Neighborhoods Queens History

The breezy story of Ozone Park, Queens

Ozone Park, a quiet residential Queens neighborhood near Woodhaven, is one of those places created by real estate developers in the 1880s.

It happens to have one of the best neighborhood names in all of New York City. So where did it come from?

Ozone is a gas that exists as part of the Earth’s atmosphere and, more dangerously, as a component of ground-level pollutants like smog and industrial waste.

By all accounts, the word should sit nowhere near the word ‘Park’ where the foul-smelling gas would kill everything.

The First Ozone

But when ozone gas was first identified in 1840, its harmful effects were not widely understood. It was associated with fresh air, filled with refreshing recuperative properties.

 One dictionary in particular describes ozone as “clean bracing air as found at the sea side.”

By the 1860s and 70s, beach resorts and hotels were advertising their properties are paradises full of tonic air with all the ozone you could want!

Below: This cigarette card was labeled ‘Ozone is present in the air at the sea-side.” So you have cigarettes and ozone…..

New York Public Library
New York Public Library
Lands to Develop

There was no borough of Queens in the 1860s, only the counties of Kings and Queens sitting near each other on the western end of Long Island.

The county of Queens was sparsely populated outside of a few towns further north, including Flushing, Jamaica, Astoria and Newtown (later Elmhurst).

The vast population rise and the improving financial fortunes of the cities of New York and Brooklyn in the 1860s inspired some developers to sweep into under-populated areas with the hopes of developing new communities.

It was in the decades following the Civil War that many new Queens communities sprouted up in this way.

Starts With A Fire

In the 1870s, the cooking and houseware manufacturers Florian Grosjean and Charles Lalance built a large factory near the site of the old Union Course racetrack, long since closed. The company town which sprouted up around the factory became the basis for the Woodhaven neighborhood.

In 1876, the factory was destroyed in a devastating fire, so complete in its destruction that Grosjean, upon seeing his life’s work in flames, fainted to the ground.

But Grosjean rebuilt his massive factory just a bit south of the original site, constructing more new cottages for his workers.

While the factory is long gone today, its distinctive clock tower can still be seen in the neighborhood today. [You can read more about Grosjean’s contribution to the area here.]

Courtesy Project Woodhaven
Making the Ozone

I bring up the origins of Woodhaven because the southern factory opened up new opportunities for some undeveloped land. New employees of Grosjean’s factory would eventually venture into this area needing housing,

In 1880, the Long Island Railroad built a station south of Woodhaven as part of its line from Long Island City to Howard Beach.

Two years later, two speculators Benjamin W. Hitchcock and Charles C. Denton bought up most of the plots of land around the station and began marketing the area as a visionary new neighborhood called Ozone Park!

Hitchcock had made his money in the music publishing business, one of several enterprising Manhattan businessmen who looked to the vast undeveloped spaces of Long Island to make money. He coined the name Ozone Park to promote the area’s proximity to fresh tonic ocean air.

Below: Postcard of an Ozone Park filling station circa 1930s

Courtesy Boston Public Library
Courtesy Boston Public Library
The “Harlem of Brooklyn”?

Here’s a few examples of advertisements used to lure prospective customers to the area:

From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle (7/9/1882):

“A FREE invitation to visit Ozone Park, on the New York, Woodhaven and Rockaway Railroad, adjoining Woodhaven and Brooklyn, with a view of affording homes to persons of moderate means on easy payments.”


From the New York Sun (8/27/1882):

“OWN YOUR HOME at OZONE PARK, And enjoy the pure, life-giving air of the ATLANTIC OCEAN……”


From the New York Sun (4/21/1883):

“Save your children! Save your money! Invest and get rich! OZONE PARK is ‘the Harlem of Brooklyn.’ Come and investigate!”


Wait — ‘the Harlem of Brooklyn‘? Ozone Park isn’t even in Brooklyn, although it’s near the modern border of the borough.

In the 1880s Harlem was a thriving and newly developed Jewish and Italian neighborhood, a new rowhouses were being built along the routes of elevated rail lines. This is certainly the comparison the developers had in mind with this particular advertisements.

Courtesy Museum of the City of New York

Courtesy Museum of the City of New York

Park Life

By 1884, the developers carved streets to connect the properties. Far from relaxing and ‘tonic’, the area was a fury of building construction.

Five years later there were at least 600 residents living in Ozone Park, enough to merit its very own post office.

The development of South Ozone Park was bolstered with the construction in 1894 of the Aqueduct Racetrack (pictured below in 1941).

When Idlewild Airport (later JFK Airport) was completed in 1948, anything positively “ozone” about the the air quickly evaporated.

Courtesy Museum of the City of New York
Courtesy Museum of the City of New York

Thank you Project Woodhaven for inspiring this article!

199 replies on “The breezy story of Ozone Park, Queens”

My Aunt lived in Ozone Park in the 1940’s and 1950’s and a working dairy called Balsam Farms was practically in her back yard. The dairy allowed my dad to collect some of the cow manure for use in our small garden in Brooklyn. I remember as a small boy helping my dad to collect the smelly stuff.
From Wikipedia:
“Isaac Balsam (1880–1945) started the first Chalav Yisrael dairy farm on the East Coast, and possibly in the United States. Balsam was born in Mielec (Melitz), Poland, and was a Melitzer Chassid. He emigrated to the United States in 1898, lived initially with his uncle, Meyer Emmer, and worked on Emmer’s dairy farm for about five years. In 1903, Balsam established his own dairy farm in Ozone Park, Queens. At its peak, the Balsam farm had 300 cows.”

Hi Reggie, My name is Jay Wolman and my wife’s name Is Sheila Balsam, the daughter of Nathan Balsam who ran the Balsam farm after his father Isaac passed away in 1045. It’s so wonderful to hear your connection to the farm. Is there another thing more you can add to what you remember. Please reply

I grew up
In Tudor village ., I have fond memories of the farm and cows sometimes escaping and ending up
In Tudor ..what a great place to grow up.. Thanks so much to your family for helping to provide such great memories of growing up
In Tudor village

WOW!! bring memories. I was born in Brooklyn n.y but moved to Ozone Park Queens in 1980 and left n.y in 1990 to go to Puerto Rico.

