Panorama has been on the BBC for as long as I can remember. Focused on current affairs with an investigative approach, it’s a stalwart of the BBC. But here in NYC it’s nothing of the sort. “The Panorama of the City of New York is the jewel in the crown of the collection of the Queens Museum”, says the blurb on the leaflet about the enormous 3-D map of the five boroughs of New York. It’s hard to comprehend just by looking at a computer screen, but here’s what you see when you first walk into the Panorama room at the museum:
Even if you know nothing about the geography of New York, you can see here on the right hand side the long island of Manhattan with Central Park providing a rectangle of green relief in the middle. Look in the distance of the photograph and you can see how small the people are compared with the size of the map.
Walking around the Panorama you see how big Queens and Brooklyn are compared with Manhattan. But the greatest surprise is the size of Staten Island, seen here looking from the south of the island north to Manhattan in the distance on the left.
And then back round for a closer look at Manhattan. It still shows the Twin Towers and when we went the Statue of Liberty had fallen into the sea, but I am pretty sure it’s still there in real life.
The Panorama was originally made in early 1960s for the 1964/5 New York Fair; it still looks good today and in the newly refurbished Queens Museum, it makes it well worth the trip. And it’s only $8 suggested donation to get in, so a bargain to boot.