And what are those characteristics?
First, it's a giant glass globe, and by giant, I mean that it's three stories tall. There's a clear bridge across the middle, from which you can look around.
Second, because it's glass, the acoustics are very unusual -- it's a very bouncy space, which means that you and a friend can whisper to each other from across the space and hear each other by using the acoustics, or not hear each other when you'd usually expect to.
Third, because it was built in the 1930's, it represents the countries and political boundaries of the 1930's. It's a political snapshot of a moment from decades ago, and that appeals to me for the same reason I enjoy looking at old encyclopedias -- here's how "they" saw the world "then." So it's got that going for it, which is nice.
The one thing that I don't like about it is that, since the renovation, they've made some changes. They added a multimedia show to it, which is not as cool as the space itself, and they limit the amount of time that you can spend there -- and it's not as if I ever wanted to be there for an hour, but it's fun to do little acoustic experiments at your own pace after others have come and gone. Now, everyone comes in, gets the presentation, checks it out for a few minutes, and goes. (I've heard the same thing about the Scrovegni chapel. What gives?)
Still, definitely worth a visit, as the many people I've taken there would surely attest.
The places to hear from me:
Food – josh lubarr food stuff
Geekiness – geekiness(josh lubarr)
Movies – Old Movies and New with Josh Lubarr
Politics – Progressive Politics (per Josh Lubarr)
Silliness and comedy – Le Repository du Silliness, avec Josh Lubarr
Favorite movies – The Pantheon
Places – Good Things around Boston, and Elsewhere
Me generally – Josh Lubarr’s web site extraordinaire
Also also – Josh’s Part of lubarr.com