Parents came there in 1956. I lived there till 2020. Got a bit crowded, so moved up north a little. Great place to have lived, lived it there, still do.

I love to back back to the way in was when I grew up there. Born in 1957 103st and 101 ave left for Massapequa Park May 2000.

the Judge’s name was Paul BalsaM, not N… and was a distant cousin… do you know any more? My mother was a Balsam. And he was related to the academy award winning actor, Martin Balsam who’s daughter is Talia Balsam and good friend. I am a casting director in L.A. Joel Thurm.. check me out in

I lived in Ozone Park 1963-1967 and after that South Ozone Park 1967-1981. Whatever charm and attraction Ozone Park once had, was gone by then. Congested, overcrowded, and lost any trace of suburbia. Sorry to say that the majority of the residents are no longer the cream of the crop.

Hi, Jay,
I was born and raised in Ozone Park, on Desarc Rd. ,and I sure remember the cows and the fresh milk machine at the Balsam Farm. I had a gig writing for a magazine called Whalebone, and Balsam Farm appears in a story I wrote about Jack Kerouac and in a Christmas story called the last house in the old neighborhood. Google ‘Whalebone Falcone’ if you have any interest. But let me get to the point: I have been searching for a Balsam Farms milk bottle for close to 20 years. All I’ve ever gotten is a photo. Is there a chance you have a lead on this?

No milk bottle but I have come across Whalebone articles when I was looking for info on Arlo Guthrie. I grew up in Howard Beach and recently moved to OzPk. I will search for the article on Balsam farms. I remember it in the 60s.

We use to play around Balsam Farms on Pitkin Ave. Paul Balsam was the famous man in Tudor Village. We shopped in the Yankee Doodle Market and everyone knew your name. What a wonderful time.

My grandfather, Abe Balsam had a farm in Brooklyn, called Seacrest Farms – about 60 cows – and he sold his raw milk – or had it processed by Balsam Farms and then bottled under the Seacrest Farm Brand. Those Balsams were considered “rich” distant relatives. Do you know any thing about this??? thanks.. Joel Thurm

I grew up two blocks away on 85th St. In Tudor Village. The little league field was almost directly across the Street from the farm It was a great neighborhood!

The family produced a Judge.And my old neighborhood friend Sandy Balsam who lived on 81St between 101 & Liberty.

I milked somebof judge balsams cows in the 50 he also build a little league field complete with dugout i own a home on that plot of ground

I lived on Desarc Rd late 50s and early 60s about 6 houses down from Jerry’s house with the pool in the yard. My Dad had pigeons there. There was a family across the street A young girl named Mary and a couple of doors down were two brothers One name was Jeffry. I would see him fishing on the first bridge at times.

I lived in Ozone Park, on 78th Street and 95th Ave.
Also at 84th Street and 101 Ave.
Went to PS64 on 82st &8rd Street on 101 Ave,
Worked for Mike Butcher Shop on 83rd and 101 Ave.
Also at Sapienza’s on 84th Street and 101st Ave.
Went to St. Elizabeth’s on 84th Street and Atlantic Ave.
High School: John Adams.
I also remember Balsam Farms, last cow farm in NYC.

Hi Mike my name is Ken I went to Saint Elizabeth school did not go to PS 64 but a lot of my friends did. I lived at at 9721 80th St. and went to John Adams high school I am 74 years old I’m curious how old are you

What year did you go to PS 64? I graduated from 64 in 1962. I hung with Mike Alfieri, Joe Zaffuto and Vinnie Cosenza all from 76st and 95th Ave.

Remember a few times hanging out with a nice kid Larry Hagburg on 86 st and 95 Ave had the pleasure of a video chat with Jennie maybe 10 years ago all really nice down to earth people.Bob

We were practically neighbors. I lived on 85th st between 101st ave and Rockaway boulevard, in the middle of the block. Lived therefrom 1956-1970 when I moved away to go to college. Members of my family continued to live in the same house until 2004. Went to 64, St Elizabet’s RCC, shopped at Mikes meat store. One of our tenants married Joe Sapienza. They took our kinergarten class on a “field trip” to visit the Balsam cows. I think that there were only about 6 of them left by 1958.

We grew up on 77th St. between 97th Ave. & 101st Ave. Played stickball on that street almost every evening in the summer. My grandparents lived on 84th St. between 97th Ave. & 101st Ave. Attended St. Stanislaus School. Played dodgeball at 88th St. Park and also PS64. Got cold cuts and meats at Trunz in City Line (101st Ave. near Brooklyn). Also shopped at Bohacks grocery on 101st Ave. near 77th St. Saw movies at the Earl Theater in City Line & the Crossbay Theater on corner of Woodhaven and Rockaway Boulevards. This was in the 1950s ands 60s.

I lived the first 23 years of my life (1947-1970) in Ozone Park. First off Liberty Avenue on 89 Street then on 101 (Jerome) Avenue & 104 Street. Great memories of a happy childhood.

What memories. I lived on 101st Avenue and 82nd Street. I went to P. S. 64 and JHS 202. I remember Sapienza, Mike the Butcher, and Sara’s Pizzeria.

I remember them, I went to school with Anna and CeCe. I lived a few doors away. They lived directly across from the rectory of St Mary Gate of Heaven church. They had a luncheonette which later became Cafe 2000.

I lived in ozone park most of my life. I went to P.S.53. My mom also went to school there. It went from first grade to twelfth grade all in one school. Loved my neighborhood.

Hi ya Pete! It’s Bob from 108th Avenue. We’d play stickball on the street using manhole covers on the center of the street for home and 2nd bases. Then street hockey on steel roller skates on the same site. Back around 1957-62.

I lived on Pitkin Avenue near 88th street in Ozone Park from the early 60’s until the early 80’s. My dad at 96 years old still lives there in the family house. I remember very clearly the Balsam Farms with the cows right out there behind the fence on Pitkin Ave. It was the country within a city for awhile until the farm closed down and remained vacant and a haven for junkies in the 70’s. Finally it was overly developed with many attached houses bringing so many more residents, cars and congestion to the area. I’m glad i still have the memories of the farm and the bit of country it brought to us.

