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Saturday, October 17, 2015

GAWA Day #32A: Milan World Expo



You can find articles that excoriate, and, with reasonably good reason, for the Milan World Expo has experienced its share of scandal, embarrassing failures and such.  For $15 billion over 271 acres, about ten miles from downtown, involving 140 (although maybe five more could have snuck in) countries, with an official theme, Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life, this is a celebration of slow food, local agriculture and healthy eating.   Bicycle paths to the site were ballyhooed, yet, corporate giants, perhaps, seem too prominent, and Samsung, in particular, must have contributed beaucoup bucks.  Even Pope Francis condemned the concept as wasteful.

In 1992, I went to Seville's Expo, held on about double the area of Milan's, but more than that, I was on an advisory committee for their Age of Discovery, as this was supposed to be the first ocean expo since the 1975 Okinawa fair, which featured Aquapolis (left).  They failed, for nothing evocative about the seas came to be.


Of course, in 2010, Shanghai spent $50 billion, with a venue five times the size of Milan's.  I think I've been to every major expo since Seattle in 1962.  

There has been a lot of history, a French tradition, actually beginning in 1844, although the 1851 Hyde Park version is generally credited with being the first:  
  • Eiffel Tower?  Paris, 1889.
  • Meet Me in St. Louis?  That was in 1904.
  • All World Fairs (Expos) are only 6 months long, except that the two hosted by New York went on for 2 years each.
  • In 2017 Astana (Kazakshstan) will host the World Expo, but the biggee will be 2020 in Dubai.

This is Milan's second universal exposition, the first held in 1906.   Mind you, this is not a food eating expo, the purpose is to feature the future of food.  However, you can have python hamburger from Zimbabwe, horse tartar from Kazakhstan and fugu from Japan.  America highlights food truck food, while Identity Golose Expo features the 26 top international chefs.

With all the warts and relative wee size, I, personally, was overwhelmed by the Milan World Expo.  Too small? I can't see the other end, even from the middle:


If you're claustrophobic, don't come.  You can hardly walk for the people.  With one observation, I made up my mind to ignore trying to going into the exhibits, for if it was worthwhile, the lines were horrifically long, and if short, they would not be worth my time.  So I just walked around and took photos.  Maybe tomorrow I'll come back and identify them:


This is the Southeast Asia section, and if you look closely, you can see me in the upper right.  


That's the wall of a future supermarket.  Most of these shots identify themselves:


That's the United Kingdom above.


It was this point that it occurred to me that I might not be able to eat here, for even the McDonald's lines were ridiculous.  By the way, they brag that they are the largest restaurant in the world, serving 70 million customers daily.  So I came upon this stand selling one spoonful of caviar with a shot of vodka, and no one was in line:


That cost $12.  Close by was Turkey:


Then I finally saw a real restaurant with a minimal line;


Toasted potatoes, salad and beer.  That pack of catsup?  Cost 50 cents.  I was so hungry that I ate everything, even all the catsup.  After all, I paid 50 cents.


In the background is the Tree of Life in Lake Arena, where I watched a sound and water fountain show:


That's Italy's pavilion in the background.

For the first time, a Chinese company had a pavilion of its own.  Vanke is the leading real estate company in the country:


At this point my camera's battery died.  A one day pass costs 39 Euros ($44), but two days for a senior, 51 E ($58).  Unfortunately, I found this out only after paying $88 for two days.    So I'll be back tomorrow.

I was planning to include here "My Best Authentic Italian Meal, Ever," but will post this later today.

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Tropical Storm Olaf will become a Category 3 hurricane, but move north before affecting Hawaii:


But you never know, for there are two models suggesting a move west:


Super Typhoon Koppu at 150 MPH is about to make landfall over the Philippines:



Manila could get a direct hit.

Typhoon Champi will become a Category 4, but move north and west away from Japan:



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