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RocketThrower

Other World's Fairs

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Hello,

I visit this site almost daily.I know we are all crazy for the 64-65 NYWF, but are any of you into any of the other World's Fairs?

Have any of you attended this 64-65 Fair or any others?

This is the fair that introduced me to the world of, uh, World's Fairs/Expos. I will add, the New York ones really stand out most. 39-40 really being my favorite for planning, architecture, style and elegance.

I have a slight passion for all of them really. I have a WF Collection of stuff ranging from 1893, 1901, so on and so forth. My favorite items to collect being Guide Books, brochures, photos, maps etc. I have been to One (1982 Knoxville) and visited sites of previous fairs: '36 Dallas, 1968 SanAntonio, 1876 PA, FMCP and revisited the Knoxville site many times after that fair ended. (One of my strange passions there). My next goal is Spokane and Seattle to visit those sites.

Just curious of how far your passions for other World's fairs go.

And my favorite topics here are legacy spotting and current conditions at the park.

And one of these days I will revisit FMCP.

Jim

------------------

Peace

[This message has been edited by RocketThrower (edited 09-08-2003).]

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I just spent some time at the 1982 Knoxville World's Fair website last night.

<a href="http://web.knoxnews.com/web/worldsfair/news_souvenirs.html" target="_blank">http://web.knoxnews.com/web/worldsfair/new..._souvenirs.html</a>

Now I'm kicking myself in the as* for not going to THAT one!

[This message has been edited by DougSeed (edited 09-06-2003).]

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Fair attended: 1965 New York

Fair sites visited later:

Brussels '58 (in '63), San Francisco '39-40 (Treasure Island) (in '99), San Diego '15/'35 (Balboa Park) (in '02), Seattle '62 (in '03)

I have also seen these Fair sites from a passing car, but didn't have time to stop and look around:

Knoxville 1982, St. Louis 1904 (Forest Park), and San Francisco 1915 (the harbor/Presidio district- which basically got smashed in that earthquake a few years back because of soil liquification caused by the "fill" technique used when the World's Fair was built).

I've also been to the San Antonio Riverwalk, which was built for the 1968 Fair but not really part of the Fairgrounds...the Riverwalk is a favorite hangout for those lucky enough to get a 'weekend pass' while in San Antonio for Air Force basic training "boot camp" or Air Force Officer Training School (I was at the latter in 1980).

Favorite: 64-65 New York

Other faves: 1909 Seattle (today's University of Washington campus), 1908 London (some of the most spectacular architecture in the history of World's Fairs; the former Fairground now serves as the site of headquarters for the BBC), 1937 Paris (Nazi-Commi faceoff- their Pavilions nose-to-nose), 1925 Paris (the Art-Deco expo)

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Never been to an Expo, hoping to go to one, maybe in 2008 if Pheonix holds one. As far as I know I have relatives who went to the 39-40 fair, 64-65 fair, Expo 67, and the 84 Fair. My great grandfather is still alive, and attended both the 39-40, and 64-65 fair, he has some great stories. My great uncle remembers very well Expo 67 in Canada, due to it being a foreign fair for us. My parents went to the 84 fair only because they were on vacation there at the time, they said they really never liked it. My dad was very young when he went to the 64-65 fair, he can barely remember what the Unipshere even looks like. I know World's Fairs are amazing in all their ways, and I can't wait to attend one.

P.S. How well do you 64-65 fair goers remember General Motors? That's always the topic of discussion with my grandparents who remeber it very well. If I am ever able to attend SIP, I will ask them to come, I'd love to hear your stories in person, and I know my grandparents would love to "walk down memory lane" with other fair goers here.

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I visited the NYWF in 1965 and Expo 67. My favorite fair to study and collect is the 1939-40 NYWF and my masters thesis was devoted to this great fair. However, I have collected materials from a number of fairs including the World's Columbian Exposition, The Century of Progress, the Buffalo Pan American Exposition and Seattle's Century 21 Exposition. I have revisited Flushing Meadow Park and Parc Jean Drapeau in Montreal. I have made a number of visits to Delaware Park in Buffalo, site of the Pan and to Jackson Park in Chicago (World's Columbian) and I have seen the site of the Century of Progress. I have also seen much of the site of the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition in San Francisco. I am mainly interested in paper memorabilia--especially guidebooks, post cards etc.

