The climax of Cradle of Aviation Museum’s family friendly Apollo 11 50th anniversary Moon Fest was the countdown to the landing of a scale model of the Eagle lunar module timed with a video of the actual landing.
But there was so much more during the day. Some 2500 people
turned out to take part in events and activities.
They delighted in meeting three Space Shuttle astronauts,
who gave talks and signed autographed photos: Bill Shepherd (a former Babylon
resident, who was in the first crew and literally turned on the lights in the International
Space Station and lived in space for140 days) & Charlie Camarda (of Ozone
American engineer and a NASA astronaut who flew his first mission into space on
board the Space Shuttle mission STS-114 and served as Senior Advisor for
Engineering Development at NASA Langley Research Center) and
Bob Cenker, a payload specialist and crew member on the seventh flight of Space
Among the docents and guides are many former Grumman workers who helped build the machines and communications that put astronauts on the moon and the International Space Station, as well as space enthusiasts, like Matt Arnold, who, after giving a guided tour of the Space exhibit, shows us the model of the International Space Station that he built for the museum. Richard Kalen, of Hicksville, who had helped assemble the wings on the Shuttle, explained what went wrong to cause the Challenger and Columbia tragedies.
There were moon buggy races, where kids got to traverse a “lunar
obstacle course” driving electric lunar rovers; launched water-bottle rockets
they built and decorated; looked through solar telescopes; saw student-built robotics
demonstrations from the First Lego League; posed for photos with the superhero
characters from the not-for-profit NY Avengers Cosplayers.
There were also screenings of the Apollo 11 First Steps
Edition documentary in Cradle’s immerse Dome Theater and a virtual reality
experience where you explore the inside and outside of the Apollo 11 with
Microsoft’s Mixed Reality and HoloLens technology.
Then, at 4 pm, they crammed into the atrium to watch a video
of the actual Apollo 11 landing, as a scale model of the Lunar Module descended
in concert with the actual events.
The celebration continued into the evening with a dinner
menu matching the same beef-and-salmon menu served to the astronauts at the
White House and dancing to the music of the 1960s.
Cradle of Aviation Museum, home of the Lunar Module, is currently exhibiting
the largest collection of Lunar Modules, Lunar Module parts, artifacts, photos,
and documentation in the world.
There is still time to
visit the Apollo Space Exhibit. Here are 11 “must sees”:
1. Grumman Lunar Module LM-13 – the crowned jewel of
the museum. The LM-13 was intended for the Apollo 19 mission to Copernicus
Crater in 1973, which was ultimately cancelled. It is one of three Lunar
Modules left on earth. The other two are at Kennedy Space Center and
Smithsonian’s Air & Space. It is presented in a re-created lunar surface
scene with a mannequin wearing an actual Apollo spacesuit.
Cradle of Aviation Museum and Education Center is home to over 75 planes and
spacecraft representing over 100 years of aviation history and Long Island’s
only Giant Screen Dome Theater. Currently, the museum is celebrating
“Countdown to Apollo at 50” sponsored by the Robert D.L.
Gardiner Foundation, showcasing Long Island and Grumman’s significant role in
the Apollo program. The Museum was recently recognized and listed on New York
State’s National Register of Historic Places as a significant part of American
history. The museum is located on Museum Row, Charles Lindbergh Blvd., in East
Garden City. For more information call (516) 572-4111 or visit www.cradleofaviation.org.
County Executive Laura Curran, who donned a replica space suit, and NASA astronaut
Babylon resident Bill
on hand at the Cradle of Aviation Museum to officially begin the countdown to
the 50th Anniversary celebration of the first lunar landing, July
20, 1969. They were joined by Grumman
Engineer Ross Brocco, Museum President Andy Parton and Museum Curator Josh Stoff.
will shine a light on one of the greatest
human and technological achievements in history,” Parton said.
events that start at 9:30 am reach a climax with a Community Countdown at 4:17
pm to collectively watch, re-experience, and honor as a community, the historic
“The Eagle has Landed” Lunar Module landing on the moon. A model of the Lunar
Module will descend from the ceiling, precisely on time.
Shepherd, who was in the first crew on the International Space Station (“We
turned on the lights”) and lived in space for 140 days, sees the importance of
Cradle of Aviation Museum, with its active STEM education programs and the
ability for people, young and old, to interact with exhibits – like climb into
a Gemini capsule, land a Space Shuttle, and in the current exhibit, enter a
space habitation on Mars, and the largest collection of Apollo artifacts in the
world, including an actual lunar module which was built by Grumman in Bethpage
for Apollo 19, a moon mission that was scrubbed.
lunar landing was one of humankind’s epic achievements,” said Shepherd, who
will be on hand during the day to interact with museum goers. “Beyond Apollo,
it ignited a process that is still going on. NASA is on course to go back to
the moon, a steppingstone to planetary expedition to Mars. Children today may
critically vital, he said, for children to have the opportunity to be exposed
to “first-hand” science, as opposed to watching documentaries on television. “Education
is turning to project-based and experiential learning, versus textbooks. Here,
kids get to see for themselves. The tangible makes learning enjoyable.”
pointed to the Cradle of Aviation as one of the best museums – even attractions
– on Long Island. “It is such an asset in the heart of our county..
July 20, in addition to the Apollo events, there will be former Grumman
engineers and employees who helped build the lunar module and the equipment
that made the space program possible, among them Ross Bracco, a structural
engineer at Grumman who is now a volunteer at Cradle of Aviation Museum.
Shepherd will lead two “episodes” allowing kids to design their own lunar
noted that the moon, itself, remains a mystery – how it was created more than 4
billion years ago – was it knocked off from earth or form separately? “We don’t
know but maybe some kids here will research.” He said the moon has been static
for 4 billion years, unlike the earth which is “dynamic” and changing, so is a
time piece that can shed light on what the solar system was like 4 billion
years ago. “We are learning about the moon’s relationship to the earth.”
you can even get a whiff of what the moon smells like in one of the exhibit.
On Saturday, July 20, 2019,
thousands of people will be joining together at the Cradle of Aviation Museum
to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 mission. The Cradle
of Aviation, home of the Lunar Module, is celebrating all day and night with
two festive events to give the community an opportunity to learn, reflect,
remember, & jointly celebrate, all the wonder, achievement, and pride that
will be events throughout the day:
COMMUNITY COUNTDOWN TO LUNAR
LANDING – Join in a Community Countdown at 4:17 pm to collectively
watch, re-experience, and honor as a community, the historic “The Eagle
has Landed” Lunar Module landing on the moon.
ASTRONAUT ENCOUNTERS with Space
Shuttle Astronauts Bill Shepherd (Babylon) & Charlie Camarda (Ozone
Park), both from Long Island, and Bob Cenker.
MOON BUGGY RACES – Traverse a
lunar obstacle course driving an electric lunar rover. (kids)
VIRTUAL REALITY – Explore the
inside and outside of the Apollo 11 up close and personal with Microsoft’s
Mixed Reality and the Microsoft HoloLens technology.
APOLLO 11 FIRST STEPS in IMAX –
Experience a free showing of the new highly-acclaimed documentary, Apollo
11 First Steps Edition in our immersive Dome Theater.
SOLAR TELESCOPES- Explore the
sun with a special purpose solar telescope.
LAUNCH ROCKETS – Build,
decorate, then launch a water bottle rocket.
ROBOTICS DEMONSTRATIONS – View
and interact with student-built robotics from the First Lego
VISITS FROM THE UNIVERSE – The
not-for profit, NY Avengers Cosplayers are assembling at the Cradle to
celebrate the American heroes who contributed to the successful lunar
Museum opens at
9:30am. Family activities are 12:00 – 4:00pm. Countdown begins at 4:00pm.
Then, from 7-11 pm, is
the Apollo at Countdown Celebration, a lively dinner and champagne toast with
music and dancing, as the community comes together to watch and re-experience
the unforgettable first steps on the moon at 10:56 pm with a special moon
landing viewing and countdown.
Astronauts Bill Shepherd (Babylon) & Charlie Camarda (Ozone Park), both
from Long Island, and Bob Cenker, will be in attendance.
Tickets to either
event can be purchased at www.cradleofaviation.org/apollo or
by calling Reservations 516-572-4066 (M-F) 10:00am-4:00pm) Grumman Retirees and
Museum Members, may call Reservations for discounted tickets. Proceeds to
Benefit Museum Education and Preservation Programs.
