Meadow Lake january 2005

Winter    Solitude
In Browns and Grays
an all too short afternoon commune with nature.

Meadow Lake january 05
Find the Kite Flying Across the Lake

Two weeks into the new season, the park is poised for the deep freeze to come. Water is still liquid on this day, and the walkways are flooded from melting snow and heavy rains that fell over the holiday period. Meadow Lake in winter attains a melancholy beauty of extreme rarity, hovering equidistant between man and nature, a place intended solely to delight the senses. The winged flocks that pass this way seem taken with the place, and will soon crowd onto wind swept ice flows, passing the frigid days in absolute stillness.

The tall reeds seen here are grown in seed boxes embedded in the lake along the shoreline. In fact, the great natural beauty of the lake isn't really natural at all, but completely fabricated by the hand of man - artificial, yes - superficial, no. A coterie of talented botanists tend Flushing Meadows throughout the year. Winter's brush strokes highlight the state of their craft.

The Reeds Have Turned Winter Brown
Cultivated Stand of Reeds

The Passage To Willow Lake

(Photo at left) The Flushing River as it exits Meadow Lake via a narrow passage that feeds into Willow Lake. (Photo at right) The Flushing River - subdued in a giant concrete caldron after entering the park, forms a broad channel here as it meanders south into Meadow Lake. Both the river's entrance and exit to and from the lake are thick with ten-foot tall reeds.

Bight where the Flushing River empties into Meadow Lake

New Plaza and Lakefront Walkway for Meadow Lake
Lawn Condition in Early January

New Snack Concession Bldg.

The latest addition to the park is a new plaza where the old Fountain Lake Amphitheatre (called Billy Rose's Aquacade in 1939) once stood. Originally built by New York State as an adjunct to the New York State pavilion, the 10,000 seat amphitheatre had a 300 foot wide stage out in the lake and featured an innovative "water curtain" between theater and stage. Another New York State pavilion was constructed for the 1964 fair, but the Billy Rose Aquacade was renamed and pressed back into service. The two state built structures were seperated by a bridge spanning the Long Island Expressway. The State pavilion still functions in part as the Queens Theatre in the Park, and the Amphitheatre was used as a public swimming pool until it was recently torn down and replaced by this snack bar at a cost of $10,000,000 - but that ten mil was in New York City money which is now closely akin to Confederate script, only not quite as valuable.

The Flushing River has been substantially transformed since President George Washington Crossed here in 1790 on his way to Flushing Bay. Perhaps the water was drinkable then, but two World's Fairs, the intersection of three super highways, and industrial plants upriver have taken their toll; while the old river still meanders into the heart of Queens, it is heavily polluted and essentially dead - a modern day victim of so-called, progress.

Soil Will No Longer Support Vehicles As Winter Deepens

Winding Walkway and Snack Bar For New Plaza
Small Bridge Arches Across Flushing River-the Grass Partly Green Partly Brown is Still Edible for Bird Population


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