Saturday, January 09, 2021

Saturday January 30

It's "World's Fair Saturday!". I just made it up, and it's awesome. I've delved into my big box of slides from the 1964/65 New York World's Fair for a splendiferous selection. All of these are date-stamped "September, 1965". 

Here's a nice street scene from inside the massive "Belgian Village" pavilion that was... a meticulous copy of a walled Flemish village as it might have appeared in 1800 - from the roof tiles to the costumes the villagers wear in the cobbled streets. More than 100 houses, a 15th Century church, a City Hall with a rathskeller under it, a canal and an arched stone bridge occupy nearly four acres, making this the largest international exhibit at the Fair.

If you loved puppets, the World's Fair had you covered! Sid & Marty Krofft (of "Lidsville" and "H.R. Pufnstuf" fame) created Les Poupees de Paris. What was it? The official guidebook said: This sparkling French "musical revue" by Sid and Marty Krofft, mainly for adults, has a cast of 240 puppets, some miniature, some nearly life-sized. The puppets, many of which are caricatures of famous entertainers, sing, dance and act out humorous skits. Settings include a 20-foot waterfall, an ice rink and fountains. Among the starts depicted in wood are Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Pearl Bailey (whose costume consists of $15,000 worth of chinchilla).

Löwenbräu Gardens? I prefer Schlitzland, but hey, to each their own. The brewers of Lowenbrau, a Bavarian beer, have reconstructed an open-air Bavarian-style restaurant set in a village square. The square is surrounded by five buildings, including a bell tower and gate. Three of the buildings are service areas for the restaurant. Every now and again Lowenbrau's brewery wagon, drawn by four massive horses, can be seen in the street outside, or traveling about the fairgrounds.

Bourbon Street was unique to the 1965 Fair (it was the "Louisiana" pavilion in '64 - in spite of the name change, I don't believe the area changed that much from one year to the next), and did a not-great job of evoking the Crescent City (judging by this photo). But hey, there's a monkey, so who cares! A variety of restaurants, plus sidewalk artists, Mardi Gras parades and an organ grinder with a monkey, lends atmosphere to this street. Shops feature Louisiana products such as pralines and hand-blown glass. Nightclubs offer music and dancing as well as other kinds of entertainment, and the restaurants include a French Quarter sidewalk cafe.

And no Fair post would be complete without at least one photo featuring the massive Unisphere (which still stands if you want to go lick it). High overhead (113 feet at its highest), the Swiss Sky Ride provides panoramic views for guests; the scale of this Fair is evident here.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to the New York World's Fair!


Chuck said...

"...a meticulous copy of a walled Flemish village as it might have appeared in 1800..." You can see how giant, inflatable drupelets are an integral part of traditional Belgian architecture. Check our Mr. Blacksocks and his shirtless spawn.

You can keep your Schlitzland, Major. I prefer the classic original that's still operating today - Schrub Gardens. I do have that name right, don't I? I know there's an "sch" in it that can throw you off on a spelling test.

That organ grinder manages to remind me of Gene Hackman and Adolf Hitler at the same time.

Look at all the freshly-washed buckets hung out to dry. There's nothing like the fresh, clean smell of a line-dried Von Roll gondola.

You mention "the scale of this Fair" being evident in the last photo, but I can't seem to find it. What am I looking for? Is there a big "Toledo" on the side? That seems like an awfully odd attraction to me. When I imagine all of the amazing things I could have done at the New York World's Fair, I never considered the possibility of getting weighed.

zach said...

Well, Major, I did enjoy this visit to the NY World's Fair! So many attractive, well dressed folks. Mr black socks should rethink his choices, though. I'm sure he is still trying to develop a time machine to go back and fix this.

The blond in front of the Gardens just got back from her audition for the part of Rizzo. 'Hold my beer and watch this move!'

Oh boy! Crepes Suzettes! And waffles, too? And now I want to watch Darling Lili.

Where can a guy find Pecan Pie around here?

I wish now I had been able to visit this fair.

Thanks, Major,


Nanook said...

Is that a small tribute to madras cloth in the first image... Mom; Daughter-? I certainly hope Mr. "wear 'em long, wear 'em proud" black socks Guy is also wearing sandals. THAT's the look we all remember and love.

Extra points for the cool Löwenbraü logo finials topping all the banner/flag poles. (Love the sighting of the Electro-Voice Musicaster outdoor loudspeaker on the far-left pole). AND the two gals with attitude - hands on hips - Miss. Blondie, about to tell-off the wise guy who's whistling at her-!

A trained monkey. Need I say more-? (Okay, it, and the organ grinder, should've been wearing matching jackets... and hats).