Cradle of Aviation
the reason there is such a world-class space and aviation museum here on
Charles Lindbergh Avenue, named for the famous aviator, is that this is indeed
the cradle of aviation – it is located on what was Mitchel Air Force Base
Field, which, together with
nearby Roosevelt Field and other airfields on the Hempstead Plains, was the
site of many historic flights , most significantly, where Lindbergh set off for
his historic transatlantic solo flight to Paris and it was on Long Island that
so much of the aviation industry and innovations happened. In fact, so many seminal flights occurred in
the area, that by the mid-1920s the cluster of airfields was already dubbed the
“Cradle of Aviation”, the origin of the museum’s name.
events and exhibits also pay homage to Grumman engineers who designed and built
the lunar exploration module (LEM), and there is an actual LEM on exhibit – the
only actual LEM of the three modules on exhibit (the three that went to the
moon remained there). This one was built by Grumman for Apollo 19 but that
mission was scrubbed.
can also see mock-ups of Grumman engineers in a “clean room” building a LEM.
of Aviation museum has the largest collection of Apollo artifacts anywhere –
the space exhibits are phenomenal and include simulators and a real moon rock.
so it was fitting at one of the Apollo 50th events held in recent
weeks, the Gold Coast International Film Festival screening of “First Man,” as
part of its Science on Screen series, three former Grumman engineers who worked
on Apollo project related their experience.
who was a co-op engineering intern running technical tests on the Lunar
Excursion Module landing gear and in the Cold Flow area for final ascent &
descent stage system tests before delivery to NASA, reflected, “Had we never had the Apollo1 tragedy, where three astronauts were
lost, the likelihood of doing a successful lunar landing was low…The post-fire evaluation of the design of command
module found so many things inadequately or improperly or stupidly designed-
not the least was the hatch which opened in instead of out so that in a
pressurized environment, it couldn’t open. NASA’s oversight over all the contractors
doubled or tripled. So the prevailing theory is that if that fire hadn’t
happened, design defects could have caused a situation where Apollo 11 couldn’t
Richard Dunne, who was
the chief spokesman for the Grumman Corporation, which
designed and built the Apollo Lunar Module: “The fire
forced a redesign of everything
in the command module and lunar module.” He also reflected on how close it was
that the United States might not have won the space race at all “Two weeks
before Apollo 11 launched, the Russians attempted moon shot, but it exploded.
The way the United States knew about it was because our spy satellites detected
Mike Lisa, who worked
as an engineer on the Lunar Excursion Module in 1963 until the program ended
and spent 36 years at Northrop Grumman, said, “The most important thing was to bring the astronauts
back healthy. A device called a tumbler would grab the LEM on both sides and
flip it around – tumble and turn – to shake anything that might have been loose
inside. On this particular day, I was working in a semi-clean room – we wore white
jackets and different hats to show what we working on – and tumbling, there was
a clink and a nut fell on the floor. The NASA inspector was there and shut the
room down for a whole week, but we all had to be on station, 24/7, waiting for
permission to reopen.”
Inspiring Future Generations Through Learning
Cradle of Aviation Museum
originally opened with just a handful of aircraft in the un-restored hangars in
1980. A major renovation and expansion program in the late 1990s allowed the
museum to re-open in a state-of-the-art facility in 2002. Additional expansion
plans are currently under development. The museum is an educational center
preserving Long Island’s contribution to aerospace, science and technology by
inspiring future generations through learning.
The Cradle of Aviation Museum and Education Center today is home to over 75 planes and spacecraft representing over 100 years of aviation history and Long Island’s only Giant Screen Dome Theater. The museum has been celebrating “Countdown to Apollo at 50” sponsored by the Robert D.L. Gardiner Foundation, through much of the year, showcasing Long Island and Grumman’s significant role in the Apollo program. The Museum was recently recognized and listed on New York State’s National Register of Historic Places as a significant part of American history. The museum is located on Museum Row, Charles Lindbergh Blvd., in East Garden City. For more information call (516) 572-4111 or visit www.cradleofaviation.org.
On a grand night at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Uniondale, Long Island, five of the Apollo astronauts, including three of only 12 men who have ever walked on the moon, and two flight directors who controlled the Apollo missions, reflected on their experiences. It was an epic event in a year of events at the museum marking the 50th Anniversary of the first man to walk on the moon, inspiring interest in space science, which will climax on July 20 at the exact moment when Neil Armstrong made his “giant leap for mankind.”
Cradle of Aviation Museum has special meaning to the astronauts, many of whom
have come to the museum over the years to give talks and participate in events.
Not only is it home to one of the world’s most extensive collections of Lunar
Modules,(LM-13, LTA-1), Lunar Module parts and Lunar Module photos and
documentation, but it also is home to the engineers of Grumman Aerospace
Corporation that designed, built and tested the Lunar Modules between 1961-1972
which successfully landed 12 men on the moon between 1969-1972.
Rusty Schweickartwas the first to pilot the Lunar Module, testing the craft on the Apollo 9 mission in 1969 before it was used on the moon in Apollo 11. He was one of the first astronauts to space-walk without a tether, and one of the first to transmit live TV pictures from space. He is also credited with development of the hardware and procedures which prolonged the life of the Skylab space station.
Schweickart reflected on a moment when he was essentially stranded in space. “I turned around and looked at earth, brilliant blue horizon. There was no sound – I was floating inside my suit which was floating. Just hanging out looking at earth, completely silent. My responsibility at that moment was to absorb: I’m a human being. Questions floated in: how did I get here, why was I here. I realized the answer was not simple. What does ‘I’ mean? ‘Me’ or ‘us’. Humanity – our partnership with machines allowed humankind to move out to this environment. 10,000 years from now, it will still be the moment when humanity stepped out to space. While we celebrate something we were part of, it’s one of the events in human history, , that if we don’t wipe ourselves out, we will still have this unique moment in time when life moved out to outer space.”
Fred Haise,the Lunar Module Pilot on the Apollo 13 mission, would have been the 6th man to walk on the moon. After the Apollo program ended in 1977, he worked on the Shuttle program, and after retiring from NASA, worked for 16 years as an executive for Northrop Grumman Corporation.
Haise reflected that when JFK made his challenge to go to the moon before the end of the decade, he thought this was mission impossible based on where the technology was. “I saw nothing at hand that would have accomplished that. By then, there was just Alan Shepherd who went up and down, the rockets were invented by Germans in World War II.”
When the disaster struck the Apollo 13 – an oxygen tank exploded, crippling the Service Module which supplied power and life support to the Command Module, he reflected, “We weren’t afraid. All of us in the program did the best we could. We were aware of the problems. Everyone was willing to pay the price to make the mission successful.”
situation was not immediately life-threatening . ”Clearly we had lost one tank. I was sick to
my stomach with disappointment that we had lost the moon. It took us almost an
hour to stop the leak in the second tank. “
The Lunar Module was pressed into service as a literally lifeboat and tugboat – a role never anticipated for it.
“The LM bought time. I was never worried. Not sure how it would operate past the two days. Nothing had been damaged in the LM, so I knew we had a homestead we could operate from, and people on the ground were losing a lot of sleep working through the challenges. We never really got to the cliff we were about the fall off.”
Despite great hardship caused by limited power, loss of cabin heat, shortage of cooling water and the critical need to make repairs to the carbon dioxide removal system, the crew returned safely to Earth. It was hailed as the most successful failure.
Charlie Duke (Lunar Module Pilot, Apollo 16, the 10th person to walk on the moon and the youngest, at 36 years old), reflected “Driving over the surface of the moon, we didn’t have TV. I was the travel guide for mission control, 250,000 miles away. So I narrated, ‘Now we’re passing on the right…’ – giving a travelogue – as we drove from point A to point B, and I was taking pictures. My job was to get us A to B and describe for mission control what seeing while John was driving…
“The rover did tremendously well, it revolutionized lunar exploration. Prior, we had to walk everywhere, not the easiest thing. Thankfully the rover was a revolution to see so much. Say to all the Grumman folks here who worked on that, you guys built a great machine. We shared the moon speed record because the odometer only went to 17 mph. Three rovers are up there – if you want an $8 million car with a dead battery.”
Harrison Schmitt(Lunar Module Pilot, Apollo 17) was also a former geologist, professor, US Senator from New Mexico. He was the lunar module pilot on Apollo 17, the final manned lunar landing mission. He was the first scientist and one of the last astronauts to walk on the moon – the 12th man and second youngest person to set foot on the moon.
“The thing about our valley [where the
mission explored], Apollo worked in a brilliant sun, as brilliant as any New
Mexico sun, but the sky was absolute black. That was hard to get used to. We
grow up with blue skies. I never felt comfortable with black sky. But in that
black sky was of course that seemingly small planet Earth, always hanging over
the same part of the valley. Whenever I was homesick, I would just look up –
home was only 250,000 miles away.”
Milt Windler was one of the four flight directors of Apollo 13 Mission Operations Team, all of whom were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Richard M. Nixon for their work in guiding the crippled spacecraft safely back to Earth. Formerly a jet fight pilot, he joined NASA in 1959 during Project Mercury. Windler also served as a flight director for Apollo 8, 10, 11, 14, 15 and all three Skylab missions. After Apollo, he worked in the Space shuttle project office on Remote Manipulator Systems Operations until 1978. He is the recipient of the NASA Exceptional Service Medal.
