Ozone Park is a New York City neighborhood located in the southwestern section of the borough of Queens bordering Woodhaven, Richmond Hill, Howard Beach. Different parts of the neighborhood is covered by Queens Community Board 9 and 10. It is served by the 11416 and 11417 zip codes.
The northern border is Atlantic Avenue, the western border is the county line with Brooklyn (mostly Drew Street), the southern border is South Conduit Avenue, and the eastern border is 108th Street. It is the home of the Aqueduct Racetrack, a popular spot for thoroughbred racing.
Two partners, Benjamin W. Hitchcock and Charles C. Denton, first began carving farmland into building lots. Housing was first developed in the area after the Long Island Rail Road
began service through the area in 1880 as part of its route from Long Island City
to Howard Beach
. Ozone Park was created and settled in 1882. The name "Ozone Park" was chosen to "lure buyers with the idea of refreshing breezes blowing in from the Atlantic Ocean
to a park-like community".
Ozone Park was widely perceived as a center for mafia
activities. Since 1990, every category of crime that the police track is down substantially.
Since its beginnings, Ozone Park has been largely populated by different groups of immigrants. The first to settle into the town were the Italians
, who are one of the largest ethnic groups in the neighborhood. Most of the current Italians in the neighborhood are originally from Brooklyn. The Tudor Village section, and pockets of the neighborhood around Cross Bay Boulevard near the Howard Beach border has a sizable amount of Italian families.
In the past few years, a considerable number of immigrants from, Latin America, South Asia (Bangladesh), the West Indies and South America (Indo-Guyanese) have moved in, bringing their culture with them and adding a diverse atmosphere to the neighborhood, which is especially apparent along 101st Avenue and Liberty Avenue near the neighborhood's border with Richmond Hill. These new arrivals have made Ozone Park become one of the fastest-growing and ethnically diverse neighborhoods in New York City. Aside from these larger groups, there is a large Hispanic population in Ozone Park, mainly concentrated in the northern portion of the neighborhood near the Woodhaven border, and an African-American minority, spread throughout the neighborhood.
Residents vary from working-class to middle-class families, who own or rent private homes on the neighborhood's tree-lined residential streets. There are pockets of wealthier areas in the southern part of the neighborhood close to the Belt Parkway.
There are many bus routes that run through Ozone Park. The Q7
runs on Rockaway Boulevard, Q21
run on Cross Bay Boulevard
up Woodhaven Boulevard
on Liberty Avenue, the Q8
on 101st Avenue, and the Q24
on Atlantic Avenue
. The Q53 also runs on Woodhaven Boulevard
and [rossbay Boulevard.
The New York City Subway's IND Fulton Street Line runs along Liberty Avenue, and becomes elevated upon entering the neighborhood from Brooklyn. The station at Rockaway Boulevard is a major junction between trains heading towards the Ozone Park-Lefferts Boulevard station and trains heading to Far Rockaway-Mott Avenue, an often confusing or unknown detail for tourists on their way to JFK Airport on the latter line.
- In the movie Boss of Bosses starring Chazz Palminteri, there is a scene with John Gotti in Ozone Park at the Bergin Hunt and Fish Club.
- The movie Getting Gotti starring Lorraine Bracco is based on a real life woman, Diane Giacalone, who grew up in Ozone Park and through the years first handedly watched Gotti rise to power on the streets of Ozone Park, eventually to become an Assistant US Attorney and build up a case against him.
- History Channel documentary entitled "Perfect Crimes" featured the Lufthansa heist and talked about Lucchese family crews living, killing and running businesses in Ozone Park.
- In the 2004 pseudo-documentary, Mail Order Wife, the character Adrian lives on 103rd Street in Ozone Park. Consequently, there are many location shots of the neighborhood in the film. The Chinese take-out place that Adrian goes to earlier in the film is an actual Ozone Park Chinese restaurant located at the corner of 104th Street and Liberty Avenue.
- Lucky Number Slevin, in the beginning of the movie there is a scene where the father and son are at Aqueduct Racetrack.
- In A Bronx Tale there is a scene set at Aqueduct Racetrack.
- A scene from the 1990 film A Shock to the System was filmed in the old Aqueduct Raceway Station.
- The movie "Searching For Bobby DeNiro" was filmed in Aldos II Pizzeria in Ozone Park.
Notable current and former residents of Ozone Park include:
- Ray Abruzzo - Actor (The Sopranos)
- Joseph Patrick Addabbo - Congressman and has P.S. 64 named after him.
- Joseph Addabbo, Jr., member of the New York City Council from the 32nd Council District.
- Vincent Asaro - Bonanno Crime Family Capo
- Sean Bell - Lived here as a kid and went to John Adams High School.
- Frank James Burke - Lufthansa heist suspect
- Jimmy Burke - Lufthansa heist suspect
- Charles Camarda - astronaut, Mission Specialist on STS-114
- John P. Campo - Thoroughbred racehorse trainer
- The Capris - 1950s Doo Wop group.
- Thomas DeSimone - Mob associate
- Freddy Dicongilio - Illegal Ozone Park bookmaker and Gambino crime family associate.
- Thomas Joseph Downey - United States Congressman from 1975-1993
- Elizabeth Eden (1946-1987), Real life character of "Leon" from the 1975 film Dog Day Afternoon.
- Gerald Edelman (1929-), 1972 winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
- Peter Facinelli (1973-), actor
- Carmine Fatico (1910-1991) Mob Capo for the Gambino Family
- John Frascatore (1970-), Baseball Player.
- Diane Giacalone former Assistant U.S. Attorney and John Gotti prosecutor
- John Gotti (1940-2002) Mafia Boss.
- Peter Gotti - Acting Mob boss of the Gambino crime family.
- Carol Heiss (1940-), Olympics figure skater.
- Jimmy Herring - Middleweight Boxer
- Henry Hill (1932-), Lived here while on the run.
- Jack Kerouac (1922-1969), writer. Although he was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, he lived in Ozone Park with his parents after he was discharged from the U.S. Navy in 1943. He wrote his first novel, The Town and the City, as well as the quintessential On the Road while living in Ozone Park. His friends jokingly called him "The Wizard of Ozone Park, believed to be a play on words referring to both the film The Wizard of Oz and the nickname of inventor Thomas A. Edison, "the Wizard of Menlo Park."
- Cyndi Lauper (1953-), singer/actress.
- Joe Manri (1932-1979), Lufthansa heist suspect
- Robert McMahon (1936-1979), Lufthansa heist suspect
- Bernadette Peters (1948-), actress/singer.
- Dominick Pizzonia - Gambino crime family associate
- Peter Polaco - Professional wrestler better known as Justin Credible
- Angelo John Sepe - Lufthansa heist suspect
- Thomas and Rosemarie Uva - Modern day Bonnie and Clyde.
- Thomas Von Essen - Senior Vice President at Giuliani Partners and New York City's 30th Fire Commissioner
- Debra Wilson - comedian, one of the original cast members on the sketch comedy series MADtv
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