The 898-acre site which is now Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is historically important not just to New York, but to the entire country. In the 1930s, in the period's largest reclamation project in the United States, Robert Moses converted the swampy area into a 1,200-acre fairground for the 1939 World's Fair. The fairground-turned-park hosted its second World's Fair in 1964.
The structures that remained from the two fairs became the foundation
for the park, and the Unisphere--left from the 1964 Fair and
recently designated as a city landmark--has become the park's symbol.
Two professional sports facilities located within Flushing Meadows-Corona Park are Citi Field
, home to the New York Mets, and the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
, available for public play and tournaments. Both are historically significant. Two World Series championships, the Mets 1969 and 1986 victories, took place at the stadium. Since 1978, the United States Open tennis tournament has been held at the National Tennis Center.
The current shape of the park is an oval stretching from Flushing Bay to Union Turnpike. Within the park, there are many places for relaxation and recreation. Among the 124 acres of natural areas are Flushing Creek and Bay, Willow Lake and expanses of meadow and marshland. Meadow Lake--the 84-acre manmade, freshwater lake--is New York City's largest lake. Triassic Playground is handicap accessible. It is located at Jewel Avenue and Van Wyck Expressway on Meadow Lake.
Flushing Meadows Corona Parks
is known for its
annual large-scale ethnic events featuring food, dance and
During the summer months we are the host of several
including Colombian, Ecuadorian, Peruvian, Mexican and
We are also the home of the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival
Korean Harvest and Folklore Festival. The attendance at
range from 50,000 to 250,000 people. All events are free
and run from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
usually be found at Citi Field for $10.00.
Two completely separate ethnic communities, the Asians of Flushing and the Hispanics of Corona, erupt into noisy activity here every summer day, and there's more pure joy and happiness visible here -- laughing children, riotous ball games, strolling lovers -- than you'll ever see in Prospect or Central Park. The immigrants are largely first-generation here, and so you see ways of life that are not American. The two games the young men play are cricket and soccer. Groups of karate students in white robes practice leaps and twirl ninja weapons. Pushcarts sell anything you want, as long as you accept that it's nothing you ever heard of. You will occasionally see an entire roasted pig on a tray atop a pushcart -- half-carved, but with that familiar punch-drunk smile on it's crispy face.
There are a couple of lakes on the south end of the park, and you can rent a boat, or roller skate around them, or even try to catch some fish. In the center of the park is the coolest outdoor sculpture in New York City, 'The Globe.' It has been featured in several hiphop videos and on the covers of several albums including the Beastie Boys' Licensed To Ill, Craig Mack's Project: Funk Da World, and of course Levi Asher's gentle folk-rock outing, Queensboro Ballads. The Globe was built for the 1964-65 World's Fair, along with several other strange and futuristic (now rotting) structures that give the park it's unique otherworldly appearance -- an appearance that was used to advantage in the film of The Wiz, which turned these structures into an urban version of Oz.
The U.S. Open Tennis Tournament is played in the Louis Armstrong Stadium at the north end of the park every summer (it used to take place in Forest Hills). That stadium is south of Roosevelt Ave., and north of Roosevelt is Citi Field, home of the 1986 World Champion New York Mets.