Reflecting on the Apollo 13 mission, he said, “It is a common misconception that flight control was one person all 15 days of a mission. But missions were divided into distinct phases – launch, lunar descent, EVA, rendezvous – and there were teams for each. Each team simulated, practiced problems. One of the things that worked well on Apollo was anticipating what would happen. After a flight, we would discuss lessons learned, to come up with improvements. By the time of Apollo 13 developed a real serious problem, we were a finely honed machine.”
Gerry Griffinjoined NASA in 1964 as flight controller in Mission Control during Project Gemini. In 1968, he was named a Mission Control flight director, for all the Apollo manned mission. Gerry’s “Gold” team conducted half of the lunar landings made during Apollo 14, 16, and 17, and would have conducted the landing of Apollo 13 but played a key role in the safe return of the astronauts. Later Griffin played several Hollywood roles in movies including “Apollo 13, “ “Contact”, Deep Space” and “From the Earth to the Moon,”, as a consultant and even an actor.
The astronauts reflected on the “perfect storm”
of forces and factors that resulted in the incomparable space program that put
a man on the moon within a decade – Griffin, quoting Neil Armstrong, said you
needed four things: threat, bold leadership, public support and resources. “He
said that most of the time, those are out of sequence with each other – you may
have the threat but not the resources. It was a perfect storm when Apollo
happened”: the threat from the Soviet Union taking mastery of space frontier; a
balanced budget not yet weighted down by national debt; bold political
leadership and public support. “You had the resources and human resources,
primarily from World War II from the aviation industry, with Grumman part of
it hadn’t been Apollo, it would have been something else. When the Soviets
launched Sputnik and then Gagarin [became the first man in space], the threat
was clear, and everything else fell into line. I think he’s right. Nowadays, we
have a threat now – China – those guys are good. There is a technological
threat now, and could be more later. Leadership? Draw your own conclusion. Resources?
We haven’t had them. Public support? … But I’m an optimistic. If we are going
to make 2024 – that’s awful tight, but I was like Fred, I didn’t think we could
land on moon in the 1960s, but we did. Maybe if things line up better, we could
do it by 2024, if not 2028.”
Asked why we haven’t been back to the moon, Schweickart said, “You need to be young, innovative, not an aging bureaucracy….
need technological, political courage. The moon was in exactly the right place.
The next steps are not quite that easy . There is a debate between going back
to the moon or on to Mars that has raged for years and still does. There’s not
the same opportunity that we had at that time. In many ways, the most important
thing in terms of a sense of challenge, moving out, moving forward is one of
age. Bureaucracy – corporation or government – where the average age increases
every year, you’re cooked.”
are much more encouraged by private enterprise taking over space exploration.
“You don’t see much about Blue Origin and Jeff Bezos, but we will. When you see
[Elon Musks’s] SpaceX launch Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and bring back two stages
that land in formation, and the cameras show all these kids, 20 years old,
hooping and hollering, they did it! That’s what it takes. NASA used to be that
way. Part of the real juice in space exploration is encouraging private
activities in space. That today is where most of the juice is, getting young
people involved is the key, giving them the opportunity. Jeff Bezos says it
well. His fundamental motivating, commitment to space is to reduce the cost so
more and more can take part and therefore dramatically increase the quality and
opportunity for innovation. As the cost of getting to space drops, the
creativity will dramatically increase. That’s where it’s at in the future.”
Walt Cunningham a fighter pilot before he became an astronaut, in 1968, he was a Lunar Module Pilot on the Apollo 7 mission. He’s also been a physicist, entrepreneur, venture capitalist and author of “The All American Boys.”
“Our society is changing,”
he reflected the next evening when he gave a lecture at the museum. “Back when
Apollo was a story of exploration and adventure – my generation – we had te opportunity
and courage to reach around the moon and to the stars. We were willing to take
risks, didn’t shy from unknown. In those days, it seemed normal to do what we
were doing – exploring the next frontier. Today, the entire world takes pride
in this greatest adventure.”
Sixty years ago, “the
main drive was beating Russians to the moon. They beat us around earth. When
that started a technological fight to finish, not a single American had been in
orbit, but Kennedy was willing to take the risk – not just technological, but
human, economic, political. He took the initiative, the leadership. Today, that
goal is history. Fifty years ago, we never thought of failing –we had fighter
pilot attitude – common dream to test limits of imagination, daring.
“That attitude enabled
us to overcome obstacles. Any project as complex as Apollo required resources,
technology, but most importantly, the will. Driven by the Cold War, all three came
together in the 1960s and we went to moon. Think of it: only three generations separated
man’s first flight off the earth and man’s first orbit around the earth. Only
ironically, on the same day as the astronauts were assembled at Cradle of
Aviation, President Donald Trump was contradicting Vice President Mike Pence
and his own policy, which said that the US would be back on the moon by 2024.
Trump called another moon mission a
waste of money which should be spent, instead to go to Mars.
Trump also has called for the creation of a
Space Force, a new branch of the armed forces, effectively undoing the spirit
of international cooperation in space exploration to advance human knowledge,
with a shift toward militarizing space.
The countdown clock in the lobby of the Cradle of Aviation Museum showed 43 days to July 20, the 50th anniversary of the first man to walk on the moon, on the night of the museum’s grand gala at which seven former astronauts and flight directors were feted – Walt Cunningham (Lunar Module Pilot, Apollo 7), Rusty Schweickart(Lunar Module Pilot, Apollo 9), Fred Haise(Lunar Module Pilot, Apollo 13). Charlie Duke (Lunar Module Pilot, Apollo 16), Harrison Schmitt(Lunar Module Pilot, Apollo 17) and Apollo Flight Directors, Gerry Griffin and Milt Windler – along with Grumman employees who built the lunar module and the equipment which put them there.
Throughout this year, the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Uniondale, Long Island, not far from where the lunar module was designed and built by Grumman engineers in Bethpage and a stone’s throw from Roosevelt Field where Charles Lindbergh took off for his historic transatlantic flight to Paris, has been hosting special events to mark the anniversary, use it for STEM education and inspire a new generation eager to reach for the stars.
The events climax on July 20, when at the exact same moment as Neil Armstrong made his “giant leap for mankind”, a replica lunar module will descend from the ceiling. Museum goers also can see an actual lunar module, one of the six that Grumman built (three are still on the moon, and the other three are in the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum in Washington DC, the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and here at the Cradle of Aviation Museum).
One of the extraordinary exhibits on view at the museum now is“Space: A Journey to Our Future,” which is on view through August 18, 2019, an absolutely thrilling, immersive exhibit which takes you from the dawn of man’s earliest visions of space exploration to the heroic achievements of the past, the unfolding discoveries of today, and the frontiers of the universe that lie ahead. You get to touch actual rocks from the lunar surface and the red planet, explore a futuristic Lunar Base Camp while walking through a full-size space habitat and work pod, get an up-close look at a wide range of artifacts from the space program and experience the past, present and future of space through these and dozens of other displays, interactive (try your hand at landing the space shuttle!) and experiences.
Also, as part of this special celebration, the museumis showing Todd Douglas Miller’s new documentary film, “Apollo 11: First Steps Edition,” a special giant-screen edition created exclusively for science centers and museum theaters, like Cradle’s Dome Theater. With a newly-discovered trove of never-before-seen 70mm footage and audio recordings, APOLLO 11: First Steps Edition joins Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, the Mission Control team and millions of spectators around the world, during those momentous days and hours in 1969 when humankind took a giant leap into the future.
at 50: Moon Fest,” on July 20 will be a family festival (9:30-5 pm, with
activities 12-4pm) with visits from Long Island Space Shuttle Astronauts
including Bill Shepherd (Babylon) and Charlie Carmada (Ozone Park). All day
activities include virtual reality experiences, model rocket launches, and a countdown
at 4:18 pm to collectively watch, re-experience, and honor as a community, the
historic “The Eagle has Landed” Lunar Module landing on the moon. As a special
bonus, all museum attendees will get a free showing of the new highly-acclaimed
documentary, Apollo 11 First Steps Edition in the immersive
Dome Theater. (Tickets: $20)
Then, in the evening, there will be a Countdown Celebration, a lively dinner and champagne toast with 1960s music and dancing, as the community watches and re-experiences the unforgettable first steps on the moon at 10:56 pm with a special moon landing viewing and countdown. There will also be photo opportunities in a re-created 1969 living room. (The dinner event ticket includes admission to Apollo Moon Fest events during the day; tickets: $125).
Island: The Nation’s Cradle of Aviation
Cradle of Aviation Museum and Education Center is home to over 75 planes and
spacecraft representing over 100 years
of aviation history, from hot air balloons to the lunar module, in eight
galleries, a planetarium and Long Island’s only Giant Screen Dome Theater.
The Cradle of Aviation Museum commemorates and
celebrates Long Island’s part in the history of aviation and space
exploration. It is set on land once part of Mitchel Air Force
Base which, together with nearby Roosevelt Field and other
airfields on the Hempstead Plains, was the site of many historic flights.
