This is going to be a hit…It’ll include a few hits, too.
On Sunday, April 24, Metro NYC Tours will lead a guided walk through Woodhaven, paying extra attention to the area’s gangster, Hollywood, and sports history. To start at 11 a.m., the activity will include a roughly two-hour stroll, followed by a special lunch at Neir’s Tavern, a local eatery where scenes from a few major feature movies were filmed. Tickets are $45, and include the meal.
Metro NYC Tours Founder Robin London, a third-generation native New Yorker with the accent to prove it, will take participants under the elevated J train line on Jamaica Avenue, a commercial thoroughfare where Donald Trump’s father, Fred, worked his first job. One major stop will be the site that was once Dexter Park, near Franklin K. Lane High School. In the 1920s, the Brooklyn Royal Giants, a Negro League team, played home games there. It was also a famous venue for summer barnstorming games when such baseball legends as Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, and Satchel Paige took on other traveling squads.
The participants will also check out the old watering holes where gangsters spilled blood. For example, high-ranking Gambino man Bartolomeo “Bobby Glasses” Vernace murdered John D’Angese and Richard Godkin in front of dozens of witnesses at the Shamrock Bar at 86-06 Jamaica Avenue on April 11, 1981. (The rumor mill informs that a spilled drink on somebody’s girlfriend started the fatal fight.)
Another highlight will be the spot where the burned remains of a kidnapped college student were found in an abandoned house.
True to the theme, the walk will end at Neir’s Tavern, where movie director Martin Scorsese filmed scenes for his 1990 classic Goodfellas. Who can forget when the protagonists head to the bar to celebrate their ill-gotten gains from the Lufthansa Heist, when an estimated $5.8 million was stolen during a robbery at Kennedy Airport in December 1978? The Robert DeNiro character goes crazy after seeing all the pink Cadillacs and mink coats, fearing that they will create suspicion with the police.
Neir’s Tavern, where parts of Tower Heist with Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy were filmed as well, is the oldest continuously operating tavern in the same place in the United States. It was built in 1829 across from where the Union Course Horse Racing Track operated. It is also where the original Queen of Sex, Mae West, got her start as a performer in the 1930s.
The meal will include chips and salsa, choice of entree from a prix fixe menu, and either one glass of beer or soda.
Editor’s note: An earlier version included misleading details about the victims in the Shamrock Bar shooting. We regret any confusion which may have resulted.