I believe the two watershed expostions of the 20th Century were the 1939 NYWF and Expo 67.

I agree with an earlier post that the 1937 Paris Exposition was fascinating especially with the monolithic pavilions of Nazi Germany and the USSR in an ideological showdown.

A footnote: Today, September 6, is the 102nd anniversary of the shooting of President McKinley in the Temple of Music at the Buffalo PAn American Exposition.

[This message has been edited by Jim (edited 09-06-2003).]

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Went to 64-65 and Expo 67.

I remember a ton about NY - almost nothing about Expo!

I think the first one you go to grabs you the most.

My mother remembers a lot about 39-40, and almost nothing about 64-65!

I remember the GM ride VERY well but just a little about the lower floor exhibits.

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I remember NY and Expo as if I was there yesterday. They were both, in their own ways, impressive beyond belief.

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The 64-65 experience certainly had a way of planting itself in the brains of 9 to 15 year olds!

Look at the crowd that hangs out here at PTU - most of us were probably in grammar school at the same time!

Someone asked me to describe the group that attended the original Sip... I said "it was a convention of MEs"!

45 to 55, mostly bearded guys, all history buffs, all tiny-detail crazy... interesting.

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AFter living and breathing the NY fair for two years, I was fortunate to have gone to Expo67, Hemisfair ,Osaka 70 - and Knoxville. Nothing, of course, touches NY64-65 for me. But I did love the architecture and planning (plus a couple of the movies)at Expo 67. Hemisfair had the great movie at the US pavilion and a great puppet show by the Krofft's at the pepsi building, but otherwise the RIverwalk and the Alamo was more interesting. Osaka was big, but I found it slightly disappointing, save for a few exhibits (Mitsubishi, Fuji, and France). It was at this fair I realized NY64-65 was what I was really interested in and not WFs in general. But I had a great summer going all over Japan and this primed my lifelong penchant for international travel.

I did plan on spending two days at the Knoxville fair, ended up spending two hours! (I hated it!!!!!) Instead went hiking two extra days in the Smoky Mts. That ended my WFing, but not my penchant for international travel - or for the 64 Fair!

I do think that being 11 helped in creating a sense of special wonder for me in NY, but I am also sorry that I missed so many exhibits I would have truly loved were I older.

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<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by DougSeed:

Went to 64-65 and Expo 67.

I remember a ton about NY - almost nothing about Expo!

I think the first one you go to grabs you the most.

<HR></blockquote>

Doug, I know you don't like quotes - but my experience exactly matches yours. But I think the reason that 64-65 made a bigger impression on me is because as a NY'er, I went to the fair more times than the one trip to Montreal. I recall a little of Montreal, but with nowhere near the fondness I feel for 64-65.

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You guys are making me feel old! I was 19 when I first visited the fair in '64. I was so taken by the place that I hitch-hiked back and forth from Washington DC at least 12 times thereafter. I had very few dollars back then, so "riding the thumb" was the only way to go at the time. I also didn't have a place to stay either, but a after a few trips I had made a solid connection with a young lady from Brussels that worked at the Belgian Village. She was the one that located a nice spot on the third floor of a building in the village for me to use as a home away from home on the weekends. The only problem was I couldn't leave the spot until the folowing morning when the fair opened again! She could have lost her job for doing that, but thankfully I was never discovered.

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I can just see Bill Cotter now going back through all his slides to look for night pictures of the Belgium Village, searching for that telltale 'light in the upstairs window'. smile.gif

Did you have a mattress or anything, or did you have to fight for space on the floor with the imported Belgian rats who lived on Bel-Gem waffle scraps?

Was there an unmarked door off one of the alleys in the Village, that you used for access to a stairway?

And tell us more about this fair Belgian damsel who 'hid you in her attic'. Was she a veteran Resistance fighter in World War II, smuggling downed Allied pilots back to England? Did she correspond with you after the Fair?

What's the 'closest call' you ever had to being discovered? Do you think anybody suspected that there was 'life after dark' in the Belgian Village?