In fact, so many seminal flights occurred in the area, that by the mid-1920s
the cluster of airfields was already dubbed the “Cradle of Aviation”, the
origin of the museum’s name. The Museum was recently recognized and listed on New
York State’s National Register of Historic Places as a significant part of
The museum originally opened with just a handful of aircraft
in the un-restored hangars in 1980. A major renovation and expansion program in
the late 1990s allowed the museum to re-open in a state-of-the-art facility in
2002. The museum is undergoing a major fund-raising campaign for a future
It is remarkable to
contemplate that within a century, aviation went from the Wright Brothers to
the moon, from a dangerous sport to mass transportation and commercial
enterprise, and Long Island played a significant part.
It starts with Long Island’s geography: a natural airfield,
on the eastern edge of the United States, the western edge of the Atlantic
Ocean, adjacent to a major population center, and Hempstead Plains, the only
natural prairie east of the Allegheny Mountains, writes Joshua Stoff, Curator,
Cradle of Aviation Museum.
We trace flying back to the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk, NC
in 1903, lasting 59 seconds over a distance of 852 feet but Stoff notes that the
first recorded aircraft flight took place on Long Island, in 1896 when a
Lilienthal-type glider was flown from the bluffs along Nassau County’s north
shore. By 1902 gasoline-powered airships were flown over Brooklyn (why doesn’t
Long Island get more credit?). By 1910, there were three airfields operating on
the Hempstead Plains, Long Islanders were building their own planes, and there
were several flying schools and aircraft factories that made Long Island “the
center of the aviation world.” Exhibits show artifacts of these early pursuits.
Belmont Park hosted the 1910 International Aviation Meet of
the greatest aviators from America and Europe.
“The period between 1918
and 1939 is considered the ‘Golden Age of Aviation’ when flying went from being
a dangerous sport to a major commercial industry,” Stoff writes. Most famous of
all was Charles Lindbergh’s historic solo transatlantic flight, from Roosevelt
Field to Paris, in 1927. “This single event revolutionized aviation as nothing
else before or since…
“By the early 1930s Roosevelt Field was the largest and
busiest civilian airfield in America with over 150 aviation businesses and 450
planes based there. In 1937 the first regular commercial transatlantic airline
service in America was begun at Port Washington as huge Pan American Martin and
Boeing flying boats departed and arrived regularly at Manhasset Bay.”
World War II sparked aviation and demand for aircraft. The two
biggest aircraft companies, Grumman, was founded in Long island in 1930;
Republic in 1931. They produced most of the military aircraft; other companies,
Sperry, Brewster, Ranger, and Columbia, also contributed to the war effort. By
1945, 100,000 Long Islanders were employed in the aircraft industry.
Though aircraft are no longer manufactured on Long Island
(the Grumman plant in Bethpage is now a movie and television studio), it is
surprising to realize that there are still 240 Long Island producing parts for
virtually every American aircraft that flies.
Long Island’s important
contribution to aviation is brilliant displayed in exhibits throughout the
Long Island in Space
Thomas J. Kelly, of
Cutchogue, retired president of the Grumman Space Station Integration Division
and formerly lunar module engineering director, writes that there is still some
Long Island left on the moon – six spacecraft built on Long Island remain on
Designing and building those craft, as part of the greater
challenge of beating the Russians to the moon by 1969, was a monumental
endeavor. Writing on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the
moon landing, Kelly reflected, “For some 7,000 Grumman employees, however, it
was far more intimate than an issue of national prestige. We felt personally
empowered to put Americans at the edge of a frontier that even today seems
incomprehensible. Yet not only did we succeed in meeting the mission; the
efforts of our nation’s commitment to lunar exploration also inspired people
around the world and showed the finest possibilities of human achievement and
of creating technology that now helps to power our society…
“Nobody at Grumman who worked on the LM will ever forget it.
Even the 12-and 14-hour weekdays, the frustrating paperwork and the sheer
complexity of designing, building and testing the module could not dim our
dedication. From the sweeper to the chief engineer, we all knew that we were
part of a majestic endeavor, that we were making history happen.”
At the gala, I meet Richard A. Hoffman sitting in front of the museum’s own actual lunar module, built by Grumman in Bethpage. He was a metallurgist who determined what the different parts should be made of aluminum for the struts, titanium for the propellant tanks, stainless steel propellant lines, high output silver and silver oxide batteries. He had to figure the pyrotechnics that would cause the four bolts that secured the module on the descent, to burst at just the right time with guillotine cutters for lift off from the moon. Hoffman told me he came to Grumman in the summer of 1963, and got a job there right after graduating Brooklyn Polytech in 1964. He was in just the right place at the right time, when Grumman started working on the Apollo program and he was transferred to engineering.
The US Air Force Thunderbirds headlined the 16th Annual Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach State Park, Long Island, flying the thrilling red, white and blue F-16s. The event over Memorial Day Weekend draws almost 400,000 in the course of three days.
Most thrilling at this year’s Memorial Day weekend
Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach, Long Island, were the number of women doing
the most daring feats: US Air Force Thunderbirds pilot Michelle Curran,
commanding the “Opposing Solo”; Jessy Panzer, the only civilian woman aerobatic pilot in the
country, mimicking the astonishing stunts of Sean D. Tucker, a “living legend”
of aerobatics; Golden Knights parachutist Maj. Marissa Chierichella and the Red
Bull Air Force sky diving team had Amy Chmelecki.
This was the 16th
annual Jones Beach air show – I’ve seen almost all of them – and though many of
the performances repeat year after year, or follow a two-year cycle, this show
was particularly exciting with the infusion of new energy.
The headliners, the US Air Force
Thunderbirds, are a team of
six F-16 Fighting Falcons that roar through the skies, to demonstrate the power
and dexterity of these fighting crafts. Most thrilling is when the two opposing
solos race at each other at combined speed of 1000 mph.
We were treated to the final appearance of Sean D. Tucker’s specially-engineered plane that enables him to do feats never before imagined, the Oracle Challenger 3, will be donated to the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum in Washington, where it will be part of a new Thomas W. Haas We All Fly gallery, opening in 2021.
This year, for the first time, Tucker flew in tandem
with Jessy Panzer, the only female civilian air show pilot in the USA. Together,
Team Oracle performed the most
exquisite, thrilling pas de deux in flight, with incredible precision at 200
miles mph, at bone-crushing G-forces, with Panzer magnificently following the
smoke trails of Tucker. Her skill is all the more apparent since she is flying
a different plane from the Oracle Challenger 3 biplane. And the back-story –
that each were afraid of flying initially, he because his father was an
aviation lawyer who knew all too well the risks, and she because her father
died in an airplane crash.
GEICO Skytypers, a team of advanced training aircraft used in World War II, are
fascinating because they demonstrate actual fighting techniques – an implosion
run where they evade the enemy by actually flying into each other to create
confusion, missing each other by mere feet; opposing craft which come at each
other at incredible speed.
traditionally kicks off with a ceremonial parachute drop by a representative of
the US Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights, delivering the
American flag to a tiny target on Jones Beach. The whole team then returns for
a demonstration performance. They barrel out of their plane from an altitude of
12,500 ft, at a speed of 120 mph before pulling the cord to release their
parachute; in one demonstration we see what happens when a chute fails at just
5,000 ft. (they have a spare chute). We learn that the parachutes they use, use
the same aeronautical techniques as the original Wright Brothers plane in 1903.
Red Bull Air
Force launch out of a plane from 13,000 feet, speeding like
a cannon ball at almost 200 mph, crossing in flight, before releasing the
parachute, and sailing down at 60 mph to the target. The helicopter is the only
aerobatic helicopter in the US.
The F-18 Super
Hornet, traveling at 700 mph, nearly breaking the sound
barrier, where the pilot experiences bone-crushing Gs. The fighter is flown by the United States Navy and Marines
flying for Embry Riddle, performs maneuvers in which he experiences as much as
9 positive Gs and 6 negative Gs.
John Klatt Airshows
and Jack Link’s Beef Jerky teamed up to create a one-of-a-kind plane, the Screamin’
Sasquatch, powered by dual powerplants: a Pratt & Whitney 985 Radial
Engine and a General Electric CJ610 (J85) Jet Engine with 3,000 lbs of thrust.
This system allows the plane to achieve feats other stunt planes are unable to
do. During his performance, Ret. USAF Lt Colonel John Klatt experiences forces
of plus and minus 4Gs, which means a 200 lb. man would weigh 800 lbs. He
travels at 250 mph. Considering the ridiculous aerobatics Klatt performs in the
plane, it is astonishing to learn that the plane is a Taperwing Waco made
famous by the barnstormers of the 1920s and 1930s, and is based on a 1929 Waco,
modified and “beefed up” big time.