Hello to all !

I am an antique dealer and collector from Lambertville, New Jersey, and, just came across an interesting metal milk can from the Queens Farm, in Ozone Park. I was quite fascinated to hear of its history there, and, the unfortunate demise of the farm in the late 1980’s. However, if anyone is interested in purchasing the milk can, please let me know. I am only asking $95.00 for it, but, it would definitely be more of use and interest to someone who can associate with it. I can later send pictures !

Thanks, much !


Also our dad Steve had a candy store on Liberty Avenue near 105th. Oxford Bakery was on the corner.
I worked for my dad on Sat and Sun mornings Dad was busier.
I loved being there for Dad and the customers were great.
Dad passed away march84 so sold the store.

hi you say you worked at the candy store in ozone park next to oxford bakery? that was finnigans store for many many years….was that your family? My brother Neil Leplattenier and friend Tommy bryant worked there for years….they had a son who died in a car crash in the 60’s

Steve and Mo’s! I used to go there everyday as a kid. My picture was in the paper once as a kid for being in a bubble blowing contest and they hung the picture in the window And wrote “our own Bridget”. They had the best Cherry Lime Rickey’s. I loved them

I was born in 1946 and lived in ozone park until 1965. My dad had Arnows Shoe store on 104th and Liberty Ave. i went to PS108 and John Adams HS

Hi Judy, My wife was brought up on the farm and Dad ran it for years with the family. She would love ❤️ to have a reminder of those fabulous times. Her her maiden name is Sheila Balsam. She spent her youth on the farm and I would love to give her something from those wonderful days. Her Grandfather started the milk farm at the turn of the last century. Let’s make contact Sheila has a Birthday coming up. We live in Delray Florida now and stay in touch with the family. Glad I came across you message. Jay

My sister and I grew up in South Ozone Park (135th st. just south of Linden boulevard). Later,we moved to Ozone Park (Sutter Avenue, just east of Woodhaven blvd.). I went to PS 142, Brooklyn Technical High School, and Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute. I had Long Island Press routes in both neighborhoods.

Much time has past since then.

Hi Ed.. wondering when you attended “Tech”? I was there from 1961–65. Afterwards attended Brooklyn College and NYU

Martin Benowitz

Jack Kerouac lived at 133-01 Cross Bay Blvd. from 1943 until 1949 above a drugstore in Ozone Park. He wrote his first novel “The Town and The City” there.

There was a plaque next to the door where Kerouac lived with his mother . I thought this was very cool. Unfortunately it is gone and has never been replaced.

That Ford Station on the postcard looks like the later Datsun/Nissan dealership on Rockaway Blvd between 85th and 86th it? I lived right behind it on 85th.’

My father worked for George Vass, when he had the Oldsmobile dealership on Crossbay Boulevard. Before he bought Datsun. We also owned the old Candy store on 87th Street and Atlantic Ave (the old Al and Betty) across from the Woodcrest bar.

The Ford dealer in the picture I believe became Bond Ford in the late 50’s early 60’s. Grew up on 78th between 95-97th Aves. St Elizabeth’s and PS 64 through 1965, then to Nassau County for high school

I remember running through the farm way 108 now it’s . aguduct racetrack n also a casino resort I was born on 103st down the block from st Marygate of heaven church all my aunts lived Round ozp now there gone I was born n 1942 wonderfull meriores . Those were the days .

I went to junior high with Marsha Mandelbaum. I only knew her through school – and have not heard that name in many years. I lived on 125th and Linden Blvd and traveled by bus to Elizabeth Blackwell. Was classmate with: Robert Ianello, Ted Marx, Jimmy Zito, James Inzerillo, Ellen Mahoney, Albert Portogallo, Susan Minichino, John Montalbano…

I just moved out of Ozone Park after being born on centerville Ave 80 years ago . When I was 5moved to Chicot Ct and went to PS 63 before graduating John Adams. Got married in NBVM church and sent my 8 children to school there. It was a great neighborhood to raise a family

I loved what we used to call the “cow barns”. There were always a bunch of kittens being born there and we used to go there and inevitably bring one home. I lived on 89th Street between 97th and 95th Avenue. Ozone Park was great to me. 88th Street Park, Sonny the Butcher, Liberty and Oxford Bakeries, and of course Sapienzas. Oh and Yoss Bros. Bread factory. Great place to grow up. Great family values.

Hi Kimberlee, I lived on the corner of 89th and 95th. 88 st Park was my second home. Lol Yoss bakery was the best! We used to sneak in the yard when the bred was cooling and grab a few. Lol

89 the St was my hangout from 1966-1974 at the Alongi’s And Young’s houses every free minute I had. Bob I had a purple Challenger and everyone knew that car.

I just left the neighborhood 8 years ago.
Grew up on 95th and Liberty.
The neighborhood was great till the mid 90’s. Everything changed there now no more family values or civility at all. My mother still lives there and refuses to move she’s one of the last from the “old days”.
Also my great aunt Joni worked in the milk farm many many moons ago.

No longer is Ozone park a USA patriotic town as it once was .
Christianity no longer prospers in this town as does the civility you mention.
Over crowdedness has destroyed it as well as patriots escaping crime, lack of family values and high taxes.

Every comment here has been interesting, enlightening & even heartwarming. But I knew that a racist reply would eventually emerge. So this message is ONLY to the patriot who longs for the civility of the past. Cannot stop laughing at that. So, switching gears, to the patriot, I ask: Imagine a Native American reading yourr well-thought out writing.

Marais Morris, the native Americans had their memories of the time in the area, as well as the guy named Jerry when he was living there, the people that are living in the area now will have theirs to share as well when change happens to them.

Racist is a word used for just about every situation today, what is better for one person is not for another !

