Just north of Howard Beach lies Ozone Park, also a blue-collar and working class neighborhood in southwestern Queens. It also borders Woodhaven, Richmond Hill, and City Line, Brooklyn. Ozone Park is bounded roughly by Atlantic Avenue to the north, 106th Street to the east, the Belt Parkway to the south and the Queens-Brooklyn border, City Lin to the west.
Ozone Park was created and settled in 1882. The name refers to the reputedly beneficial qualities of ‘ozone’ in the seaside air of a park-like community to lure buyers from the city. Ozone Park, originally part of Jamaica, was considered the country to those that lived in Manhattan. Novelist and poet Jack Kerouac lived in Ozone Park and wrote both The Town and the City, and On the Road while there. His friends called him “The Wizard of Ozone Park.”
Ozone Park has become one of the fastest-growing and ethnically diverse neighborhoods in New York City. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the area was mostly comprised of German and Irish immigrants. By 1910, Italians started to migrate into Ozone Park and then became the largest ethnic group. Since the turn of the 21st century, there has been an influx of immigrants from Latin America, Bangladesh, the West Indies and Guyana, especially along 101st and Liberty Avenues near the Richmond Hill border.
The Q7 bus runs on Rockaway Boulevard, Q10 and QM18 run on Lefferts Boulevard, Q21 and Q41 run on Cross Bay Boulevard, Q11 up Woodhaven Boulevard, Q112 on Liberty Avenue, the Q8 on 101st Avenue, and the Q24 on Atlantic Avenue. The Q53 also runs on Woodhaven Boulevard and Cross Bay Boulevard.
The A train runs along Liberty Avenue with stations at Rockaway Boulevard and Ozone Park-Lefferts Boulevard. Woodhaven Boulevard becomes Cross Bay Boulevard at its intersection with Liberty Avenue, then continues southeast through Ozone Park, Howard Beach and Rockaway Beach, making it one of the longest streets in Queens, at 9.5 miles.
South Ozone Park, near JFK is the home of the Aqueduct Racetrack, a famous spot for thoroughbred racing and soon to be a Racino destination. Entertainment company Genting New York chose Tutor Perini Corp. to build the new facility, dubbed Resorts World New York. Construction includes an entrance lobby and porte-cochere, as well as an elevated and covered walkway that will connect the facility to the subway station. Construction is set to begin in early November.
The Aqueduct Flea Market at Rockaway Blvd and 110th Street is the largest on the East Coast, with over 2,000 dealers. It’s open rain or shine on Tuesdays and weekends from 10 am – 5pm, May through December. The flea market sells clothing, shoes, house wares, linen, toys, luggage, electronics, ceramics, rugs, paintings, and perfume. There is also a huge variety of food stands.
To highlight the diverse cultures in Ozone Park, locals enjoy eating at both Don Peppe’s family style Italian restaurant at 135-58 Lefferts Blvd and Singh’s Roti Shop & Bar at 131-18 Liberty Avenue. There are a number of ethnic restaurants throughout Ozone Park.