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Thursday, March 13, 2008

South Ozone Park

Number 7 on stuff white people like - diversity. As a result, there's a lot of press in New York-centric publications about the various diverse neighborhoods around town. Jackson Heights in Queens, followed by Ditmas Park and Kensington in Brooklyn and Sunnyside in Queens, get the most press for this (probably because they're the closest to Manhattan and Northwest Brooklyn, and as such, to the people who write about this kind of stuff). One neighborhood that usually gets slept on is Ozone and South Ozone Park.

After dropping the lady off at JFK I decided to save $5 on the Airtrain fare. You used to be able to walk out the other side of the Howard Beach station to the Aqueduct stop (about 10 minutes), but they've fenced that off now, so it's tough to do, especially with luggage. So instead I get off the Airtrain at Lefferts Boulevard. It's much more than a 10 minutes walk to the train from here, but I've got time to schlep through Ozone Park.

Ozone Park itself is pretty much the definition of nondescript Queens - blocks of wood-frame detached houses account for the vast majority of the neighborhood. Aqueduct Raceway is kind of interesting - they have guards around the back at the entrance for horses and trainers. Someday I'll go to the track and write up that tract properly. I can't in good faith check it off the list quite yet. In fact, looking at the map, I realize I've walked borders pretty much the whole way. I can really only say I walked one tract - 846.01

I head around the racetrack and across the main commercial thoroughfare of the area, Rockaway Parkway. It's kind of a hybred between a regular neighborhood commercial thoroughfare like, say Roosevelt Avenue, and a more industrial-commerical thoroughfare, like Northern Boulevard. You get these kind of streets out in the less densely populated parts of the boroughs. I grab some beans and rice (three bucks!) jump on the A train and head on back.

Neighborhoods: Ozone Park, South Ozone Park, Aqueduct Raceway. Tracts Walked: Q846.01

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