Enjoy Life Baby,

I know that you were in one of my grades in P.S.63, but don’t remember which. I would have to look through my class photos (taken in the gym, there) to find out. My first grade teacher was Miss Ross, second grade: Mrs Schacter, third grade: Mrs Meyers, fourth grade: Mrs Grunes, fifth grade: Mrs Grasse and sixth was Mrs Harper (Warnecke … she got married during the term). But, after the fifth grade, the kids from Lindenwood/Howard Beach went to the new P.S 207. Howard, you used to show everyone the scar that you had in your scalp! Cool! Your best friend there was Jeffrey Diamond. With JHS 202, the kids from OzPk and Lindenwood/Howard Beach were once again in the same school. I don’t remember if you were in my classes in the two grades there in JHS 202. Again, I’d have to search out their yearbook. but, I think you may have … one of the “SP” or “SPE” grades.

Hi Anthony, I lived at 97-07 liberty Ave. Queens Farms owned my house. Would anyone in your family know a guy named Simone that worked at Queens Farms in the 60’s and early 70’s?

So interesting and fun to read the memories of people who grew up in Ozone Park. I, too, was born in Ozone Park in 1937. I was delivered by a neighbor because we didn’t have a phone, nor did we have a car.

Thank you all for sharing your memories! I’ve had a lovely time reading them. A neighbor and I were discussing our old milk cans which led me to research more about them. I have had mine for 25yrs and never realized how much information was on the can. Mine says OZONE PARK FARMS on one side and SWEET CLOVER FARMS, Roosevelt NY on the other. That’s what led me here. Thanks again! (Please feel free to contact me if you are selling milk bottles from either location. I would love to add them to my collection!)

I lived in Ozone Park from 1965 to 1997 I thought I was living in the country. First Lived 0n 106 st and 97t ave then on 102 and 95th ave I went to PS 62 then to JHS 210 then to Richmond Hill HS I managed Eichler Pharmacy on 97st and 101 ave for 10 years those were the best years of my life.

I lived at 95-15 107st right around the corner. Went to the same schools as you 1961-1972 and moved out to LI. Was back there last month. Neighborhood has definitely changed from what it was back then when you knew your neighbors and parking was plentiful.

When did you go to PS 62? I lived on 101st Ave. between 109 and 110 streets. Behind Perrazzos real estate office. That was in 1955-59. Prior to that, PS 62 was on 106th st. between 101st and 103rd Ave.

I was wondering if anyone remembers a farm along 114st and the Conduit which is now part of Aquduct racetrack My grandfather and family farmed 77acres there from 1900-1955 when the racetrack took over the property. It was the last remaing farm in the area. We would love to see and hear of any information anyone might have we only have very little paperwork and a few photos. It was known as the Cuomo Farm
My grandfather was Frank Cuomo

I lived on 112 St. between Rockaway Blvd and 111 Ave. from 1937 to about 1947. I remember a farm on the other side of Rockaway that probably ran from about 113 St. to 110 St., or thereabouts. Only thing I recall on the farm are raised metal irrigation tubes/lines. Don’t recall what was grown. In winter we used to sled on some hills behind the farm towards Conduit. Watched Aqueduct races from covered roof top of PS 108 when we had recesses.

I’m so glad you posted this because I have been wondering what happened to that farm. My father’s family lived at 133-18 114th Street, Ozone Park. The Kinzer family moved there between 1927-1928 perhaps-I’m not sure when. My grandfather stayed there until his death in 1972. My father (born in 1932 would go out to the farm with his brothers all the time. He used to tell us wonderful stories, one of which was how his mother would give him a glass of lemonade to bring out to the man who was plowing the field. I recall my father calling him Forty or Ferdi- I think he thought his name was Ferdinand. When my father would bring him the lemonade, he would pick up my dad and put him on top of the horse and let him sit there while he drank the lemonade.

Another story my father told us was that during World War II, the military set up a staging area there. Perhaps it was a place for the soldiers to gather before they were shipped out. He told us how at night he and his brothers would go up to their bedroom window and use a flashlight to send Morse code messages to the soldiers. The soldiers would send messages back to them. It was such fun for the kids.

thank you for your reply
My mom who grew up on the farm always mentions the name ferdi i think we have a picture of him plowing the field with the horse so many stories she tells us about the farm

I lived on 114th Street and we had a gate from our back yard onto the “Farm” – I remember the farm so well – somewhere I have pictures of my father and myself back there – I can still picture it –

Hello Frank- My great grandfather had an 8-acre farm in the early 1900s on 89th near PS 63. I have a map that one of his daughters created that shows a Cuomo farm.

Hello Joseph- My great grandfather had an 8-acre farm in the early 1900s on 89th near PS 63. I have a map that one of his daughters created that shows a Cuomo farm.

Hi Frank, I have come across a few pics, and run a Ozone Park / Howard Beach group on facebook, the farm area was later used as the Aqueduct Flea Market, now a parking lot for the Casino & the other part of the farm is where the Home depot is today

Hi! I don’t have any photos or other information, but my grandfather, Giuseppe Cuomo, stayed with .. maybe it’s your great – grandfather (Giovanni) – I believe – when he first immigrated to NY in 1920. My family always knew that he stayed with a John Cuomo who owned a farm at what was later turned into Aqueduct Racetrack. I have a big family tree of Cuomo – going back to the late 1500s. I did not put together, but found on a website called I would love to see pictures of the photos that you have. I’ve been trying to research my grandfather’s life. He lived in Ischia until he was 25 and then never returned. He met my grandmother in Brooklyn and the rest is history!

I lived on 107st between 95th and 97ave from 1960 to 1972. Went to PS62 Jhs 210 and Richmond Hill High School. Then moved to Long Island. Went to St Mary Gate of Heaven Church. Used to pass the Bergen Hunt and Fish Club on the way to 210 on 101st ave. There used to be a big Italian Feast on 102st off 101st ave every year. Food and rides and a real good time. All gone now. I really miss the Italian Bread from Petrantonio Bakery on 101st ave off 107 st. I go back there sometimes but it’s all changed now. Still nice to reminisce.

I lived on 95th Ave, between 107th St. & 106th St. Went to all the same schools and SMGH church. All good memories of growing up there.

I remember the grease pole from the Feast on 101ave. My friend and myself would serve drinks to the men playing cards in the Bergen Hunt and fish club, and with the tips we would go to Rockaway Playland on Sunday morning on the A train. Pay one price and ride all day. Great times.

