The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

The Fair: Peace Through Understanding #3

Original Caption:

New York -- Robert Moses, President of the New York World's Fair, looks over the scene of his largest project as final touches were put into the opening day operation today, with fair weather and large crowds expected. (1964)


justjack said...

"fair weather and large crowds expected"


My parents took me when I was a little kid. Despite what I've read about the Fair since then, as experienced by a five year old it was awesome.

Last summer I saw The Carousel of Progress at Disney World, and old memories came flooding back.

Shawn Micallef said...

1964 -- the rogue World's Fair.

Peter L. Winkler said...

We travelled to the NY Worlds Fair from Blytheville, Arkansas (pop. 25,000), and the fair was a fantastic experience. I agree with Ray Bradbury, who said they should have left it open indefinitely.

Vanwall said...

An insidiously evil man.

Tempest said...


Thank You Robert Caro

Fred said...

I didn't make it to the Fair since it opened around the same time I was born. Throughout my childhood, I was teased mercilously about this by my older brothers, who got to go. It was a shame how the City allowed the grounds to become derelict and a mess just a few short years later. The City had agreed with to keep this open as a permanent park, but then didn't give any funds to maintain it.

As for Moses, he was a mixed blessing. His actions opened up the outer boroughs, as well as Westchester and Long Island, to development. But he also led to urban blight, and his designs for the LIE and the parkway system on Long Island failed to take into account the full development of the region. Today, these roads are a traffic plagued mess (I should know b/c I have the misfortune to drive them every day). Oh yeah, and his instance that the new ballpark goes in Queens by his Fairgrounds led to the Dodgers and Giants abandoning NYC, since he wouldn't give the Dodgers the Atlantic Yards to use as a new Ebbetts Field.

Brent McKee said...

Not to mention that Moses's hatred of "tawdry" amusement led to the destruction of much of Coney Island the reduction of the place to low cost apartment blocks. The last of the great amusement parks - Steeplechase Park - was closed after the 1964 season; the year that the Fair opened.

parallel-botany said...

Isn't Moses also responsible for ripping down the old Penn Station and replacing it with that dismal slab that now sits under 34th St?