Windmiller, Long Island’s
hometown hero (from Melville), thrills spectators in his Zivko Edge 540
aircraft, built especially for aerobatics, with seemingly impossible feats at
speeds of up to 220 mph that keep his peers and his fans in awe. Windmiller has
been flying since 14 year old, soloed at 16 year old and started aerobatic
flying before he got his license and has accumulated 18,000 flight hours,
including 8,000 doing aerobatics. He performs snap rolls, inverted flat spin
(where the plane falls from the sky), 4 knife edge tumblers, inside-outside
US Coast Guard demonstrated a rescue by helicopter into churning seas – on a typical
day, the Coast Guard, with fewer members than can fit in Yankee Stadium, save
15 lives, patrol some 96,000 miles of coastline through the US, as well as
South China Seas, Pacific, Persian Gulf and wherever the US has forces.The air
show also pays homage to aviation’s heritage.
Bayport Aerodrome Society, formed
in 1972 ands composed of aviation professionals, recreational pilots, and
people interested in preserving aviation history, flies aircraft from the 1920s.
As a “living museum” they have a variety of antique aircraft flying on the
field including Bi-Planes, Champs, and Cubs. One of their pilots, is 92-year
old pilot who served in World War II, who flew with his grandson.
World War II vintage aircraft from the American Air Power
Museum, at Republic Airport (flights available over Memorial
Day weekend) were flown, including the B-25 Mitchell Bomber used in the “Catch
22” series on Hulu.
Gold Coast Arts Center, Great Neck, Long Island presents an exhibition of “Chinese
Artists in America.” The works by eight contemporary Chinese-American artists
is on view through March 20.
exhibition reflects the creative vitality of Chinese and American cultural interaction
and growth through the arts and its historical and aesthetic links to other
communities,” Gallery Curator Jude Amsel writes.
artists created a new visual language that embodies aspects of traditional
Chinese art while responding to a time of great transition. Their artworks
express personal beliefs, national pride, and international awareness.”
Gold Coast Arts Center is dedicated to promoting awareness and understanding
through the arts and through public events that bring people together,” stated
Regina Gil, founder and Executive Director of the Gold Coast Arts Center. “We
are proud to have enabled artists from around the world to share their vision
and craft with our audiences. The exhibition of art by Chinese-American artists
weaves the heritage, experience and craft that has emerged from each artist’s
personal exposure to Chinese and American culture and education.”
opening reception for the art exhibition was accompanied by a cultural
performance, music and dance presented under the aegis of the Great Neck
are highlights, with the artists’ own statements.
Zhen Guo: “With ‘Muted Landscape; I present a view of the world, and we who live on its surface, that is at once expansive and frightening. The images, created (I do not say painted because there is no obvious brush work in the ink on rice paper creation) present a landscape as if from 36,000 feet, muted by both the gray color and by the distance. Mountains, lakes, a sheer rock face wall, caldera, fields of snow, high and pointed peaks and rivers are joined and blended but not necessarily in the places or ways we expect. It is as if the vision of Ansel Adams has been stirred shaken and kneaded merged a late Autumn vision of the natural world. As our eyes travel over the painting the view changes and rivers become shadows, mountains become fields, and lakes become snow covered peaks. We are entranced and at the same time afraid that, if we landed, there we could not find our way out. Perhaps this is a place for own internal search for a perch for our soul or to find our way forward.”
Xiangdong Shi: ““Food: Chinese beauty, taste and auspicious meaning. Chinese cuisine is not only delicious, but also the pursuit of form and color, such as Sweet Dumplings, put in a few red medlar, and immediately look happy, and eat the Sweet Dumplings at the Lantern Festival, so the Sweet Dumplings are also called Yuan Xiao, means the first full moon night of the year. Chinese cuisine is rich and auspicious Meaning, such as birthday, Chinese people often cook a bowl of noodles, called longevity noodles, meaning healthy longevity. Another example is the Traditional Chinese Rice-Pudding, is the exclusive food of the Dragon Boat Festival, it is to commemorate the ancient Chinese famous poet Qu Yuan, in addition, often in the Traditional Chinese Rice-Pudding have any jujubes, white rice and red jujubes are put together, the color contrast is strong. Red has a special meaning in Chinese culture, and represents good luck. Therefore, the food series I painted not only expresses the taste of food, but also the sense of form and meaning of food. This is the true essence of Chinese culture.”
Arthur B. Liu is President of Queens Art Education Center, New York, visiting professor of the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, member of the Watercolor Society of USA, artist of the National Art League of USA, director of the Chinese Culture Art Association of New York, USA. He is the Educator, Artist and Inventor. He is the only one Chinese American artist who has been granted patents for inventions. He is showing “The flowing colors Chinese painting series” in this exhibition.
Ping Wang: “The initial idea of my “In and Out” series were body parts extended from a “Square”(space ) merged into a background. The background scenes are from Chinese illusional landscapes to recent New York City landmarks and daily life. After a year or two reminiscing in depth I subconsciously escaped in the collision between China and American culture. I was enormously inspired by traditional Chinese composition and techniques. In the ‘Fight Club; series, I tried to combine some oriental perspectives and compositions into a Western story. Now living in New York for several years, I can see the integration of eastern and western cultures.”
Yulin Huang: “In the face of the canvas, I have never forgotten all the so-called knowledge, just by intuition, in a simple, primitive, child-like way, straightforward and quick to smear. “Sacrifice the Body to Feeding the Tiger” (2018) is a “Dunhuang” mural from the ancient East, painted on the walls of the grotto 2000 years ago. It tells a Buddhist story. A prince, giving up his life and helping his hunger with his own flesh The hungry tiger mother and son are born into Buddha after death. Like the cross that Jesus passed. In “Chinese New Year,” red lanterns, dragon dances, lion dances, firecrackers, fireworks, spring couplets, red envelopes… The people celebrate the biggest festivals, joyous and lively. But I feel a very loneliness.”
Hai Wei: “Even though we all advocate tolerance, different habits and beliefs sometimes constitute an offense. Each different culture and art is connected of each other while learning from each other and integrating with each other. When the plane flies over the Arctic Circle, across the window, the outside is a mountain like a scarf, inside is a scarf like a mountain… All things connected, miraculous conversion. Similarly, in the body, the blood, the fresh life, can also be converted and reincarnation? We have been watching ourselves for too long and rarely look at them. Most people think the sheep is weak ,ordinary, silent. In fact, they still have power and charm of wildness. The art created by nature is life, the beauty of life, and it does not depend on us. It is a kind of dignity.”
Yafu Wang: Yafu’s works are varied and diverse. Those selected art pieces cover his early works in road, shadows, posters, and temples etc. Yafu always states that his work expresses his deep love and awe for the mighty God. It fulfills all the missing parts in his life.
abounds throughout Old Bethpage Village Restoration, the evening warmed by the orange-red
glow of candlelight, fireplace embers, a bonfire. The
annual Candlelight Evenings at Old Bethpage Restoration, a living history
museum on Long Island, is one of my favorite holiday events.
The most wonderful thing about the candlelight evenings
at Old Bethpage Village Restoration on Long Island, is yes, the sense of
stepping back into time, into an idyllic peacefulness that makes you feel as if
you have just fallen into a Christmas card. But what I love best are the
serendipitous moments when you engage the reenactors in conversation- the
questions that arise just because you are immersed in that experience.
Each year, I add to the stories, my understanding of
history and our community’s heritage.
Just leaving the visitors center is an experience. Just
before you exit the center, inside, a group of Santas in modern dress are
singing but as you walk down the ramp into the darkness, leaving pavement and electric
lights behind, carolers are singing in a shadow. I meet up with them again in
The village is actually a created place, assembled from
historic homes from across Nassau County (it was Queens County when they were
built), except for the Powell Farm, which is the only original homestead here
and dates from 1855. Many of the homes were built by people whose names are
well known to Long Islanders: Hewlett, Searing, Schenck, Cooper (built in 1815
for the famous inventor, Peter Cooper, in Hempstead). Most were built in the
1800s, but the Schenck House, the oldest, was built around 1765 for a Dutch
landowner, Minne Schenck, who had 300 acres in Manhasset (manpower was provided
by African slaves and servants).
Walking along the pebbled path, lighted only with flames, I come upon a brass band outside the Conklin House, built in 1853 by Joseph H. Conklin, a bayman, in the Village of the Branch.
The centerpiece of the Village is the Layton General Store and House, built by John M. Layton, a storekeeper, around 1866 in East Norwich. Though the house seems very fine – with large rooms and tall ceilings, I am told that he was middle class. Here, in the parlor, I meet Santa Claus who seems to be making out his list and checking it twice. In the next room is the Layton General Store – the Walmart of its day – where you can purchase candy and dolls that are made by one of the interpreters.
The next important house is the Noon Inn is appropriately just across from the general store, where when you climb the stairs, you find Max L. Rowland regaling an audience with his banjo, reconstructed to its period of the early 19th century (no frets, gut strings, deeper tone), and a concertina. If you ask, he will tell you about the instruments: in the mid-1800s, the concertina was the most popular instrument around – because it was relatively inexpensive (costing less than a violin), and compact, easy to carry and capable of such rich sound and complexity. It was extremely popular with sailors, who could tuck it away in their gear. Rowland can testify to it: this particular concertina has crossed the sea three times with Rowland, who lives on a boat.
