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HomeHomeCross BayCross BayCross Bay Nosta...Cross Bay Nosta...New Park Pizza 50th AnniversaryNew Park Pizza 50th Anniversary
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4/17/2006 10:52 AM
 
This year New Park Pizza ia celebrating its 50th Anniversary at the same location.......157th Avenue and Crossbay Blvd. Think of how many of us grew up eating New Park Pizza in Howard Beach. They were there very early on in HB history pre-dating almost every business on the Blvd. between 156th and 165th Avenues (maybe with the exception of Kentuky Fried Chicken). They opened in 1956/57. The debate has always raged over the best pizza......New Park vs. Gino's, etc. I will always stick with New Park Pizza. To me its the classic of NY style pizza. How different the Blvd looks today....think of all the changes, but always the New Park Pizza location has remained. Even their steadfast neighbor, the Gulf Gas station next door is no longer there. Memories from anyone else?
 
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4/17/2006 11:18 AM
 
We moved into a new home in HB in 1955, my father kept trying to convince my mother to sell the house and open a pizza shop where New Park is located. Have often wondered if he would have been successful.
 
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6/6/2007 6:54 PM
 
Doesn't get better than Pops and havent enjoyed a slice since 1985!
 
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6/7/2007 8:21 AM
 
To a certain extent, I think that we all develop criteria against which we judge everything else, ie those of us who began eating New Park's pizza are not so much checking if another place's stuff tastes good, but rather if it tastes like what we're used to. Whenever my wife offers to make a dish that my mother cooked I always tell her not to because I won't judge the dish on its own merits, but rather on how much like my mother's it is.
 
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6/7/2007 5:23 PM
 
Boy, what I wouldn't do for a slice of New Park Pizza right now! Living in Fl. you cannot get anything like it here. I remember the elderly gentelman behind the counter watching his underlings making the pies. I know they were his sons and they were destined to continue the legacy of "New Park Pizza". Anyone remember the "Palagonia" bread man who delivered Italian bread to your doorstep from 101st.Ave. in Ozone Park. Man that bread was the best. Well done, hard with lots of sesame seeds. I could eat it with just mayo, or make a banana sandwich. Those were the good old days in the early 50's. My mother would complain every week and the guy (can't remember his name) would take a few cents off the bill. I also had a Long Island Press route in Hamilton Beach. I first started in the shack on 95th. St. Then we moved to the building next to Nick's Pizza in town. It was a chore folding those papers, especially on Sunday. It was also a pain chasing people for your money to make your "bill". I still can see the boss (can't remember his name either) sitting at his desk in that little shack with high counters on either side. I would love to go back there and play some poker with my old friends in the back of another business that was there. I know it was owned by Billy Habelstadt's uncle. I think it was an oil business or something. Anyone have any clues? Phil Orapallo
 
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6/7/2007 5:54 PM
 
When my family & I were in HB last summer, we tried all the pizza shops on the BLVD. We voted & went back for seconds to NEW PARK. There is something special about their sauce & dough. It has a distinctive taste that no-one on the Blvd can match. May the fine folks at New Park enjoy another 50 fantastic years!!
 
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6/15/2007 11:23 PM
 
my brother john worked for pop (new park pizza) for years, when he was a teen.
 
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6/26/2007 1:47 AM
 
I believe JohnnyD1220 hits the nail on the head. We do judge according to the tastes we have developed growing up. I was born in Bklyn (1953)and moved to Queens(1969) so I know pizza and Pop's had one of the best! Another one of MY favorites was Pizza City's Sicilian slice. But I worked for Pop and I gotta be loyal to the old man. He could be hard to please sometimes but he was a fair boss concidering he let this long haired hippie freak kid toss the dough. I think I worked just about every joint on the Blvd at one time or another. (Gabe's "Kiddieland", "KFC","The Steakhouse","Lynn's Boatyard" next to Lenny's Clam Bar and the "Powertest" Gas station and "My Hero" sandwich shop...etc,etc,etc.) I think I'll Get my ass over to "New Park" and treat myself to a slice again. It's been a few years. Hope it hasn't changed much. -Joe Crow.
 
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7/2/2007 9:38 AM
 
Ray, really enjoyed reading all of what's on this page! I do remember when KFC opened on Crossbay, used to eat there all the time when it first opened, it was not before 1960 and used to be called Chicken Bucket. That was discussed on the HB board once before. Maybe the one business there was Carvel, before any others I can remember and I do remember Anchors Aweigh, a club, down further, near Pizza City.
 
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7/2/2007 9:41 AM
 
Johnny, I remember my Dad wanting to buy the Gulf gas station next to New Park when it was for sale. He even put a deposit on it, to hold it while he had time to speak with my Mom. My Mom was against it so it never came to be. I often wonder what would have happened if he had bought it, lol.
 
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7/2/2007 9:47 AM
 
Perfectchord, I do remember Joe Palagonia, we were close friends. I don't know what his father's name was though, (owner of the business). I remember his wife Donna too. Very nice people. Funny you should mention lots of sesame seeds on his bread because I can remember him telling us that the seeds were so expensive and we always teased him about not putting enough of them on the bread, haha! One time when we were on vacation together, he got a tremendous electric bill from the bakery, it almost ruined his whole trip, lol, the good memories! He was a funny guy!
 
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7/2/2007 9:57 AM
 
JoeCrow, you are so right! New Park for Neopoloitan pizza and Pizza City for Sicilian pizza! There was nothing like the Sicilian pizza at Pizza City! I always tell my husband about it. Most Sicilian pizza anywhere else, you would be able to pull the cheese off the top and just be left with the dough in your hand. Not at Pizza City! The cheese was baked into the slice and could not be removed. The edges were slightly "burned" (very well done) and it was just great, so very tasty! Pop's Neopolital pizza was wonderful too, with just enough oil dripping off as you lifted it up to take a bite, lol! Never dry! So good! He probably put some grated Romano cheese mixed in with the mozzarella on top of the pizza, to give it that special taste.
 
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7/3/2007 8:00 AM
 
Lovely, agree with you totally about Pizza City's Sicilian pizza, I've had Neapolitan at a lot of various places in NYC and to some degree they were all pretty similar, but PC's Sicilian was exceptional. What sticks in my mind about New Park was watching them using the shovel to lift and check on the pie, turning it slightly etc, rather than its simply rolling off a metal grid at the end of a time interval determined by some pizza engineer in Kansas City. It just came to me reading what you wrote is that the pies did not depend on pepperoni, sausage, pineapple (yeech) etc for their flavor, my mental image is of a bubbling cheese pie slightly moist with oil, rather than cardboard covered with peppers, onions, jalepenos, barbecue beef, bacon and the sundry array of other toppings piled on in the desperate hope of imparting some flavor.
 
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7/22/2007 12:39 AM
 
Hey Lovely! Your description of Pizza City's Slice brought me back a few hundred years! The bottom of the slice WAS well cooked and slightly oily with a WONDERFULLY crispy chew to it! GOD! I'd love to have just one more... PLEASE? Edited by - joecrow on July 21 2007 11:40:48 PM
 
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