Gary, it’s sounds like we grew up there at the same time. It was a great neighborhood. He caught my attention when you mentioned Petrantonio’s bakery. Great bread and pizza, nice family. I

I loved going to those feasts! Sausage sandwiches and zeppoli. Used to watch the older men play bocce ball on Sundays down on 100th street.

Does anyone remember the festivals/Bazaar with the “Free John Gotti” caps? Everything was free, the block was closed down by the bank. I went to PS 62, JHS 210, then John Bowne.

WOW! Ozone Park was a PLACE at one time?? I grew up in South Ozone Park on Rockaway Blvd between 144th & 145th Streets. We used to play on the abandoned Nike base just East of the Van Wyke & South of Rockaway Blvd. in the mid ’50s. My mother was born & raised on 144th St just north of Rockaway Blvd. She told me of buying produce from the farms near the Idlewild Golf course, when she was a child.

I am the youngest of 8 ,we were the panico’s on 78 street between liberty ave and 101 ave I am 75 yrs old and I have the best memories of the cow barns that’s what we called it,we rode our bikes there and played on the hay stacks and sometimes they used to let us watch the calves be born it was amazing to watch,we used to go home smelling like cow manure,we had the best times back than.

I think I went to school with one of your relatives Connie Panico? I was in contact with her on email when I was working for Leno. I used to send her Leno’s jokes before Jay received them. She told me she had a house in Tuscany Italy. What happened to her? She stopped answering my emails.

She is still very much alive.
Hi cliffie,yes I suppose I did stop answering…life got in the way.
We went to p.s.64 together. We left the neighborhood after junior was murdered and moved to howard beach. I don’t recall
A house in Tuscany,however,
Small one in chieti,on the west coast of Italy. I hope Claire is
Well.are you still in las vegas?
I don’t know this site,however,am with someone who does.

Hello, I grew up in Ozone Park in the 1950s and 60s. I was a friend and schoolmate of John’s. He was one of the best liked young men in the neighborhood neighborhood. I remember he was very handsome and friendly. His murder that bunch from outside of Queens traumatized not only everyone in the neighborhood but me in particular, as death had never touched me in such a violent manner. I spoke it for the first time to my wife a number of years ago and have not relived that tragic day since. I realized that John’s murder was one of the catalysts that caused me to become a member of law enforcement, serving in that capacity for 31 years.

Hi My name is Vikki Amico. I went to pS 64 with a girl named Connie Panico. By any chance are u related? We both Graduated in 1962. We hung out in 64 Park. My email is Hope to hear from U. Thanks

I remember the name Panico but it’s a sad memory. Wasn’t a young Panico boy (13 – 16 years old?) stabbed to death on or around 78th street around 1960 – 1964? We didn’t know the Panico family but we were saddened and a little shook up by the news. May he rest in peace.

Loved reading all the comments. I grew up in Lindenwood, went to PS 63 and John Adams. I seem to remember the cow farms and kittens across either Linden Blvd or North Conduit in the 60’s. What a great place.

I grew up at 105-20 95th ave. Went to SMGH for church and grammar school, Holy Cross high school. What great memories! My mother Mary was the receptionist at the rectory at SMGH for over 20 years. My dad Larry coached sports, taught catechism, and was involved in the Catholic War Veterans post on 102st. Too bad that life is gone for good.

Yes sadly we’ve allowed the destruction of family values & spirituality to be replaced by empty material and hedonistic values.

Dwyer was a family as familiar as Peers in SMGH! I worked with your Mom on staffing the ‘Bingo Coffee Ladies’ on Monday nights- what seems like a million years ago! I was able to catch up with your sister Maureen at a wedding last September! In Florida now but always look back fondly on the years raising my children in Ozone park!
Claudia Peers

I was born in 1937 and lived on Liberty Avenue right under the el train across from the Jewish Cemetery. I went to Nativity BVM and John Adams. I’m 83 now and live in Florida but I often wonder about all the great people I grew up with.

Mr Kasper did you know Ken Bantum he was my High School Football coach and now lives out west in San Diego he to John Adams and coached at Andrew Jackson

I am 72 and a half years old and was born in ST Albans not Ozone Park but I love the stories I read here and love Queens (my mother was raised in Astoria and I was at my grandparents house quite often too.Thank you so much and hope I see more of this stuff!

Good evening Charles.Were you a letter carrier in the Rosedale,Queens station during the 70’s? If you were,then we both worked together.All the best.

Forest Park .. We walked by ourselves from Atlantic Avenue all the way to Forest Park. In the winter, we iceskated on the Pond there. Also went belly flopping on our sleds in the Golf Course down the hills when it snowed. We were always by ourselves, not worrying about being kidnapped. It was different in those days. Guess our parents trusted us.

Wow memories , I lived on 86 st border woodhaven ozone park off Atlantic and went to saint elizabeths 1969-1976 then to Franklin k land which was a horror story but I made it through , I worked at mondellos bakery scrubbing pans and
Pots and learned to be a baker from 1980-1987 all great times 88 st park softball games every Sunday and Jamaica Avenue , Sal’s pizza, scaturros, Benny the barber, I remember great sandwiches at sapienzas also Mv Donald’s in city line where my parents shopped. The mild farm on liberty avenue and 88 st I believe also
My mom workers at the library on rockaway Blvd for many years , great place runout was from 1986-1996 over 100,000 people left woodhaven, Richmond hill, ozone park are selling there homes or just moving it defiantly changed my brother still
Lives at our old home miss it great times , wood crest bar, frostees discount store, greasy spoon diner on rockaway and Esquire diner was the best missed

Hi Ralph,
I graduated from Lane too! Wasn’t that bad. I got out in 1965. I think after that things went downhill fast! When did you graduate?

I lived in Ozone Park 1963-1967 and after that South Ozone Park 1967-1981. Whatever charm and attraction Ozone Park once had, was gone by then. Congested, overcrowded, and lost any trace of suburbia. Sorry to say that the majority of the residents are no longer the cream of the crop.

