Neponsit, Queens, New York City
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Neponsit is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens. It is an affluent community that is located on the western half of the Rockaway Peninsula, the southernmost area of the borough. The area is small starting from 142nd Street and ending at 149th Street. It borders the neighborhood of Belle Harbor to the east and Jacob Riis Park on the west. Jamaica Bay and the Atlantic Ocean fulfill the northern and southern borders, respectively.
Neponsit is unique in that its land usage is zoned as R-1 Zone, a rarity in New York City. This category of zoning prohibits any commercial structures and only allows single family homes to be built. Due to this, and its secluded beach location within the boundaries of New York City, homes in the area can be mansion-like, and the average market price for Neponsit properties has exceeded $1.1 million since 2006.
Neponsit is a Native American name, signifying "The Place Between Waters" -- the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and of Jamaica Bay or Rockaway Inlet.
The community still has the same character from when it was first established. In January 1910, the Neponsit Realty Company purchased the land for the development of an exclusive community. It forbade the construction of any homes that were less than three-thousand dollars, and the homes were built in order to withstand the beach weather and geography of the narrow peninsula. The entrance to the area was originally marked by a massive ornamental gateway; more recently, a stretch of tree-dotted islands (the 'malls') along Rockaway Boulevard was a distinguishing feature (the scheme has now been extended throughout the Belle Harbor area). By the 1930s, high quality homes were predominant in Neponsit and have remained so ever since.
Neponsit is also home to where the first transatlantic flight had departed. On May 8, 1919, four United States Navy Navy-Curtis model seaplanes had taken off from what is now Beach Channel Drive in Neponsit to Newfoundland, Canada, the Azores Islands, and Lisbon, Portugal. Finally on May 31, 1919, only one plane, piloted by Lt. Commander Albert C. Read, arrived in Plymouth, England.
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