New York Airports
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is a popular destination for sightseers in New York City. The park is located in the Queens borough, not far away from Grand Central Parkway. Its name comes from the fact that it stretches along Flushing Bay, and runs all the way to the very end of LaGuardia Airport. Today, it is the third biggest park that is located in New York City. The park was originally built to house the 1939 World’s Fair, and eventually went on to also host the 1964 World’s Fair. The park is run by the Parks and Recreation Department of New York City.
At an amazing 1,255 acres, the site was originally home to piles of ashes. When the site was chosen at the location for the World’s Fair, lawmakers were pressed to find a way to get rid of all of the ash. Eventually, they decided to use the ash in the Van Wyck Expressway, which ran along one side of the park.
A number of buildings were also built on the grounds for use at the fair. These same buildings would go on to be the temporary headquarters of the United Nations. They occupied the buildings from 1946 until 1951. It was at that time that they settled into their permanent location in Manhattan, where they still reside today. Following the departure of the United Nations, the buildings were once again refurbished for the World’s Fair in the 60s.
Today, the US Open Tournament is known for taking place within the confines of the park. All of the courts are located in USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The center contains a number of different courts including Arthur Ashe Stadium, and Louis Armstrong Stadium.
Meadow Lake sits in the middle of the park, where tourists can rent paddle boats to go out into the lake. The lake also hosts the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival each and every year, and the teams are known to practice in the lake throughout the summer.
Flushing Meadows has been referenced in pop culture many times. Most famously, it was mentioned in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” during a time before the ash had been removed. It was referred to as “the great ash heap.” The park has also been referenced in a number of television shows and movies including “Barney Miller,” “Men in Black,” “The Simpsons,” and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.”
Flushing Meadows is home to some of New York City’s proudest moments. In 1936, when the city first got to host the World’s Fair, the park served as the grounds for the celebration, ceremony and festival itself. The Unisphere has always been a part of the back drop of New York, and has even been featured in a number of music videos including Notorious B.I.G.’s “Mo Money Mo Problems.” Although it may be the third largest park in New York City, it is easily one of the richest in historical relevance.