Tenth Annual Panorama Challenge

Scores of participants (pun intended!) overlook a tremendous scale model of New York City, to answer NYC trivia questions for the 10th Annual Panorama Challenge at the Queens Museum.

By Andrew Andrews

It’s not very hard to find a trivia contest in New York City—or anywhere else, for that matter. Stop by any “Irish” pub at least one night a week and you’re bound to come across one without even trying! With questions available online or as part of a franchise subscription, pretty much anyone can host a trivia night with little investment or effort. So what makes the Tenth Annual Panorama Challenge so special? Well, for starters, all of the questions are about the five boroughs—yes, even Staten Island got a mention or two. But of course, the real draw for this event is it’s location: the Panorama of the City of New York at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Now, you might be thinking: no way am I going to trek all the way out there for anything short of a half-baked, unsanctioned World’s Fair like the one back in 1964, but consider this: the Panorama alone is worth the visit once every decade or so; use it as the focal point for a contest co-sponsored by City Reliquary, Queens Museum and the passionate guides of Levy’s Unique New York private city tours, and you’ve got yourself a trip worth taking every year.

Don’t have enough trivia-buff friends that are savvy about New York City history? No worries! Upon arrival, you’ll be matched with ten or more teammates on the spot to increase your chances of winning. That’s what we experienced, when our group of four (including two Aussies and only one native New Yorker) joined “The Three Boroughs” team (representing Manhattan, Brooklyn & Queens as well as few people from—gasp!—New Jersey!) to participate in the “Panorama Challengers” contest. There’s also a “Panorama Pro” level, with twice as many questions, for “die-hard students of our city’s hidden corners.”

So how did we do? Not too shabbily, answering 28 of 30 questions, with the winning team scoring only three points higher, thanks to bonus questions at half-time (which also featured musical guest Batala!). But honestly, the competition was fierce: there were two second-place challenger teams (30 points each) and three third-place teams (29), and our fourth-place score was tied by “Team Koz.” You can check out the rest of the scores on the Levy’s blog.

Truth be told, the venue for this contest was only slightly relevant, as most of the trivia questions could have been answered without the team of tour guides highlighting the neighborhoods with laser pointers. But let’s be honest: the scale model of NYC adds significant intangible value, which is why we rode the subway 1.5 hours from Brooklyn to experience it.

You’ll have to wait until next year to participate in the Eleventh Annual Panorama Challenge (and participate you should!), but if you find some time between now and then, we highly recommend a visit to the Queens Museum’s Panorama of the City of New York even sooner!

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Andrew Andrews attended Tenth Annual Panorama Challenge at Queens Museum in Queens on Saturday, March 4, 2017 @ 6:00pm to write this review.

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