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bobster1985

Praise for the New York State Pavilion

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bobster, I know I am old and sometimes have trouble remembering what I did this morning, but I actually remember reading this news story back in 1964. I vividly recall Governor Rockefeller stating he wanted to see the pavilion remain in the park. I have mentioned this in previous threads and you have provided the evidence. I thank you for bringing this source to life.

I also remember NYS in those days. I seemed as if there was construction everywhere: highways, state parks, SUNY campuses expanding in size and number, cities growing.

And I remember how popular Nelson Rockefeller was. My parents even thought of him as coming from Upstate simply because he had a home on the Hudson in Pocantico Hills. Nobody seemed to refer to him as anything other than Rocky. By 1964, almost single handedly, he had begun the massive rebuilding of Albany. He wanted to build the "most beautiful" state capital in America. Albany is a cool old town with great Dutch heritage and, because of him, a stunning skyline. And the metro area, today, is nearly a million-- twice what it was in 1964.

The guy had vision and he dreamed big things. And he loved New York State. I often see the pavilion as a metaphor for the fortunes of the Empire State. In 1964, those soaring towers spoke volumes about the State's ambitions and status.

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America seems to have lost its ability to dream big dreams, doesn't it? The post-war years saw great projects being built all across the country. We were preparing to land on the moon when the Fair was running. It's a shame that we've lost our confidence.

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John and Robert Kennedy liked to paraphrase George Bernhard Shaw, who said: "'Other people see things and say why? But I dream things that never were and I say, why not?"

We hear the naysayers today as well, regarding restoration and reuse, while the optimists still say why not. Great leaders mostly ignore the naysayers, and do it anyway. Columbus heard the naysers and sailed west toward the 'edge of the earth' anyway. Where are those leaders today? Ignore the opinion polls and follow the gut. Think big.

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Yeah, sometimes I just don't get it. In the absolute depths of the Depression, this nation embarked on building programs that gave us hospitals. schools, airports, train stations, parks, highways--and the list goes on.

And I believe there was an American world's fair every year from 1933 through 1939 and most years there were two. Each was a celebration of America's ability to accomplish virtually anything.

We had hope and ambitions. I'm not sure when we became so cautious (if that's the correct word).. Maybe we're too hesitant. Whatever it is, I know that great nations that lose the ability to meet and overcome challenges will not remain great.

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It takes real guts to buck the naysayers that are legion today. It's why our infrastructure is falling behind in so many areas. When you go to an airport in a Third-World country like Thailand and realize that the Bangkok airport is better than most U.S. airports, it kind of shocks you. Not to mention the excellent train systems in Europe and parts of Asia, while we struggle along with Amtrak. We're even leaving many parts of our country without access to high-speed Internet, which is essential in today's economy.

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Jim I agree with your comments about Nelson Rockefeller. I visited Kykuit the estate in Tarrytown this past fall and was blown away by his vision and love of the arts. He even has Warhol's in the collection there. I am sure it was difficult for him to - see the 13 Most Wanted painted over in spite of the perceived political impact. He truly loved New York State.

Kykuit is worth a visit for sure if anyone is in the area. It is stunning. I had lunch at the Red Hat Bistro in the old Burnham Boiler Factory right on the Hudson a few miles south. Incredible views.

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