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Photo courtesy of Metro NYC Tours
Photo courtesy of Metro NYC Tours

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.


Join The Discussion

Elizabeth Tumminelli July 01, 2016 / 07:27PM
This was my home for 27 years of my life. The people I grew up with during the 60s, 70s, 80sand 90s are STILL MY BEST FRIENDS. we were a very tight community. No neighborhood is perfect but if you want to get away with stealing people's hard earned money on bars that no longer exist, a building where a poor girl was murdered and watering holes that are MOB related why don't you attempt this ridiculousness in Howard Beach? Huh? Much more to see there if you really know your facts. Why? Because you know you'd be laughed at and it would never be allowed. Leave us alone. Keep it moving people nothing to see in Woodhaven.

Mallory Panchelli April 22, 2016 / 09:41PM
Lets hope the people who spent $45 on this ridiculous tour realize that they are "going" bars that aren't even there anymore AND haven't for years! The ONLY thing on the tour that makes sense is going to Neir’s Tavern. For that you can have a few drinks and a meal for less than $45 a person.
MetroNYCTours May 16, 2016 / 17:11PM
This is not a ridiculous tour and I would recommend you join it before you make negative remarks. So far everyone who has participated in this tour loved it and discovered new things about Woodhaven. The fee of $45.00 for a tour led by a professional NYC Licensed tour guide is a very reasonable price. This tour was constructed together with Neirs Tavern and the Woodhaven Historical Society.

Heidi Conboy Busterna April 22, 2016 / 04:32PM
I think it is absolutely horrible to show where that poor girl was murdered/burned to death. If I was the home owner I would not be happy to see a group of people outside my house discussing one of the terrible things that happened in our community. As for the Shamrock Bar, you'll be looking at a closed up convenience store.
MetroNYCTours May 16, 2016 / 17:08PM
With all due respect to your misunderstanding of the context of this tour we do not stand in front of the house where this crime was committed. We represent Miss Antanakos with respect and and honor. People need to be aware of such horrible crimes and the criminal minds that commit them. I also must remind you that a book by Kieran Crowley called Burned Alive was on the NY Times best seller list and is available for purchase with photos. Alot of places on city tours all over New York are non existent anymore as the Shamrock. But we must not forget what happened in these establishments and keep the memory of the victims alive.

Susan Provenzano-Raio April 22, 2016 / 11:18AM
John D’Angese and Richard Godkin were not wannabe Gangsters they were Businessmen and active Members of the Community, It is too bad scum had to frequent their establishment and kill them, depriving their Families of them.
Edward Wendell April 22, 2016 / 11:55AM
Hi Susan - I contacted this morning and notified them of their mistake and they will correct. Ed Wendell President Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society

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