Yesterday (Friday) capped two days of walking all over Manhattan, so today I decided to rest a bit, getting up late and visiting Flushing Meadow Park, where I spent many hours in the Sixties just enjoying nature and the occasional concert, and many more hours training for bicycle races in the Seventies.
However, I was appalled, disgusted, and seriously bummed out at the way NYC has allowed the fabled New York State Pavilion (from the 1964-65 World’s Fair) to deteriorate. I had seen some pictures, but nothing prepared me for the real thing, so I hope my photos do a better job for you (here’s a link with some great pictures from its heyday). The Unisphere, being made of stainless steel, has fared far better. I didn’t know this, but it’s the largest “globe” on Earth!
While I was taking pictures of large stationary objects, Steven was doing some serious exploring on his own: taking the Q44 bus to the Bronx Zoo! Armed with nothing but his cell phone camera, he managed to do a pretty good job, and saw a lot of the park as well. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to see my cousin Craig (Bruce’s brother), who gives monorail tours there.
After the park, I ended up at the North Shore Diner, where my cousin Lenny also eats sometimes, and got my “classic diner” fix. That night, after a good rest, Steven and I decided to check out some more of the local restaurants. We were really interested in East Lake seafood restaurant, but got freaked out when we saw shark fin soup on the menu.
Due to New York State following California’s lead on banning the cruel and barbarous practice of killing sharks just for their fins, it was probably not real shark fin, but one of a number of substitutes. What makes shark’s fin soup even more ironic and unnecessary is that the fin contributes no taste whatsoever to the soup…it’s just put in there to “impress” people that you can afford to serve shark’s fin soup, so it’s kind of a circular tradition. Fans of Douglas Adams will probably remember his line about a similar dish in HHGTG referencing “rich idiots who want to impress other rich idiots”.
So we took advantage of the fact that Susan wasn’t there to get some Thai food (she’s extremely allergic). There was an amazing Thai place across the street, also notable for the lady who gave me our order, who was even shorter than Linda Hunt.