Postcard story from New York – GREETINGS TO WOOLWORTH’S FROM THE 1939 NEW YORK WORLD’S FAIR
August 10, 1pm, 1939
To: F. W. Woolworth Co
Hell-o Everybody! Surely having a nice time. Waited 1 hr 40 min. to get General Motors Building. I am sitting here where I can see millions of peple waiting to see Billy Rose Aquacade. We are going to tour N.Y. City to-morrow. Will see you soon. How is the kitten?
Description: Demonstrating a new form in theater construction, the Hall of Music uses the flowing lines of functional construction throughout. Two and a half thousand spectators daily fill it’s auditorium to hear and see many of the great musical presentations of our times. Architects – Reinhard and Hofmeister.
– Bellefontaine, (Logan County) Ohio in 1939 had a population of 9,800 people. Today it has approx. 13,200.
– The 1939 NY World’s Fair opened on April 30, 1939, a very hot Sunday. The April 30 date coincided with the 150th anniversary of George Washington’s inauguration as President in New York City. President Theodore Roosevelt and Albert Einstein gave opening speeches.
– Television was seen my most people for the very first time in a transparent set to show it wasn’t trickery and really technology.
– The General Motors building Katherine waited so long in line for was actually called ‘Futurama’ and showed life in the future 1960 with vast automated highways and expressways all done in a futuristic art deco-like style.
– At the World’s Fair Music Hall a visitor could be entertained by Bill “Bo Jangles” Robinson and a cast of more than 200 other performers in Michael Todd’s “Hot Mikado.”
– The famed Aquacade show was produced by Broadway celebrity Billy Rose (once married to Fanny Brice) “a brilliant ‘girl’ show of spectacular size and content.” The amphitheater seated 10,000 people and looked out over the water towards a stage 200 feet deep and 311 feet wide. Eight thousand gallons of water a minute poured into the making of a man-made Niagara which stretched 260 feet and rose forty feet in height. The art deco 11,000 seat amphitheatre was at the north end of Meadow Lake. The pool and the 300 by 200-foot (61 m) stage could be hidden behind a lighted 40-foot (12 m) high curtain of water.
– The inaugural Aquacade that Katherine saw starred Olympians Eleanor Holm, Johnny Weissmuller (later replaced by Buster Crabbe) and newcomer Esther Williams. The show contained 500 dancers, actors and swimmers. Gertrude Ederle, a Flushing Queens resident and the first woman to swim the English Channel was an Aquacade star. Queens Borough President Donald R. Manes dedicated the pool to her in 1978.
– The New York State Marine Amphitheatre was sadly torn down in 1996 because of local opposition to renovating the asbestos-contaminated structure as a concert venue.
– The Woolworth Bellefontaine, Ohio location is today a Footlocker.
– And . . . how was the kitten doing that the workers at the local Woolworth‘s had taken in??
Here is a rare silent video of the 1939 show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=na3z6K1j83w
March 6, 2014 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: "Futurama", 1939 New York World's Fair, 1939 World's Fair amphitheatre, 1939 World's Fair General Motors Building Futurama, Albert Einstein, Architects Reinhard and Hofmeister, architecture, art deco style, Bellefontaine, Bellefontaine Ohio, Bill "Bo Jangles" Robinson, Billy Rose, Billy Rose Aquacade, Buster Crabbe, collecting postcards, Eleanor Holm, Esther Williams, Fanny Brice, Footlocker store, Fresh Meadows Queens, futuristic view fo New York City, General Motors, George WaSHINGTON, Gertrude Ederle, Hans Von Rittern, Johnny Weissmuller, Logan County Ohio, Michael Todd's "Hot Mikado", New York City, New York photo, Photo of the day, photography, postcard collecting, President Theodore Roosevelt, Queens, Queens Borough President Donald R. Manes, the first woman to swim the English Channel, The New York State Marine Amphitheatre, vintage postcards, Woolworth's, World's Fairs, World’s Fair Music Hall | Leave a comment
Photo of the day: WHERE DO YOUR OLD SCHOOL BUSES GO? – Part of my ‘Tijuana Tuesday’ series. Ever wonder what happens to that clunky old yellow school bus that mom walked you to every morning? That old faithful bright yellow box of a bus that you and your buddies (and enemies) took to school five days a week? The classic part of our Americana landscape? The answer is = MEXICO!
On my recent trip to Tijuana, Mexico I was fascinated by their idea of ‘mass transit’. My coming from one of the biggest metropolises on the planet, New York City, I am used to big modern, (now some electric), sleek air conditioned kneeling buses with big scenic windows. Well not in Tijuana. Meet your old school bus! The old General Motors buses are over hauled, painted bright green and viola – ‘mass transito’ .
The destinations are hand painted onto the interior windows. It is one flat fee the equivalent of approximately $0.75¢. There are frequent official benched bus stops, but the buses pick up passengers wherever someone signals them, and, let you off wherever you wish. They are always full. No one seems to converse much on them, they are always quiet, people just sit politely staring out the windows. Their idea of air conditioning is simple – open windows! And if it is really hot . . . the driver drives with the door wide open!! (Better not stand too close to the front!) Some are decorated with paper cut-outs inside, some hang discarded furniture/lamp fringe in the windows. The most charming of all, at night some of them have red Christmas lights inside of them.
It certainly isn’t what we in our big USA cities are used to, but they are content, busy scurrying back and forth from the market and home on your old yellow/their new green buses. Old school buses never die, they just retire in Mexico!
September 17, 2013 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: "Tijuana Tuesday", American yellow school buses, Americana, daily life in Tijuana Mexico, General Motors, General Motors school buses, Green school buses, Hans Von Rittern, local atmosphere Tijuana, MTA, New York photo, old school buses, Photo of the day, school buses, Tijuana Mexico, Tijuana Mexico mass transit, tourism in Tijuana Mexico, travel, yellow school bus | 2 Comments