Inside scoop: The Bayside Historical Society is located in the former
Fort Totten Officers’ Club, which is known as “the Castle.” The
venue is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Address: 422 Weaver Rd., Bayside, www.forttottenparks.org.
Gantry Plaza State Park covers 12 acres of shoreline on the
borough’s Western coast. With the East River and Midtown
Manhattan to the immediate west, the park contains playing
fields, fishing piers, a promenade, and outdoor furniture in a site
that was once a dock facility with gantry cranes. A 120-footlong
and 60-foot-high neon Pepsi-Cola sign adds to the mystical,
urban-rural feel. (The soda maker used to operate a bottling plant
in the northern portion.)
Inside scoop: The park keeps growing. Recently, LIC Landing
was completed in a section to the south of Gantry. With similar
spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline, this new public
space features a promenade, children’s play area, fields, and an
upscale café, COFFEED. A ferry that goes to Manhattan and
Brooklyn stops there too.
Address: 4-09 47th Rd., Long Island City, and www.nysparks.com.
Juniper Valley Park stretches over more than 55 acres in the
heavily residential Middle Village neighborhood. It offers space
for baseball, basketball, bocce, football, handball, soccer, tennis,
It was long a swamp until Arnold Rothstein, the gangster known
for fixing the 1919 World Series during the Black Sox Scandal,
bought 88 acres for development. He tried to sell the property
to the city as an airport during the 1920s, but he was murdered
in 1928, probably due to unpaid gambling debts. In 1931, New
York City acquired Juniper Swamp from Rothstein’s estate, later
converting it into a public park.
Inside scoop: The Pullis Cemetery, which is located near the park
off Juniper Boulevard North at 81st Street, has historic landmark
status. Thomas Pullis Sr. purchased 32 acres there in 1832 and
built the burial ground for his family.
Address: Juniper Boulevard between Lutheran Avenue, 71st
Street and Dry Harbor Road.
Kissena Park has nearly 240 acres of winding paths through
shady trees, open green space, tennis courts, sports fields, and a
fishing pond. The park also has a velodrome for bicycle riders
and a public golf course is nearby.
110 QUEENS IN YOUR POCKET • www.itsinqueens.com