Downstairs at the Noon Inn, which dates from 1850 and was owned John H. Noon, innkeeper, in East Meadow, you can get hot mulled cider and cookies, while outside, there are carolers singing beneath a lamplight. I catch up with them again later singing at the bonfire. It is magical.
Queens District No. 6 School House, which dates from c. 1845 in Manhasset, there
is traditional fiddle music, played on a period instrument, a 150-year old
violin that had been made in Prague, that has no chin rest or frets. We learn
about the Manhasset School house – children attended the one-room school house
six days a week – attendance wasn’t compulsory and kids came sporadically.
Music would have been widespread but there were no real professional musicians
in Long Island. The school house would have been the venue for music,
entertainment (like the Magic Lantern shows, the movies of their day), and
various gatherings in the evening. He tells me that all of Nassau County used
to be part of Queens County, until the residents wanted to separate from New
York City. One of the songs he plays is the Fireman’s Quick Step, written in
1822 by Francis Frank Johnson,
an African American composer, for the Philadelphia Fireman’s Cotillion fundraiser.
Music was so important to the people of the mid-19th century, the period which Old Bethpage reconstructs. When you think about it, people could only appreciate music live, in the moment.
the Hewlett House, a grand home high on the hill, built by the founder for
which the town of Hewlett is named, a fellow plays a series of flutes and a
violin, while popcorn is popping in the kitchen fireplace in the next room
At the beautiful Manetto Hill Church, 1857, a Methodist church that originally was located in Plainview, there is singing and storytelling – the origin of holly (representing male), ivy (representing female), so the two entwined are a symbol of marriage; mistletoe (which, rather than a romantic prompt for kissing, was used to make peace between quarreling individuals) and poinsettias. We sing carols and learn that “Jingle Bells” was written by a Sunday School teacher for a Thanksgiving pageant(New Englanders didn’t celebrate Christmas), and Silent Night was a poem written in Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria by Father Joseph Mohr in 1818 (his organist Franz Xaver Gruber wrote the music), desperate for Christmas music when the church organ broke.
At the Luyster Store, which dates from c. 1840 and was built by John B. Luyster, a storekeeper in East Norwich, you see the rare craft of broom making (and can purchase the brooms that are made here). Tim works on a machine from 1840 which was in the museum’s collection, and you can see how much physical effort goes into it. He says he and his brother, Chris, are two of only three broommakers left on Long Island (the third is their mentor). He explains that a home would have had 2 brooms per room, or 18-20 per household, so not to transfer dirt from one room to the next. Brooms were actually expensive: an ordinary broom might have cost 24 cents – but that was equivalent to half-day’s wages in the 1840s, when the Great Recession was worse than even the Great Depression and the average man took home 48 cents a day; that means a broom would cost about $50 today (so his price of $20 for a fancy broom decorated for the holidays with fancy ribbons, holly and weaving, is a bargain).
This was an enterprise that farmers would do in winter to make extra money, and they would allocate an acre of land to cultivate the special wheat sorghum (called “corn” but not corn) for that purpose. A father would teach his child the craft. An interesting artifact in the store is the massive safe. The building itself was once a hardware store that was the only one within 10 miles of Theodore Roosevelt’s Sagamore Hill, so it may well be that Roosevelt would have stopped by. There is also an interesting Harrison for Reform banner, referring to William Henry Harrison, the shortest-lived president (he died of pneumonia after one month in office).
The Benjamin House, dating from 1829, was built for William Benjamin, a minister and farmer in Northville, where there a husband and wife play holiday melodies that would have been popular at the time on a gigantic bass fiddle (it seems to fill the room) and a violin, like “Deck the Halls,” which was a Welsh melody dating back to the 1600s. We discuss Christmas traditions of the time (gift-giving wasn’t yet a tradition, but Queen Victoria had popularized table-top Christmas trees as a loving gesture to Prince Albert).
I stop into the Conklin House, a house that dates from 1853 and was built by Joseph H. Conklin, a bayman in the village of Branch. Last year, there was a demonstration of spinning being done in front of the fireplace, but this year, two ladies relax over a cup of tea after demonstrating how they bake ginger snaps.
The tiny Searing House (this is the first time that I can remember it being open for Candlelight Evening), was Dr. James Searing’s office, a Hempstead physician, built in 1815 – where the doctor would have prepared his medicines before going out by buggy to visit patients – and here, we are treated to freshly roasted chestnuts.
usually save the Schenck House for last because each year, because it is here
that I come upon the most unexpected encounters and
find it the most illuminating. Instead of interpreting the holiday traditions
of the mid 1800s, the Huntington Militia re-create a Colonial Christmas in the
The Schenck House dates from 1765, owned by a Dutch farmer. Here, our
presenters speak in the style of the time, and celebrate Christmas of 1775,
just two months after Martin Schenck, who inherited the house from his
father, had been one of the leaders of
the committee of Patriots that decided to break from Loyalist Hempstead, and form
North Hempstead. I learn that the south shore of Long Island was a occupied by
the British from 1776-1783, the entire duration of the Revolutionary War, while
the north shore was a stronghold for Patriots, many of them the Dutch families
who had no great affinity for the British monarch. The Schencks came to the New
World when New Amsterdam was a Dutch colony; the British took it over in 1754.
I am swept into its history. I am transfixed talking with “Ambrose Everyman,” a fellow from 1775, an American of English descent really troubled by North Hempstead’s succession from the Town of Hempstead over the issue of rebellion against the King and Crown. His loyalties are clear. He raises the question over how the colonists are made so dissatisfied with the King – and questions the veracity of the crimes and accusations designed to foment rebellion. He notes that since the first Continental Congress, the Massachusetts faction of the Patriots have banned women from going to the tavern, banned theatrical entertainment – in effect, installed the Puritan societal structure on the colonies. And because of the “attack against one of the colonies is an attack against us all,” he questions whether the attacks in Lexington and Concord, portrayed as a British massacre, really happened that way. “How do we really know?” he tells me (the original “fake news”?). Mr. Everyman was upset with the upstarts in Massachusetts who caused so much trouble, who dared to pretend to be Indians and toss tea into the sea. He called them cowards for hiding behind their disguise. He said he knew war – had fought in the French and Indian War – but was too old to fight again. If there was a break with England, he says, his business of building and repairing houses, would be destroyed.
But, he says, he cannot express his feelings: the local Committee is strictly enforcing its ban on English tea and though it had no force of law, someone who broke faith would be shamed in the Gazetteer as “an Enemy of American Liberty,” would no longer get business, and ultimately be forced out of the community. So he keeps his views to himself. Taxes? What difference does it make to pay taxes to England or taxes to the Congress, he says. And doesn’t England deserve to get repayment for the expense of fighting for the colonies? How would those who would break from England confront the greatest army on earth? Would they get aid from foreign powers like France, when France would want to take over the colonies for itself?
gives me the sense of what a difficult dilemma this was – the prospect of confronting
the most powerful nation the world had never known, the superpower of its time
– and how while there had never been consensus (New York patriots fled to
Philadelphia), the forcefulness with which the revolutionaries pressed their
cause, the violence, a literal civil war within communities.
goes on to show the group of Candlelight visitors that has gathered how the
owner of the House, Martin Schenck, would have celebrated St. Nicholas Day
(Dec. 6), when the children put out wooden shoes, filled with a carrot to draw
the horse that St. Nicholas rides through the sky on, and leaves them treats –
an orange that would have been an expensive treat having been imported from
Jamaica, and skates for the young girl,
a pull-toy for the baby.
Then, at The Barn on the Long Island Fairgrounds- a reconstruction of the Queens county Agricultural Society Fairgrounds that was built in Mineola, 1866-1884, there is the model train show, crafts fair, contra dancing, a brass ensemble and a delightful performance of “Scrooge’s Dream” (a condensed version of Dickens’ “Christmas Carol”).
year, the Old Bethpage Candlelight Evenings are only five nights, Dec. 22, 23,
27, 28 and 29, 5-9:30 pm. Old Bethpage Village
Restoration, 1303 Round Swamp Road (Exit 48 of the Long Island Expressway),
516-572-8401; Adults/$10, children 5-12/$7 (under 5 are free); and $7 for
seniors and volunteer firefighters.
The $20 million Jones Beach Boardwalk Café is finally open for business after a 14-year absence, bringing back a popular dining option and renewed vitality to Central Mall at the heart of Jones Beach State Park. The revitalization of Long Island’s most-visited state park (and one of the best white-sand beaches in the world) is part of the Governor Andrew Cuomo’s NY Parks 2020 multi-year commitment of $900 million in private and public funding to modernize New York’s state parks.
“The grand opening of the Boardwalk Café highlights New York’s progress in restoring the historic vitality of Jones Beach State Park,” Governor Cuomo said. “I encourage everyone to visit Jones Beach this summer and experience for themselves the transformation that has taken place at one of Long Island’s true natural wonders.”
