I am OHNY is an annual campaign that celebrates OHNY’s community of supporters. Shaelyn Amaio is Consultant at Lord Cultural Resources and the creator of #WorldsFairWednesday, one of our favorite Instagram hashtags. Every week, she celebrates World’s Fair history with an image she’s taken or found, along with a little bit of World’s Fair history.
Shaelyn is also a public experience advocate and has been an OHNY Weekend superfan since 2011. “Once I realized that OHNY was dedicated to increasing access to New York’s treasures, I was hooked,” says Shaelyn. “I love to explore New York City, especially when I can bring friends and family along for the adventure. OHNY opens the city to me in so many ways, and when it’s an OHNY event I know it’ll be great.”
Thank you Shaelyn for exploring New York City through OHNY and sharing your love for our work with so many!
What do you love most about New York City?
My favorite thing about New York City is how many layers of history there are here and how many human stories have played out in every building and on every street corner throughout the city. Because New York has been reinventing itself since the city was founded, so much of this history is obscured–either hiding in plain sight or because the physical evidence of it has been destroyed. I’m continuously surprised and intrigued by New York City.
What is your most memorable Open House New York experience?
During this year’s Open House New York Weekend, I spent an afternoon in Flushing Meadows Corona Park and got to go inside the New York State Pavilion! Since I first moved to Queens, I’ve loved visiting the park–the site of the 1939-40 and 1964-65 New York World’s Fairs–to visit the cultural attractions there, go to Mets games, learn the history of the fairs, and just enjoy the green space. I’ve spent so much time peering through the locked gate to the Pavilion, trying to get a feel for the space, that it was really surreal to walk in and look up at the observation towers from inside the pavilion. I can’t wait to see what develops for the New York State Pavilion in the coming years. I’m so thrilled that Open House New York teamed up with the Park and the folks working to preserve the Pavilion to offer public access.
If OHNY could grant you an all-access pass to any place in the city, where would you go and why?
I would love to explore some of the sites all over the city where scientists worked, materials were stored, and experiments were conducted as part of the Manhattan Project in New York City. Most of those sites are unmarked and unremarkable today, which makes their history even more interesting to me.
OHNY is important to New York City because…
It empowers people to explore their city, to get to know it in new ways, and to care about it more deeply than before.
From the Annual OHNY Weekend to its year-round public programs, OHNY offers you opportunities to see the city like you’ve never seen it. With your support, OHNY can continue to open the city to tens of thousands of people throughout the five boroughs, tying us closer to the places, people and stories that make New York the most extraordinary city in the world. Together, we are OHNY.