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With 21st century global warming on the rise, it’s a rather unfortunate neighborhood name, especially since Ozone park is anything but stuffy or congested.Read more about Ozone Park
The “ozone” was conceived by 19th century developers that wanted to entice buyers “with the idea of refreshing breezes blowing in from the Atlantic Ocean to a park-like community.” In that regards Ozone Park doesn’t disappoint - it’s fairly close to Jamaica Bay and sea breezes do occasionally spruce things up a bit.
A middle class neighborhood in south central Queens, Ozone Park borders Woodhaven, Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park, Howard Beach, and City Line in Brooklyn. Ozone Park is home of the famous Aqueduct Racetrack, arguably the most famous in the five boroughs, and has historical associations with the early to late 20th century Italian American community. In popular culture Ozone Park is perhaps best known as the setting of Goodfellas and a repeat neighborhood in The Sopranos.
Once called Centreville, Ozone Park is one of the older neighborhoods in Queens. At one point in the 19th century the entire neighborhood belonged to the Aqueduct Racetrack, but the 1870s depression led to an exodus of Manhattanites looking for cheaper housing in the suburbs, and Ozone Park became residential. A stopping point on the LIRR, Ozone Park nearly double in size over the 1920s when a number of cookie-cutter homes with stain-glass windows were built to attract residents. French immigrants that worked in the pottery factory on Atlantic Avenue gave way to German and Irish immigrants, and then Italians. To this day Ozone Park is still known as the “Little Italy of Queens.” In recent years a large influx of Asian and Hispanic immigrants has also made its mark. Currently the neighborhood is ⅓ white, ⅓ Hispanic, and ⅕ Asian. Famous eats include Don Peppe, Singh’s Roti Shop, Sybil’s Bakery, and Trinciti Roti Shop.
Ozone Park’s most famous resident was probably Jack Kerouac, writer of “On The Road”, and its most infamous resident was none other than John Gotti, former head of the Gambino crime family. It has also been the setting of various Italian-American TV shows, like The King of Queens, and was once visited by Pope John Paul II.
There are 10 public schools in Ozone Park, which include the High School for Construction Trades, Engineering, and Architecture, as well as six private secondary schools. Despite its name there are no actual parks in the neighborhood - the closest one is Forest Park to the north.Ozone Park is served by the A Line which stops at Rockaway Boulevard. Buses include the Q7, Q8, Q11, Q21, Q41, Q53, and Q112. Major roads are Atlantic Avenue and Rockaway Boulevard.