The new 7,700-square-foot café, featuring an open and airy Market Hall dining concept and distinctive tensile roof, will bring back food and beverage to the Central Mall that has been absent since 2004 (for a long-time it was bogged down in a fight with Donald Trump who wanted to ignore environmental restrictions), when the previous building was demolished due to structural failure. The café will be operated by Centerplate, a concessionaire offering hospitality services at the park. There will also be a Taste NY Grab and Go component to the Café with more than 20 New York-produced items.
The Boardwalk Café anchors newly installed activities including the refurbished East Games Area and the new splash pad adjacent to the Central Mall and the adventure course to be constructed this summer and offers outdoor shaded seating options, with commanding views of the ocean, beach and boardwalk. It was designed to withstand severe coastal storms and flooding with a reinforced design built on piles that elevates the main floor 20 feet above sea level, while honoring the park’s heritage with brick, sandstone and limestone to match those materials utilized in the historic 1920/30s buildings in the park era, a large and historic photo of the Park in the interior, and restored symmetry of the Central Mall.
Another wonderful improvement to Jones Beach is that the dedicated bike path that starts at Cedar Creek Park and goes alongside the Wantagh Parkway has been extended 3.5 miles along Ocean Parkway, passing by the Bay and Jones Beach Theater. What is more, you can now bike on the boardwalk during the summer (respecting walkers).
Since 2011, State Parks has committed $65 million through 2020 in projects to restore Jones Beach State Park’s historic grandeur, attract new visitors and create new recreational facilities as part of a multi-year revitalization plan. Projects completed include the rehabilitation of the West Bathhouse and Field 6 Bathhouse, restoration of the historic park mosaics, new playgrounds and West Games Area and Zach’s Bay, new gateway signage and boardwalk upgrades.
“Investing in the Jones Beach State Park is a common sense way to help grow the local economy and revitalize our entire community,” Senator John Brooks said. “I commend the Governor for his efforts and I look forward to visiting the Central Mall and enjoying the renovated Boardwalk Cafe. I encourage Long Islanders, and all New Yorkers, to come to Jones Beach State Park this summer and enjoy all of the great activities, restaurants, and natural beauty this community has to offer.”
“The Boardwalk Café is an important part of our area’s history that honors our community’s past with its beautiful Art-deco designs, while also adapting to our present and future needs,” Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen said. “We are grateful to Governor Cuomo for making this treasured building more resilient to withstand future storms and open in time for the busy July 4th weekend.”
“Jones Beach is the crown jewel of the south shore of Long Island. No matter the season, locals and tourists come to Jones Beach for the boardwalk, ocean views, concerts, and sporting events,” Assemblywoman Christine Pellegrino said. “The restoration of the Boardwalk Cafe is a welcomed addition and I am grateful to the governor for the investment in this important project.”
“The new Boardwalk Café is a wonderful step towards growing the vision for what Nassau County should look like in the future,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said.
Some of the most illustrious artists of Urban Pop are on view a short distance from the mean streets of the city: The Gold Coast Arts Center has again chosen to showcase graffiti, street artists and media savants of urban culture in its exhibit, “URBAN POP,” on view through September 8. Fans had a chance to meet the five featured artists at an opening reception, May 20, at the Great Neck, Long Island gallery.
“The art scene has developed significantly since the 1970s with the introduction of using popular culture (pop art) as a source of inspiration,” writes exhibit curator and gallery director Jude Amsel. “Many contemporary artists have now merged other modern influences such as street art, graffiti, architecture and urban culture into their work.
Among the artists featured in Urban Pop, include Shiro, whose controversial work appeared on the murals at 5Pointz, a warehouse complex and graffiti mecca in Queens, and Luis “Zimad” Lamboy. Their work, along with several other artists, was subsequently destroyed when whitewashed by the property owner and was the subject of a prolonged court battle, ultimately decided in favor of the artists, awarding them $6.75 million. On hand at the reception was Jonathan “Meres One” Cohen, one of the most prominent graffiti artists and a leader at 5Pointz, who has painted sections of the arts center.
Shiro actually provided the theme for the show, gallery director and curator Jude Amsel said. “She is marking her 20th anniversary as a graffiti artist. She is like Lady Pink – one of the world’s most famous graffiti artists.”
Her paintings feature a consistent character – her alter ego.
“Since I was little, I have been deaf in one ear. I wasn’t communicating with people. My family kept moving for my father’s job. It was hard to make new friends, so I kept drawing a character – my imaginary friend. I wasn’t lonely with my friend. Now I travel all over world by myself – India, Brazil, China – 18 countries. I can travel by myself because I have my best friend,” says Shiro.
She leaves her images like an “I was here” stamp in the places she visits.
“People call me to do the murals, big murals, with my character, my best friend. I leave her on the wall in the country. I keep creating my character.”
She covers her face when I photograph her with her painting. “I don’t want to worry about how I look, I want people to see my art,” she says.
Shiro grew up in Tokyo and began her career as an aerosol artist in 1998. “As a young artist, I fell in love with hip-hop. In Japan, the only way to get information about hip-hop culture was to read books, watch videos, and listen to music. I used to go to clubs in Japan every weekend with friends and other artists to dance and paint, all the while imagining what it would be like to experience the movement in NYC at the time.”
She came to New York in 2002, inspired by a film, “Wild Style” to see the Bronx.
In celebration of her 20th anniversary as an aerosol artist, she began her “90’s project’” by painting walls internationally.
She’s been living in New York for the past four years, “the city I used to dream about.”
Luis “Zimad” Lamboy is showing pieces created for the show that draw upon his early career. “In the mid-80’s I discovered creating graffiti, collage and mixed media on paper which wasn’t being done at the time by any of my peers. It’s been awhile since I’ve gone back to doing this style of work. I felt it necessary in order to move forward in my career to look back and fine tune what I had started. The new works are vibrating with color and life and feel as it tells a story of walls I’ve done, characters I’ve created and the many people I’ve had the honor of meeting and calling brothers and sisters.
Michelle Carollo’s major work, “Steampunk Davis,” is a large-scale (8’ x 8’ x 4’) 3-D construction, inspired by 1930s modernist painter, Stuart Davis. “This is an homage to his work.” It’s constructed of the discarded junk she found around her Brooklyn studio.
You feel the power, a kinetic energy of the piece.
“My work explores gender, pop-culture, and domestic industry,” she writes. “It uses humor and color to capture the energy, power and tension in contemporary culture. By using a series of symbols, figures and built handicraft, my work blends the playful with the serious.
“I draw on multiple references from cartoons to graffiti and entertainment, as well as technology and the history of art. I find there is something completely ridiculous and pleasurable in making deceptively simple imagery. The result is a visual mash-up that remixes spontaneous information with a type of balanced order.”
The drawings are her studies for the larger piece to “help figure what color, patterns, shapes,” she says.
She also is exhibiting a quilt, demonstrating the versatility of the application of her kinetic scope. “I just started working with fabric.”
Carollo, who conquers “one white wall at a time,” has exhibited at MOMA PS1.
Lenny Achan’s style reflects his experiences growing up in New York City as a graffiti and street artist in the early 1990s. The works look as if origami were sucked into a canvas, but it is an illusion: he cuts New York City transit maps into precise shapes and assembles them, adding transparent spray paint as shadow to complete the illusion of 3-D.
“People looking at NYC transit maps likely means they are stressed out. I wanted to give people a reason to smile.”
Achan describes himself as “an artist and inventor, influenced by my time growing up in NYC” but embracing experiences outside of the traditional art world to enhance and influence his creative expression.
“I am a student of the laws of nature and sacred geometry and draw from the complexities of everyday life to create pieces that help audiences reflect on more simple times. My philosophy of modern art and the street art movement has been heavily influenced through studying and experiencing global disruption of various commercial and political industries. Art in all forms is a vehicle for innovation and communication. I used everything around me to create and share my view of the world.”
He says, “I wanted to use sacred geometry to mimic life. Geometry is sacred to the philosophy of origami – shapes, whether a person or a bumble bee – are shapes of geometry.
“It is formulaic – they mimic and respect the complexity of math, science, biology, while at same time” break down to simpler, essential shapes.
Achan clearly achieved his desired impact: a woman reflecting on his NYC Transit Map dog, “Cityboy,” exclaims how it brought her pure joy.
Will Power, a self-taught contemporary artist who was influenced by graffiti and hip-hop culture, describes the INV8DERS series of works in the exhibit as “a hybrid fusion of a New York City pigeon with spray paint can. The pigeon represents Graffiti and Street artists, the spray paint can head represents Contemporary Urban Art.” He is striving to make INV8ERS an iconic figure for urban art culture worldwide. He describes the vibrant colorful background as his foundation, his evolution from graffiti. “the ability to combine these various colors is a skill learned from many years of being a graffiti artist. The INV8DERS are a perfect amalgam of graffiti, street art and fine art.”
