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gary h

A Visit to Expo

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Hi, was at Expo for 14hours over three days this past week. Certainly not enough to see the whole fair. Reason for my brief attendance was, frankly, I was not that thrilled with it. I was very happy on my last day to spend 7 hours of it with Bill Young, his wife Rita and three of their relatives. 

But there were a lot of good things. I liked several of the pavilions some of the architecture and design was genuinely engaging, saw a number of nice live musical performances. My two fave pavilions were Pavilion Zero, a theme pavilion not unlike the larger theme pavilions from Shanghai - and then there was the United Kingdom pavilion, which, as in Shanghai, made a statement with aa wonderful environmental sculpture/building. 

France had a nice open air exhibit, as did the USA.  Spain was good. The almost mile-long 'roof' was quite something and I did like the 'what I guess was the symbol of the Expo" - the Tree of Life.

I also very much liked the mojitos in the Cuba pavilion. This pavilion, like almost every other small pavilion I went into, was little more than a gift shop/restaurant/tourist bureau office. But the mojitos in Cuba were worth the space.

I don't want to spend time listing what I didn't like except one - the B.I.E. has to stop this strict theming thing, especially for these larger Expos. Maybe the smaller ones could do this. . Although there were a few good exhibits on the theme, it got to be too much! At least to me. How about a general theme "Peace Through Understanding" or "Man and His World" and let the countries, etc, be really creative.

Don't want to say it was terrible, because some of it WAS good - and a few things REALLY GOOD. But could and should have been better.

Here's some pictures from my flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/25156558@N05/albums/72157658530191888

And a picture of me, Rita and Bill at the French Pavilion restaurant:



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Thanks for the report and pics!

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We’ve just come back from Milan – we went rather later than we’d hoped and the queues were ramping up but all in all had a good time. We managed to stick our heads into every country’s pavilion, a few corporates and charitable pavilions, see  the Tree of Life fountain display and also a virtually (completely?) undocumented display of photos from the 1906 world’s fair. So over the course of 10 days I think we got good return on our season ticket purchase!


I also quite liked the theme – certainly easier than at other expos to find things to eat.  Though I think I can certainly understand gary h and others aren’t so keen on the idea of themes.


In Milan the displays within clusters did often get a bit repetitive/shop sites. Although after a fairly solid run of shops masquerading as pavilions in islands and sea it was nice to encounter the photogenic ginseng in North Korea.


BUT without a theme I think you could just get similar things expo after expo (Croatia had exactly the same display in 2 successive expos when there were themes).  And I think there were some really good responses to the theme:

·         Switzerland’s display of ever diminishing supplies of coffee/apples/salt and water  was clever, and I could imagine using something  similar (much much much smaller scale!) with children to talk about over use of resources.

·        Italia pavilion’s Dialogue in the Dark where we went through a food market in the dark listening, smelling feeling food was a new way to think about things. (Although as this was an additional internal queue of @30/40 minutes within the Italy pavilion many will not have seen this part of the pavilion).

·         And the “Arts & Foods: rituals since 1851” (part 1) in Parco Sempione was fantastic. I think a similar exhibition in London at a big name museum would have been swamped and just about impossible to move. But this was chilled. I also liked the history of household appliances display at the end which showed how many of the devices we take for granted were originally displayed at world’s fairs.

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