Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Queens’ North Beach, Co-Created By the Piano-Making King

The man who was pivotal to the growth of Queens also helped develop a popular 19th-century beachfront resort.
by Rich Watson 

La Guardia Airport in Queens was established in 1929. Before that, the site on which it resides was home to a popular resort and amusement park. 

It was built by an influential figure in the history of modern Queens, particularly the Astoria neighborhood: piano manufacturer William Steinway.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Happyland Amusement Park Helped Bring a Touch of the Riviera to Staten Island

Happyland was part of a tourist attraction that made Staten Island a hot spot in the early twentieth century.
by Rich Watson 

The Happyland Amusement Park was part of Staten Island’s South Beach area. Once upon a time, during the early twentieth century, “the Riviera of New York City” was a summer getaway spot that had hotels with bathing pavilions, beer gardens, casinos, and more.

Happyland occupied fifteen acres on the storefront. Its entertainment options rivaled Coney Island.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Rockaway’s Playland, First Owned By a Roller Coaster Designer

The Queens amusement park, in its early days, was once owned by the developer of the modern roller coaster.
by Rich Watson 

Rockaway’s Playland occupied a small area of land on Queens’ Rockaway peninsula. It was not as popular as the Coney Island area in Brooklyn, but it was a well-known destination in Queens for decades.

It was owned by the first designer of the roller coaster, a staple of amusement parks the world over.