These artists “bring a myriad of visual cultural influences to their fine art practice,” said Gold Coast Arts Center’s Gallery Director and exhibit Curator Jude Amsel, Some hone their skills on the street, others working in the studio find their version of popular urban art, some having a unique language of their own not categorized within a specific movement. However, each one of the artists offers something unique and different as to their expression of Urban Pop.”
The Gold Coast Arts Center is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting the arts through education, exhibition, performance and outreach. Located on the North Shore of Long Island, it has brought the arts to tens of thousands of people throughout the region for more than 20 years. Among the Center’s offerings are its School for the Arts, which holds year-round classes in visual and performing arts for students of all ages and abilities; a free public art gallery; a concert and lecture series; film screenings and discussions; the annual Gold Coast International Film Festival; and initiatives that focus on senior citizens and underserved communities. These initiatives include artist residencies, after-school programs, school assemblies, teacher-training workshops and parent-child workshops. The Gold Coast Arts Center is an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Partners in Education program, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
What is most remarkable about the new exhibit at the Nassau County Museum of Art, “Anything Goes: The Jazz Age” celebrating the Roaring Twenties, is the cross-connections between art, music, literature, design, furniture and fashion, and the people who were similarly cross-pollinating these cultural categories. There is a drawing by George Gershwin, another by ee cummings, the original painting by Francis Cugat (brother of Xavier, the musician) that F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote into his iconic novel, “The Great Gatsby” and had to have for its cover (and has never before been seen outside the Princeton University Library).
There are the Park Avenue Cubists, and the clique that gathered at Gerald & Sara Murphy’s beachhouse in Antibes (Sara, a famous Jazz Age muse, is the subject of a little-known Picasso drawing of her on the beach at Antibes). One room of the fantastic Frick mansion that is now home of the museum is devoted to Jazz Age music, with gramophones and Victrolas and radios that show off the design, while early records from the collection of Dr. Jay Tartell play. Even fashion and jewelry design (Tiffany is represented).
There are so many astonishments as you go through – James Joyce’s “Ulysses” was censored and burned but here in a bookcase is one of the first editions, along with a copy of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “This Side of Paris,” based on Hobey Baker, a World War I flying ace and Princeton hockey star and in a gallery, the original Hobey Baker Memorial Trophy.
In this extraordinary multimedia exhibit, you are immersed in the masterpieces and experiments of a generation that changed the history of Modernism. The giants among the artists – Picasso, Léger, Matisse, Beckmann, Nolde, Lachaise, Man Ray, Stuart Davis, Florine Stettheimer and Tamara de Lempicka – are all represented in the show with major works, but there are so many artists – particularly women artists – who will be new for many like Anna Walinska, a teenager from Brooklyn who lived in Paris during the ‘20s and met Picasso, Matisse, Stein and others while making the drawings and paintings which are on view in a solo gallery in the show.
The exhibition tracks the progress of Modernism in art from Cubism to Neoclassicism. Composers such as Gershwin and Porter were taking syncopation and the blues to new heights at this time, and their records, sheet music, and piano rolls are on view and are heard throughout the show on ’20’s-era turntables and player pianos.
The Ballets Russes, for whom Picasso and Chanel designed productions, broke all dance conventions and inspired a new wave of fashion, with examples in the exhibition curated by noted expert on ’20’s fashion, JoAnne Olian. The exhibit’s pieces of Art Deco furniture and rare jewelry from the private collection of the Macklowe Gallery display the machine-age elegance that was in vogue.
“We’re used to Cubism today, but these guys were brave,” museum director Charles A. Riley II, who organized the show, said at the opening reception.
The show ties all the cultural strains together so you almost see the creative pollination from one discipline to another, all in an expression of a philosophy that defined the Jazz Age: “Living well is the best revenge” was the motto of an extraordinarily fortunate generation, anything but “lost,” that remains today the epitome of sheer creative freedom.
Riley noted that though a sense of artistic “freedom” and breaking social and cultural conventions was the theme of the Roaring Twenties, it was “freedom plus order.” Lindbergh’s flight across the Atlantic to Paris that so inspired the sense of adventure and daring, was also an exercise in discipline.
The show offers a comprehensive picture of the Jazz Age when World War I ended on November 11, 1918 and ended on October 24, 1929, when Wall Street crashed after its historic nine-year bull run. The commentaries and notes that accompany the exhibit are fascinating insights to the context for the creations and the people propelling them.
In addition to art and design, the exhibition brings the age of superstars vividly to life with memorabilia celebrating the Golden Age of aviation, including a leather pilot’s helmet and goggles, photographs of Babe Ruth and a seat from the original Yankee Stadium built in 1923, original Victrola turntables and the first generation of radios, first editions of monumental novels and sheet music, and the original Hobey Baker trophy, the top honor for American college hockey (all players who visit wearing their team jersey during the run of the show will be admitted for free).
As Riley, who donned his own Princeton hockey jersey, noted, Hobey Baker’s life was worthy of a movie – a World War I flying ace, at the end of the war he would likely have headed to Wall Street; he took one last flight which proved fatal.
The exhibition unveils some important historical discoveries, including previously unknown drawings by the poet cummings that were found by his dear friend Gaston Lachaise. Their friendship and collaboration is celebrated in a gallery that includes many of Lachaise’s greatest sculptures, including a monumental cast of “Elevation,” as well as his own drawings and a stunning portrait by cummings of the legendary supermodel Marion Morehouse.
A fortunate group of American artists and writers in Paris during the ’20s, many of them in Stein’s circle, were pioneering a new style of abstraction, and the show boasts some significant canvases by Davis, as well as Charles Green Shaw, Gertrude and Balcomb Greene, Joseph Stella, Carl Holty, Jan Matulka, Charles Biederman and an unknown work on paper by Betty Parsons, who would become best known as one of the great champions of Abstract Expressionism.
In another art historical coup, the show presents an unknown drawing by the model and muse Kiki de Montparnasse that had been hidden among the papers of Man Ray, whose portrait of Kiki is among the treasures on view, along with his portraits of Hemingway, Chanel, James Joyce and dancers from the Ballets Russes. The other major photographic finds in the show are by Carl Van Vechten, whose lens captured the jazz greats in Harlem nightclubs. The show also boasts an unknown drawing of Baker by the artist Paul Colin, whose posters, including rare examples included in the show, made her famous in Paris.
“When I play hockey, I leave it all on ice,” Riley said, wearing his hockey jersey.”This show is everything I’ve got – my heart and head. All laid out.”
Throughout the exhibit, there are fabulous photographs of these key figures that put you right into the moment.
The Long Island connections in the show are among the highlights. F. Scott Fitzgerald published “The Great Gatsby” on April 10, 1925, but he started it two years before over the garage in a rented house in Great Neck. In his lecture, Scribner III, whose grandfather published the novel, will reveal the backstory of its progress from manuscript to masterpiece under the editorial guidance of Maxwell Perkins, who secured the iconic cover by Cugat. And Lindbergh took off from the storied air strip at Roosevelt Field, where Elinor Smith, the “Flying Flapper of Freeport,” set new records for altitude and endurance.
Indeed, the local connections are also in the collectors who have loaned to the exhibit, including Dr. Jay Tartell and Deborah Tartell who not only loaned the stunning gramophones, phonographs and victrolas, but also that sensational photo and autographed program of George Gershwin; and Dr. Harvey Manes, a trustee, who loaned several works.
Drawing on museum, university and private collections, including those of the Heckscher Museum, Parrish Museum, Cradle of Aviation Museum, New York University Grey Art Gallery, and Princeton University, the wide-ranging exhibition has been underwritten by the Americana Manhasset and Wheatley Plaza, longtime supporters of the museum and its mission.
In addition, the programming and publications have been sponsored by generous gifts from The Ritz-Carlton Residences and by Charles Scribner III. Each week the show will feature special programming, including live jazz in the beautiful paneled library of the mansion, lectures by experts in the arts and design, and live demonstrations of the player piano and Victrola in addition to the museum’s renowned docent-led tours and education programs.
Among the programming highlights are a May 12 lecture by Scribner, a popular speaker at the Morgan Library and Metropolitan Museum of Art, among other venues; an original cabaret musical based on the lives of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald composed and performed by Angela Sclafani and her ensemble; and tours of Jazz Age Manhattan led by museum director Charles A. Riley II, author of two books on the period. The museum is publishing a fully-illustrated catalog of the exhibition with essays on the art, music and fashion of the era, and is re-launching the official website with special features keyed to the show.
This year’s gala ball on June 9 will be themed “All That Jazz” with guests in costumes, Angela Susan Anton, Board President, announced.
“Anything Goes: The Jazz Age” is on view through July 8, 2018.
The Nassau County Museum of Art is located at One Museum Drive in Roslyn Harbor and is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults, $8 for seniors (62 and above) and $4 for students and children (4 to12). Members are admitted free.