In less than a month I've gone from knowing absolutely nothing of World Fair architecture (I had to look up what counts as a "world" fair, and even now I'm not clear - it seems to be a self-appointed title), to visiting two legacy follies.
In Brussels this weekend we went to the north of the city to see the site of the 1958 Fair.
And only a couple of weeks ago in New York, before dinner with blogging friend Chef E, we went to visit the site of the 1939 and 1964 World Fairs - now a park in Queens.
The sites are similar in a way: both have massive, gleaming structures left for all to see, towering above their surroundings.
Yet the differences are equally impressive.
In Queens, Flushing Meadows is a public park where a few locals had brought their kids to play or their dogs to exercise, a long way from the tourist hotspots in Manhattan. The relics of the Fair were virtually abandoned apart from a few kids playing at the base of the Unisphere; the fountains which used to surround the area now switched off.
By contrast, Brussels' folly has been transformed into a visitor attraction charging €9 for entry (called Atomium), and the surrounding area has been developld into a set of theme parks (Brupark, MiniEurope, Oceade...) which appeared to be thriving despite its distance from the city centre.