Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Blowdown theater

This will take a little explaining. I grew up in the capital city of New York State. In that modest city is the New York State Museum, a place that showcases all that is New York, from Manhattan, its subways, the immigrant cultures, and the skyscrapers, to the wilderness that is the Adirondack Park, the Saint Lawrence Seaway, and the Finger Lakes, to the native cultures, the wildlife, geology, and prehistory.

Some trees that blew down in a ravine not far from our house.

In the Adirondack section of the museum is a little room called the Blowdown Theater (I assume it's still there). Visitors stand inside and "experience" what an Adirondack wind storm might be like. The kind of wind that blows trees down. Hence the name: Blowdown Theater. There's no actual wind in the small darkened space, just the sounds of howling wind and trees falling over. I never really understood the point. The wind blows, trees fall, the earth turns. Still, I remember it very well. Seeing these fallen trees (above) near our house reminded me of that.

Sawed logs, always 1 meter long, ready to be made into firewood.


  1. How odd. I had never heard of the Blow Down Theater. I guess it could be a fun attraction. What's next? The Hurricane Theater? Tornado Theater? Monsoon?

  2. In the Darwin museum you can go into a darkened room and hear the noise of Cyclone Tracy, which blatted the city on Christmas Day 1974. It's very evocative and effective, all around you, as if you were in your house living through it.

  3. Our childhood memories stay with us. What kind of tree produces such smooth bark?

  4. Sadly, the "Blowdown Theater" is no longer there at the New York State Museum. It was removed many years ago. I remember vividly the days when my friends and I would stand in that darkened exhibit, and experience the big storm & forest fire. Used to scare me quite a bit back then!


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