Winter Storm Jonas 2016

Snow:New York :: blue:sky

What gets me going is when the city “shuts down” over a bit of snow. As a New Yorker that has been here for a good 20+ years, blizzards and winter storms aren’t my first rodeo. So here comes Winter Storm Jonas and everything comes to a standstill. Broadway? Shut it down! Mass transit? Shut it down (albeit only above ground EL service)! Roads? Shut. It. Down! No one should be traveling on the roads, your government has decreed it. Who cares if you have to get to work or come home from work? You should be glad that the government cares enough about you to tell you what to do and stay home (don’t expect them to compensate you for any loss wages, however). It’s for your own good, remember that.

The only good thing is that walking around was not banned, but recommended that you not go outside. Not one to shy away from snow, of all things, we opted to walk around the neighborhood and check just how much plowing went on (not much). We were out for a good 4 hours, and NOT once did we see a DSNY plow or salt truck. The air was crisp, the snow wasn’t heavy, and traipsing around made me feel like one of those foxes in the Nature specials, jumping in the snow for field mice.

While at some junctures, the snow did come up to my knees, it really was no threat nor obstacle for my overprepared self. Nothing like a good set of layers and good pair of boots (Bugaboots by Columbia, what is cold?) to help you tackle Mother Nature’s wintry fury.

 

It wasn’t the worst blizzard I’ve walked in, but it was pretty enjoyable for a day off and something to do. Take in the sights and frolic in the snow like a kid again.

Queens Museum (of Art) Visit

Ever since hearing that the Queens Museum is being renovated (as well as checking their Instagram for progression pictures), I was so excited to be able to visit it. As the museum is housed within the Flushing Meadows Corona Park, it’s always a bonus to check out the surrounding sights while going to the museum.

For those who aren’t aware, Flushing Meadows Corona Park is a very important part of history. It was the site for the famous 1964 World’s Fair. If anyone has ever seen the gigantic globe of the world and never knew where it stands, now you do. It’s inside the park. It’s a magnificent piece of art and through time, come to be synonymous with Queens, NYC.

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1964 World’s Fair memorabilia.

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World’s Fair Globe.

But without much ado, to the museum!

Queens Museum front

Front of Queens Museum and a lovely gazebo.

 

Some of the exhibits were pretty interesting, although to be honest I was a little disappointed that not many were about Queens. However, they are still in the progress of renovation and putting up new exhibits so I’m hoping to see more permanent ones revolving around Queens and NYC.

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Gigantic mural of the 99% that greets you when you come into the museum.

 

One of my favorites is the DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) Watershed exhibit which teaches people on where their drinking water originates from. (See below) There is a room sized display of NYS and it shows the various watersheds and paths that water flows into the city. They also have quite a few pictures donated by the DEP that shows watersheds, natural falls, as well as old historical pictures of the workers that helped create it into the system it is today. My only gripe is that there are descriptions next to the pictures but not very clearly labeled.

NYS Map of Watersheds

 

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The People’s UN exhibit. The clock is a piece made entirely of old casings and guns.

 

 

The rest of the exhibits were very nice, but I have to admit the only reason why I wanted to see the museum was due to the fact that they house a larger than life sized diorama of NYC with all properties. It is so amazing when you think about all the work (and time) that it took to create such a masterpiece.

Diorama of Manhattan

Part of Manhattan in perpetual darkness.

When you come in, it’s all platformed and you walk around looking at the city below. Part of the platform had glass flooring so you can see below. While I really loved seeing this, I hope that part of their upgrading would be to address some minor issues of the exhibit, such as how part of Manhattan is in darkness (please change the lightbulb there). I did have a lot of fun trying to locate old homes, workplaces, and generally just seeing how everything used to be (I believe locations are current as of the 70s) before condos and highrises were taking the city’s skylines over.

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NYC has a lot… of projects (seen as tall red buildings).

The museum is really nice overall, it’s clean, airy, and made in a way that lets a lot of natural light into the building. What I’d really love to see in the future should they consider it, is to include artwork from local Queens artists in the museum. Not that I’m an artist, but just seeing the other exhibits that they had (one about Skid Row in LA and artists from LA), it would be nice to showcase local talent.

 

Unisphere at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Flushing Queens

The Unisphere is beautiful. If you thought it looked great in pictures, you’d be amazed visiting it in person. I rarely go out to Corona Park, but it’s worth the trip when you do decide to go. Going with a friend, I took my Yashica with me. It was pretty windy that’s for sure that day. Good and bad though: good because there was literally no one around, and bad because a little bit of wind screws up your shots (especially when using zoom, or doing long exposure).

Some facts about the Unisphere that I didn’t know about:

  • 12 stories/120 ft. high
  • Made of stainless steel donated by U.S. Steel in Pittsburgh, PA (whose logo is also used by the Pittsburgh Steelers)
  • The three rings around the sphere represent the tracks of: Yuri Gagarin (first man in space), John Glenn (first American to orbit Earth), and Telstar (the first active communications satellite)

At least with the Yashica, I really didn’t have to worry about using a zoom (the perks of having a rangefinder, your zoom is your feet).

The thing about the pictures is that I took them months ago and I can’t remember what settings I had though. Note to self: must bring slips of papers that will be big enough not to lose in your pockets. Future food for thought.

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Sources:
Facts about Unisphere from its Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unisphere