Over the years, New York City has just about seen it all– and was at the forefront of innovation for most of it. During prohibition, the city had some of the most lavish speakeasies, New York built the careers of some of the most famous jazz musicians and writers, and it’s home to more than one record-holding piece of architecture. However, there are some things that even New York City can only claim to have “one” of– whether that “one” thing was the only ever in existence, or history has simply washed away all its siblings. From colonial-era homes to remnants of sports arenas, here are 10 things that stand alone in New York City.
10. NYC’s Last Velodrome: Kissena Velodrome in Flushing, Queens
The Kissena Velodrome, a 400-meter outdoor track located on Booth Memorial Avenue at Parsons Boulevard in Flushing’s Kissena Park, is New York’s only remaining cycling track. It is complete with bleachers and sharply banked curves, and draws cyclists from all over New York to race and bike without disturbance.
Robert Moses built the velodrome in 1962 for the 1964 Olympic Trials. When it started to deteriorate, the city renovated it in 2004, partially thanks to the efforts of the Kissena Cycling Club. Still, the track hasn’t been maintained too well; the surfaces are uneven. Yet, the velodrome continues to draw individual cyclists from all over New York City, some of whom know it as “the track of dreams,” as well as groups like the Kissena Cycling Club and the Star Track racing program.
Cycling’s popularity peaked in the early 1900s, and started to decline during the Great Depression. According to the American Track Racing Association, there are only 26 velodromes left in the country, so New Yorkers should be sure to cherish the one we have right here in Flushing.