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I've been to 5 Fairs - and yes New York is special in a lot of ways - my coming of age experience.

But, although New York as a whole caught my heart, pieces of other Fairs stand out. The USSR pavilion and CP-Cominco film at Expo 67, not too much at Knoxville (but it was fun and homey), Much at Expo 86 (Pavilion of Promise, Canada, British Columbia, GM Spirit Lodge, etc.), and at Expo 92 in Seville - The United Kingdom pavilion and Spain Pavilion (as much as I love New York, these two pavilions at Seville probably were two of the very best I have ever seen).

I like the idea of another Forum concerning other Fairs

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The story about staying in the Belgian Village is one of the most interesting bits of info I have found on this site. Thanks for sharing it with us!

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That, is, a great story Plumber. Thank you for sharing it.

I've never attended any world fair other than that of the NYWF in 64-65. I did visit the Expo 67 fair grounds, though. In 66, my father decided to take us on a trip through some of Canada. Out of curiosity, he traveled to the site of the still being built fair. We all got out of the car and looked at what we could.

Later, my father took us to a nearby arcade like place that had several kiddy rides. For years I thought this area was part of Expo 67.

If the fair does come back to New York: I will be there.

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Wow, I didn't think anyone would be interested in my escapades at the fair! The young lady was Arica Benot, she had been an exchange student here in the States in 1963 and learned of openings that would be available for her countrymen at the 64NYWF. She applied for any position available and was hired as a customer service liason because of her fluency in the English language. I happened to meet her early on a Saturday morning while I was standing near a building in the village that was used as a commissary for the employees of the Belgian Village. I was standing there taking in big wiffs of the aromas while trying to decide if I was going to spend some of my meager funds for breakfast, or wait until late in the day and have a dinner of some spartan fashion. She said something to the effect that I'd never "fill up" on the smell, and I replied that, that was all I could afford to do on my budget for the day. I must have looked very hungry or needy or forlorn or something, because she asked me to wait while she went inside. A few minutes later, she came out with a badge that belonged to another worker and said "Come, let us eat." I, in the time it took to eat breakfast managed to arrange to meet her later in the day when she was off work for a walk about the village and a personal tour. I had been given an employee pass by a kid that had worked at the Florida Pavilion and quit. That got me in to the fair for free each trip, and also allowed me to enter the Belgian Village without a problem. To make this long story much shorter than it could be, over several visits Arica and I became close friends and when she found out I was sleeping on the back porch of an abandoned house in Queens, she decided to sneak me into the employee aid station, on the third floor over a gift shop, where there was a cot type bed. Apparently the employees occasionally needed a place to lie down to rid themselves of migranes or whatever. This area was unattended from 7 pm until 7 am the following day. It had a lavatory, water closet and shower in the room, so that was a major help! I might have looked pretty rough, but at least I didn't smell that way! I had to wait until at least an hour past closing to use the facilities however, lest someone down below heard water running.

Arica and I remained friends for over 25 years after the fair, writing to each other several times a year. She died in 1990 in an auto accident, when I went to Belgium in 1996, I went to her village and met her aged mother, and visited Arica's grave site. She had married twice but divorced both times. She had often mentioned that her husbands were unable to cope with her charitable nature, one that I shall forever be grateful that she had.

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Plumber,

What an awesome experience you must have had, and what a beautiful person Arica must have been. How extremely fortunate for the two of you to have had such a wonderful friendship! I'm sure there will always be a place for her in your heart.

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A wonderful story Plumber!

Arica must have been a lovely lady, good to others all her life. You, and we, and everyone, is better for knowing that people like her have existed. Now she, and her kindness, will live forever in all our memories.

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Great story Plumber. Your life must have been so enriched by the experience and friendship.

There are many stories of all fashions among the PTU members. Some funny, others very heartwarming (as we just experienced) and some just plain interesting. "Short Stories From The New York World's Fair". Sounds like a good book. Any writers among us with some time to spare?

[This message has been edited by MitchS (edited 09-10-2003).]

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When I read your story, Plumber, all I could think of was wanting to tell you that I am sorry for your loss of Arica.

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