I moved to Ozone Park in 1963. Lived there until 1967 after which my family moved to South Ozone Park until 1981. It has changed much. Whatever suburban appeal it may have had is long gone. It is now so congested and overpopulated. Sadly the people there are no longer the cream if the crop.

I moved out of Ozone Park in 1980 but my brothers still live there on Tahoe Street off Albert Road. Yes, there are many changes to the area but it will always remain a very special place.

I lived on 107th Street & 107th Avenue. I went to PS 108 & John Adams.
I used to ride my bike a lot. I would go with my friends to the North Channel Bridge , Balsam Farms, Forest Park and The Weeds.
My ancestors included the Garbes one of which was the first Constable of Woodhaven and the Winants and the Wilsons . My great grandfather had a blacksmith shop at the intersection of Liberty Avenue Rockaway Boulevard and Woodhaven Boulevard.

I went to PS 108 and John Adams. My dad had a shoe store Arnows on 104 and Liberty. My grandparents lived on Liberty Ave. we rode our bikes everywhere. To the bowling ally and Newpark Pizza on crossbay blvd. There was a White Castle and Carvel on Rockaway Blvd. My mom shopped at Willy’s butcher and at Al’s Associated. There were 2 csndy stores on Rockaway blvd

I was born in Ozone Park, 1946. We lived on 106th Street, between 101st and 103rd Avenues. My father grew up in the same house (an upstairs walk-up rental) during the 20s and 30s. The landlord’s name was Mr. Levy, and his wife went by the name Nonny. My school was just down the block, the original PS 62, a white wood-framed building which I was told had stood there since just after the Civil War. In first grade, I had a tremendous crush on one of my schoolmates, a girl named Sally Biondo. I would hold her hand under our desks. I remember the old Ace movie theater on Woodhaven Blvd, and the candy store at the corner of 101st Avenue and 106th Street. There was a Jewish deli, a wonderful toy store (must have been on Liberty Avenue), and a hardware store that my father called Mubble-Gubbles (not it’s actual name, this was one of his jokes). My mom used to send me down to the candy store to buy her cigarettes, Pall-Malls — those were different times, nothing unusual about that then.

In the early 50s, we moved to an apartment complex on Woodhaven Blvd. which I knew only as the Co-op. I think there were nine large buildings directly across from Forest Park. I missed my old neighborhood and used to roller skate back there to visit my old landlord and the neighborhood gang. Thanks to all of you for sharing your memories of a very special time and place. And thanks to the Bowery Boys for providing such a detailed history.


Hi Spencer, I went to the old PS62 on 106th st. from 1st grade to second grade. Mrs. Walsh was my 1st grade teacher and Mrs. Sweeney was 2nd grade. 3rd grade was in the new 62 on 109th st. So I’m guessing 1954-1959 was spent in PS 62. Moved to City Line in Brooklyn and went to PS 214, then on to F. K. Lane and graduated in 1965.

Around 1928 when my Grand Parents came to Ozone Park 108 street & Rockaway Blvd across from Aqueduct Raceway the Grandstand was up front. They claimed the air seemed much fresher from Brooklyn. Nice place to live. Were was this Dealer located?

Enjoyed reading the comments. I was living on 83 st. In Tudor Village from 1937 to 1961. Stores we used were Yankee Doodle Market, Fierer’s drug store, Monahan’’s bar ( Big Bob’s), Mittman’s butcher shop, John’ s deli, a beauty parlor and dry cleaner along Pitkin Ave, Joe Addabbo Sr. Lived off Pitkin & 133rd Ave with a fun hill in front. Tudor, Ozone Park and City Line was our center of activity. My husband lived on 84st and after 1961 we lived on !iberty Ave 81 -82 St. until 1964 when we moved to Howard Beach. Between us we lived on 3 sides of The Jewish cemetery !! Good memories of good neighbors.

Also our dad Steve had a candy store on Liberty Avenue near 105th. Oxford Bakery was on the corner.
I worked for my dad on Sat and Sun mornings Dad was busier.
I loved being there for Dad and the customers were great.
Dad passed away march84 so sold the store.

Born on Oxford Ave. (102nd St.) and remember Crib’s Diaper Service, Drake Bakery, Queens Farms, Borden’s. Went to SMGH, when there was Our Lady of Wisdom was right behind on 103rd St. This was a predominantly Italian neighborhood, where you could get fruit, milk and ice delivered and leave your doors unlocked. Ahh, those were the days.

Wow, so cool reading all these comments! I lived on Silver Rd & Sutter Ave across from P.S 63 for 30 years and my grandparents lived in the house before me. My grandfather had a tomato farm right across the street which is now condos I guess. I went to P.S 63, P.S 202 and then Adams. Friends and I used to ride our bikes on Saturdays over to Pitkin Ave. to see the cows grazing right off the hill on 87th or 88th street. Great neighborhood! My mom use to walk to Nativity church every week for bingo and know every one sitting on their stoops waving hello! I’m 65 , still have friends living there, but sure looks different when visiting. I worked at Dominick & Pat Pizzimenti’s butcher on Sutter & 90th when I was a teenager right next to Snoopy’s Bar and probably delivered to some of you neighbors. When people asked me where I grew up I was always proud to say Ozone Park Baby!!! Living in the dream in Long Beach now. P.S Anyone remember the great 4th of July’s in O.Z, everyone had fire works!

HI I grew up at 101-15 Woodhaven Blvd. Lived there from 1947-1972 with my grandparents, uncle and aunt and their 4 kids, my mom and dad and eight siblings. What a great life then. Used to play sandlot ball in the Democratic club field. Went to Nativity–made pocket money setting up and taking down for bingo. My summer favorite was the scraped lemon ice near the small triangle across from nativity church on Rockaway Blvd.

