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Friday, September 16, 2011

Necessary Miesian

Every upstate New York city that I have lived in seems to have an insecurity problem.

Maybe it's because they do not measure up to their more prosperous and populous younger selves, let alone the Big City that often takes the place of our entire state in tourists' minds.

Whatever the reason, every city has at least one or ten claims to fame - usually based on an actual celebrity or politician having been born there or lived there before they escaped to their Big City of choice (LA, DC or NYC) where they become famous.

Syracuse: Tom Cruise and the Baldwin Brothers to Grace Slick

Some claim people who did great things or were at the peak of their fame while living there

Rochester: Susan B. Anthony, Fredrick Douglas
Troy: Uncle Sam Wilson

The silliest are those instances a city celebrates the fact that a famous person simply visited the place

Rochester: Babe Ruth

I used to joke that if you were famous and you stopped to use the restroom in Syracuse they would dedicate an I-690 highway overpass to you!

During my first visit to Prospect Park in Troy I happened upon a hilarious sight - if you enjoy modern architecture's follies, that is.

He may never have stopped in the "Collar City" to use a restroom but it sure seems like Mies van der Rohe's design for the Barcelona Pavilion's loo was mistakenly built in our lovely park overlooking the Capital District.


Barcelona Pavilion - reconstructed

Prospect Park Necessary Facility

Looks like a family resemblance to me...

Ironically, the little brick Miesian building was not functional on the day I visited.

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