stops into this vast borough, as the Head Chef is all too often eager to point out. We have a love-hate relationship with Queens - I love it, and she hates it. Must have been true love for her to abandon her beloved West Village to come out and live with me here. But the Queens Museum threw a big opening reception for its new Queens International exhibit on Saturday night, and man, the place was rockin'. A huge, hip crowd, DJ's, live music, and some "performance art" in the form of BMX trick ramp bicyclists. I've been in that Panorama many times, but never before when it was infused with throbbing hip-hop and metal, and it seemed an altogether befitting effect.
It was all free, though $5 donations were gently requested at the door. And that includes the wine and beer. That's right, free booze. One of the really cool things about NYC that flies a bit under the radar is the phenomenon of free wine at gallery openings. Don't usually see them at museums as in this case; but if you're on a gallery mailing list or, better yet, just happen to be cruising by one at the right time, you can come in from the cold and down a little extra warmth as well. I mean, where else around here does one get to drink for free?
We were surprised to see one particular exhibit, as we had recently seen and marveled over it at another gallery in Queens.
Flesh of My Flesh is constructed entirely out of second hand clothing, and the artist, Derick Melander, originally hails from our second favorite city in New York State.
There was also food (not free) available from winners of the 2008 Vendy Awards for best street food. Unfortunately they were outside, where the weather had turned bitterly cold, and, worse yet, the deep freeze was not dissuading people from waiting on line. So it must have been true love that, though this particular food was not for me, I stood on line out there for nearly a half hour for the Head Chef, who was digging the warmth and the music inside.
It was worth it though, because she loved the food. And the scenery was cool too.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Posted by Alan Mann at 2:09 PM