Hello George,

I didn’t grow up in OzPark but I did live there for nearly 25yrs from 1997 to 2022. I lived right up the street from you at 97-41 Woodhaven Blvd. My home was the only one on the block that remained a single family home. Everyone else converted their second floor, attics and basements to apartments for extra income. I refused to do that, the home was purchased for my family only. I was grateful during Covid that I didn’t convert the home, all my neighbors ended up in financial stress as their tenants didn’t pay. One of my neighbors tenant’s finally moved in March this year after not paying for 3 years, no one could throw them out as they were all collecting rent and not paying taxes on the income received. I ended up selling my home in May last year. The couple who bought the home is now converting it to 3 apartments, hopefully there won’t be another Covid. Anyway, glad to see so many people from OzPark have many wonderful memories of their life there. I’m sure one day my 3 daughters will say the same. God Bless to all

Did you know any of the families that lived on the 97 block of Woodhaven Blvd? I’m particularly interested in the people who lived in my home in the 40’s & 50’s. I only know that their names were George and Lillian Urgo. Please let me know thanks!

I never lived in Ozone Park, but I worked at JHS 210 from the early 1990s to 2007 as a history teacher. I grew up in Brooklyn, just west of the Brooklyn/Queens line in the 1960s and 1970s, and spend much of my time in Forest Park and Woodhaven as a kid.

Working in Ozone Park during those years was a wonderful experience, and it felt more like home than my house on Long Island did during that time. It was still a solid working class neighborhood, and the old stores in Queens (Lewis of Woodhaven, Jahn’s Ice Cream Parlor…) made me feel a connection to the past.

Sadly, much of this went away over the past decade or so, I now live (retired) in upstate NY, and do not plan to go back to any locations in New York City for various reasons.

So much has been lost, and so little of any quality has taken its place.

Adding my two cents here. I was born in Brooklyn in 1952, and, eventually, in 1961, my family moved from Bushwick to Ozone Park. We lived on the corner of 81st St. and 97th Ave. and I attended St. Elizabeth, graduating in 1966. In 1970, the family moved to Woodhaven.

We lived on 88th St., a half-block north of Jamaica Ave. I moved into my own place on the Upper West Side in Manhattan in 1976, but my parents spent their last years back home. When my widowed mother passed away in 1994, my family’s connection to Ozone Park/Woodhaven ended.

One of the advantages of being part of the “Post-War Baby Boom” was having lots and lots of kids around — great friends and classmates. Most of my wonderful childhood memories took place in those couple of square miles in working class Queens. I am forever grateful.

I did not live in S. Ozone Park but my dad and his partner owned Tick Tavern at 125-17 Rockaway Blvd. from the late 40’s until 1969 when my dad moved our family to Florida and sold his share of the business. The T in Tick was from Chet (or Chester) my dads name and the ICK was from his partner’s name Nick. They also had a cat at the bar named Roast Beef.

I worked at NU-Ray as a kid from 79-87. Great memories of working with everyone there. They were my second family growing up. All of the stores along that row – NU-Ray, Tibbs Candy Shop, Guy’s of Vinegar Hill – are all gone. I wish I had thought to take pictures of the place. It is forever in my mind though!

I moved to Ozone Park in 1955. Went to PS 108 and then to John Adams HS graduating in 1960. In 1966 moved to South Ozone Park on 128th Street. While living in Ozone Park we used to walk for miles going down Jerome Avenue and attending confraternity run by SMGH across the street from the little candy store. Used to go to dances at Forest Park. Wonderful memories.

Born in Ozone park 1947. 101-15 Woodhaven Blvd. 4 houses from 101st ave. Lived there until 1967 when I went away for school. Rode the A train to high school every day. Played ball in the dirt lot of the Democratic club happy days safe neighborhood. My family finally sold thd house when my grandfather passed in 1982. Drove by 2 years ago—a different world now. I think it best to just remember yesterday

My name is Peter R Parpan. Born in 1947. We lived on 95th Ave.
Your name sounds very familiar as I seem to remember it in family conversations. I think we may even be related. Many Parpan uncles and aunts all lived in OzonePark over the years. Anyway, just thought Iwould say a hello!

Born 1938 in Brooklyn. Lived on 112th st. in OP & RH Stole tomatoes from the farm next to Aquaduct. Walked the swamp that is Kennedy Airport

Close quarters. Born 1/37 in Brooklyn; lived on 111 St. off Rockaway ’39 to ’47; 95 Ave and 112 St ’47 to ’63. Didn’t steal tomatoes but broke through Aqueduct wire fence and stood at track rail watching race at far side away from stands. PS 108 ’43-’47 & ’49-’51; PS 63 ’47-’49. Our paths must have crossed at some point.

I enjoyed reading all the above comments. I never lived there, but my mother did when she was growing up. She was born in 1929. When she was 12 years old, 1941, she related the following story. She was Catholic and she had a school friend that was Jewish. The friend brought her a picture one day, it was taken of the Northern Lights over Ozone Park in December of 1941. The girls uncle took the picture and gave it to her to give to my mother. She told my mom that she knew she was a believer of Jesus and asked her if she saw anything in the picture? Mom said yes I see a picture of Jesus. Mom took the picture home and showed it to her parents, but they told her they saw nothing and just sort of made here feel silly for seeing anything in the picture. She put the picture away in her dresser. She said she always saw the image of Christ. She grew up and they moved to Florida where she met my dad and married. She took the picture out and showed it to him and he said yes he saw the image of Jesus in the picture. Mom and dad framed it and it hung on the wall in every house we lived in. My question is is there anyone out there that may have been living in the area that has anything like the picture I am talking about.

My parents married and lived in Ozone Park in 1952. We lived on 78th Street between 95th and 97th Avenues. The neighborhood was quiet and then neighbors were friendly with each other. I was the last of four children. I was born in 1960. We attended Saint Elizabeth School at 85th Street and Atlantic Avenue. Our last name is Termini and the kids used to call us the termites . LOL. I remember when I entered first grade all four of us were at Saint Elizabeth’s. I remember the tuition was paid weekly… it was $5 for the first child and $1 each additional child. So for $8 a week we went to a private school. Does anyone remember the much-loved teacher Mrs. Russo? She was funny, outspoken, and dedicated to her profession. Everybody that she taught loved her. So many places to remember. Seviroli Bakery, Aldo’s Pizzaria, Sapienza Delicatessen, the Paglia family owned the beauty supply store. Roitmans drug store at 101st Avenue and 78th Street. The candy store at 80th Street and 101st Avenue. The A&P on Rockaway Boulevard. The Bohackt supermarket on Liberty Avenue. The Meats & Treats later to become the Associated on 101st Avenue. 75th Street was the last Street before the Brooklyn border. We shopped a lot just over the borderline in the area called City Line. My brother, sister, and I got our first jobs after school selling shoes at Thom McAn on Liberty Avenue in City Line. Sometimes we went to the Earl Theater in City Line to see movies and sometimes we went to the Cross Bay theater at Crossbay Boulevard and Liberty Avenue in Ozone Park. It was a neighborhood that you felt you belonged in. I miss those days and how free we were of obligations as kids growing up.

