Ozone Park, Queens Neighborhood Profile

Aqueduct Race Track
Getty Images Sport/Eclipse Sportswire

Ozone Park is a neighborhood in southwestern Queens. It borders Woodhaven, Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park, Howard Beach, and Brooklyn. The area has been populated by a succession of immigrant groups. Today the lower-middle class area is dominated by South Asians, Indo-Caribbeans, and Latin American immigrants. The housing is fairly dense with a mix of single-family, multi-family, and small apartment buildings.

To the east is 108th Street and South Richmond Hill and South Ozone Park. (Yes, South Ozone Park isn't south of Ozone Park.) The boundary to the south is South Conduit Avenue and the Lindenwood section of Howard Beach. To the west is the Brooklyn neighborhood of City Line, along with Ruby and Drew Streets. To the north is Atlantic Avenue. Due north is Woodhaven and to the northeast is Richmond Hill.

Getting Around the Area

The main roadways are Atlantic Avenue (full of businesses) and Cross Bay Boulevard. Liberty Avenue and Rockaway Boulevard are other busy thoroughfares. The neighborhood has easy access to the Belt Parkway via Cross Bay Boulevard.

The A subway line runs above Liberty Avenue, connecting into Brooklyn to the west and terminating at Lefferts Boulevard to the east. One route of the A subway veers south along Cross Bay Boulevard, connecting to the Aqueduct casino and racetrack and farther south to JFK Airtrain and to the Rockaways, across Jamaica Bay.

Has an Environmental Ring to It

In the 21st century, the name "Ozone Park" doesn't ring like it used to. With climate change and concerns about the earth's ozone layer occupying the global headlines, it's hard to imagine a neighborhood named for ozone. When the area was developed in the 1880s, the name "Ozone Park" was selected to lure residents with the thoughts of ocean breezes. Ozone meant pure air, not sullied air. At the time, the area was considered the countryside, compared to Manhattan and Brooklyn. A LIRR station (long gone) helped attract residents.

The novelist Jack Kerouac lived in the neighborhood in the 1940s at the corner of Cross Bay Boulevard and 133rd Street. He started writing the famous novel On the Road while in Ozone Park, according to some accounts.