Sunday, May 1, 2011

Universal Expo in New York City 1964

My grandparents who had a deep passion for traveling always made themselves available to see another side of the world. It seemed that Aladdin’s song of “I can show you the world. Take you wonder by wonder,” became my grandpa’s credo to please my grandma. Each year they traveled together, while their children were entrusted to my grandma’s mom. My grandpa himself never missed the Universal Exposition which always being held every two years consecutively in different countries of the world.

This time, my grandpa brought my grandma to the Universal Expo 1964 which was being held in New York. The expo itself upheld the theme of “Peace Through Understanding”, dedicated to “Man’s Achievement on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe” although American corporations dominated the expo as exhibitors. The theme was symbolized by a 12-story high, stainless-steel model of the Earth called “Unisphere”.

This American section contains the most well-preserved pictures that I got from a stack of dusty old albums. On the first pictures, we could see the skycrapers of Manhattan and Statue of Liberty.

Then the journey was begun at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street where the Empire State Building stood up. At that time, it still held the record as the World’s tallest building. Among others, the peculiarity of the travel was my grandma, who always glued to her kebaya. Bringing up the national pride as an Indonesian and Javanese, she always dressed elegantly in that intricate apparel, equipped with a sturdy sanggul hairdo. We could see her in front of the Empire States Building’s entrance, at the rooftop, and a bird’s-eye view overlooking the Chrysler building.

Then she walked on the Lexington Avenue to the neighborhood of the Upper East Side, observing the melting pot of a society.

There she was, at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in the borough of Queens where the Universal Expo was being held. She posed in front of the famous Unisphere, completely dressed in kebaya and sunglasses. I just can’t imagine anybody else: A conservative Javanese, whose daily activities were usually filled with asceticism things and traditional ordinance, went to a place where everybody from all over the world could mingle. I think it was a blessing.

And this is the Port Authority building. It looks familiar for me. It seems that I used to see this building in Playstation game: Grand Theft Auto.

Another sightseeing, with the observation towers and the General Motors company as one of the exhibitors.

The New York journey ended at JFK International Airport. This time my grandparents were about to leave to Los Angeles.

No comments: