Howard Beach, Queens, New York City
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Howard Beach is a neighborhood in the southwestern portion of the borough of Queens in New York City. Bordered in the north by the Belt Parkway and Conduit Avenue, the south by Jamaica Bay, the east by 102nd-104th Streets and the west by 78th Street. Howard Beach borders the neighborhoods of Ozone Park to the north and Broad Channel to the south. Heavily Italian-American, Howard Beach is well known for being home to many organized crime figures; notably both mob bosses John Gotti and Joe Massino resided here.
Like most Queens neighborhoods, Howard Beach is composed of several smaller neighborhoods - Howard Beach, Hamilton Beach, Ramblersville, Rockwood Park, Lindenwood, Old Howard Beach, and Howard Park. Howard Beach proper is a small peninsula bordered by the Belt Parkway and Conduit Avenue on the north, Jamaica Bay on the south, Hawtree Creek on the east separating it from Hamilton Beach and Shellbank Basin on the west that separates it from Cross Bay Boulevard.
Cross Bay Boulevard is the main commercial strip of Howard Beach and going northward it eventually turns into Woodhaven Boulevard after Ozone Park. Throughout the 1970s and 80s, the Boulevard was made up almost exclusively of locally-owned shops and restaurants. However starting in the 1990s, chain stores and restaurants began moving in and now most of the well-known franchises are on the Boulevard. Entertainment venues on Cross Bay Boulevard such as the Kiddie-Park and Cross-Bay Lanes were popular until their demise in the 1970s and 1980s.
In the mid 1950s, the northernmost section of Howard Beach was comprised of a small wooded area (Cherry Forest) and a dairy farm (Mary's Farm), approximately 25% of the remaining area has houses on it.
The Joseph P. Addabbo Memorial Bridge (named for a deceased member of the United States House of Representatives who once represented the district that includes Howard Beach) connects mainland Queens to Broad Channel.
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