My name is Raymond Ottinger have two bro and a sis we all went to St Eliza and Christ the King HS . we lived around the corner from the Paglias grew up with them. I was in St Eliza 71-80. CTK 80-84. We are all two yrs apart me being the oldest born in 1966. I worked it brothers dairy and then McDonalds on 101st during high school. Was in altar boy it St Eliza. Great place to grow up there from 70- 98 got married moved to Maspeth.

Don’t know if you remember me ray.. went to st Elizabeth class of 80.
We played roller hockey together. I remember the day you fell backwards hit your head and
was yelling I can’t see ! I can’t see and I said ray.. open your eyes! Funny now.. not so much then.

Yes I remember your family, we lived on 78th street just off Atlantic Ave (across the street from the building supply place). I went to St Elizabeth’s graduated in 1967. I know your siblings were in some of my siblings grades in St. E. I think my mother would talk with your mother as she went by while shopping. Great neighborhood, went back a few months ago, not the same place – makes we wonder how I lived there.

Hello.. In the 1940’s, my Great Grandparents Salvatore (Sal) and Rosa Palladino lived at 9513 93rd Street. He was a Taylor. They had sons and daughters. If anyone has any further information. 🙂 Thank you.

I didn’t live there, but my grand parents and cousins did. I was always there to visit. Their names were Amico. 724 Drew st. My other grandparents lived next door 726 Drew Dursos were there names. I loved playing down the hole. We would go to the dump on linden and get wheels and crates to make race cars. Race Down Ruby hill. I had the best time hanging out there. There was a penny candy store run by an old lady. We were always in there. Just a little house/store it was. Does this struck a bell? Let me know. I’m vikki Amico Morris.

Lots of great memories. I have been living in Ozone Park for 60 years and no thanks to many in this post for making Ozone Park what it has become. The first sign of change you all simply cut and run while selling out Ozone Park. Keep in your thoughts not how Ozone Park was but how you contributed to its current state and how many of you left your parents behind only to criticize my neighborhood.

Good evening,Tommy.Reading your comments,I must express my feelings on your words”cut and run”.I personally know some families who moved back to their home towns in Italia from Ozone.Others retired and moved away to other states and for better opportunities for their children and grand children and didnt leave their parents behind.We are in the last category.Like yourself,me and most of my family grew up in City Line,Ozone or S.Ozone.My family originally came from Cimitile,Italia and settled around 103st and 95ave.Our grandfather died of cancer after working many years in Columbia Wax.In fact,I consider Columbia Wax,Cimitile and Ozone Park as all “sacred places”.Tanti auguri.

My Italian family lived at 97-38-99 St. Ozone Park. (in an apartment house. My dad worked for the Pennsylvania R.R. My mom did piece work at home. There were 6 of us kids, (5 girls and 1 boy). We all went to SMGH school. (Tough nuns!). I graduated from Jamaica Vocational High School. The elevated train was right across the street from my home. We played outdoors until dinner time!

I lived on 103rd st. between Liberty Ave/103rd Ave. My Parents owned a candy store on Liberty and 102nd St. small corner store that was a part of the U.S. Post Office. Great place for a kid to grow up! In later years mom owned a luncheonette on the other side of 102nd St. towards 101st ST.
I went to Gate of Heaven and graduated 1n 1960. Hung out on 101st Ave between 104th St. and 105th St.

Hi Mike. You and I had to know each other back then. I was born in Ozone Park in 1947 and graduated from St. Mary Gate of Heaven elementary school in 1961. Do you remember Gina’s luncheonette on 102 st. and 101st ave? That was my aunt’s place. I’m Joe Russo but back then everyone in Ozone Park called me by my nickname “Chipper.” What a great place to grow up but the last time I was there the town I knew no longer existed. Gone were the Italians, the Irish, and the Polish. Fond memories are the only thing left for me.

My grandparents ran a mom pop grocery store, John Charny groceries in Woodhaven right opposite the LaLance and Grosjean factory. They made a lot of their income making lunches for the people who worked in the factory. Woodhaven, being an older village had a different feeling than Ozone Park. After my grandparents were gone and the store closed,I would often visit my aunt and cousins who continued to live in the house. That part of Wooodhaven was an enclave for ethnic Ukrainians who had emigrated when their homeland was part of the Austrian-Hungarian empire. In the census records they are variously listed as Ukrainian, Ruthenian, Austrian and Austrian-Hungarian.

great reading about the old days lived in richmond hill on 113 st 107-109 ave Still leaving in rh Park lane south worked in 106 pct

Hi i lived in ozone park , 1950 to 1974 worked as delivery boy , delivered the butchers shop groceries to lots folks on my huge bike and worked for f and f grocery store on 101st ave doing same thing .. lots of good tips .

Hi cliff,
Hoping you are well. I understand someone saw a Connie panico (deceased)
On this forum. As you know I did go to p.s. 64 and am alive and well as of best to Claire. I’m so very sorry I stopped answering your emails
As I did enjoy them. Somehow my account was hacked and I am no longer on Facebook.

We lived on 77th St. between Atlantic Ave. and 95th Ave. from 1950-1967.
We lived next door to the Panico Family, and I was 14 when the news of Junior Panicos death came.It was like a punch-in the gut losing someone so near my own age. Tragic. Always wondered what became of the family.
Great memories of St. Sylvester School (still in touch with some of those classmates!), roller skating down Forbell hill, Kucks Deli, Angerers Bakery!
Simpler,happier days for sure!

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