@ Chuck-
And your fortune told at the same time. Don't forget the little fortune-!

Thanks, Major.

JC Shannon said...

I am loving these pics. Let's all do the fair together. We can meet at the Unisphere. I will be the one wearing the knee high black sox, corfam shoes and bleeding madras Bermuda shorts. I'll turn heads, I tell ya! Thanks Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, I’m just glad it’s not a phlegmish village. HA! How do I do it? Genius, that’s how. Many people forget that Belgians often had to rely on Moonberries during the cold winter months, when the grilled cheese trees were dormant. It sure seems like it was perfectly OK for little boys to take off their shirts anywhere back in those days. Thankfully that’s a trend that seems to have gone away. The little girl in the plaid dress is doing a doube-take. “Schrub”, is that a brand of beer? TLC definitely wanted “No Schrubs”. And you ain’t kiddin’… the organ grinder does look like Gene Hackman with a toothbrush mustache. If there was anyplace where there might be a gaint Toledo scale, it would be this World’s Fair!

zach, I wonder if Mr. Black Socks’ wife approved of his look. At some point a guy just has to make up his mind, I guess. That blonde in front of the Löwenbräu Gardens better be posing for a photo. If she stands like that all the time, she’s going to throw out her back, and maybe some other parts too. I’ve never seen “Darling Lili”… in fact I looked it up and was confusing it with “Lili” starring Leslie Caron. Blake Edwards can be hit or miss for me, so I wonder if “Darling Lili” is one of the good ones?

Nanook, my secret is out; this WHOLE BLOG is a tribute to madras cloth. I hope you guys don’t feel mad at my deception. Everyone knows that Löwenbräu logos keep evil spirits away, that’s why they are atop all those poles. “The Electro-Voice Musicaster”, ha ha, only you (well, maybe Chuck too?) would know that. I wonder how much money it cost for a person to get a monkey back in those days? It’s not like you could buy one in every corner store.

Jonathan, …”corfam shoes”? “Bleeding madras”? It’s like you’re speaking some kinda crazy Martian language. But I approve.

Kathy! said...

I see that they take "Fun at the Fair" money at Les Poupees! That makes me think of the Simpsons and Itchy & Scratchy money. I see some triplets going into Löwenbräu Gardens, and a possible time-traveling granny from the prairie days. I'm going to get a sophistocated frankfurter and watch the monkey dance, though the French Market has fun n food.

The colors on all these photos are great, thanks Major.

Chuck said...

Maybe I'm remembering the beer brand wrong, It happens ocasionally. But I could have sworn that it was named after some kind of bush.

JG said...

I’m with JC Shannon, I had some madras shorts around somewhere, I definitely still have black socks because I wear them with my crocs.


"Lou and Sue" said...

JG, what color crocs??

Fun post and comments, today - thanks Major and everyone!

Major Pepperidge said...

Kathy!, I honestly have no idea what “Fun at the Fair” money was! Did it look like Monopoly money? Was it just another name for special tickets? I guess I have some Googling to do. Good eye on the triplets, how did I miss them?! Melissa will enjoy that detail. I hope you enjoy watching the monkey dance!

Chuck, my pun detector needs a tuneup.

JG, I honestly don’t think I’ve ever owned a madras anything. I’m more of a paisley man myself. Groovy!

Lou and Sue, I wish they made glow-in-the-dark crocs. Then I’d buy some. Glad you liked these!

DrGoat said...

Major, every guy had a madras shirt back in the 60s. Wash 'em till they bleed, so they look cooler. Had my share of paisley shirts too. The ones with the cuffs and collar a solid color and the rest of the shirt paisley. The height of fashion at the VIP Club on Speedway blvd. on a Friday or Saturday night.
Good times.
Thanks Major

dennis said...

Nice pictures Major! Dennis from Levittown

Major Pepperidge said...

DrGoat, well I was around in the '60s! Maybe I had a madras shirt, I couldn't say for sure. But I don't think so. I remember having a paisley shirt and being fascinated by the intricate design. I am picturing you dressed like "Austin Powers"!

DBenson said...

Like how the Kroffts' theater looks like a dressed-up grocery store. Of course that was then sleek, modern architecture.

I faintly recall the early Kroffts bringing three of their sexy girl marionettes to the Smothers Brothers show. At some point Dick pointed out that Tom had a splinter in his lip. Wish there were a film of the fair production -- I've found still images on the net, mainly publicity shots. Liberace posed with his puppet counterpart; I got the impression that at least some of the caricatured celebrities provided their own voices on a recorded soundtrack.

Then came the big-as-life Pufnstuf and no more marionettes, sexy or otherwise.