There is little online trace of the fact that in 1990, radio station WHTZ — better known as Z100 — released New York City: A Trivia “G-A-M-E”, that final word inexplicably hyphenated on the box. The manufacturer is listed as “East Koast Games, Inc.”, an entity that appears to no longer exist within the database of the New York State Department of State Division of Corporations. Z100 did not return multiple requests for comment. The game’s existence was only made known to this article’s author when she discovered it on a Park Slope stoop among such non-finds as topless Chinese soup bowls and a months-old copy of The New Yorker.
Numerous spelling errors dot the 672 cards worth of questions (“REUT CONTROL“) and game instructions (“ROLL DI”). Plastic automobile tokens accompany the playing board, trivia, and die as well as a bonus sheet of Z100 and Dunkin Donuts stickers and a two-for-one coupon to Tivoli Pier, an amusement park built inside Atlantic City’s TropWorld Casino and Entertainment Resort in 1988. According to one eBay post offering a near mint condition version of the game, the resort has since changed its name to Tropicana Casino & Resort Atlantic City; Tivoli Pier was closed in the mid-90s.
The instructions to play are simple: progress with correct answers along the board version of New York City with the goal of crossing the finishing line, which offers existential praise — “Congratulations You Completed New York City”. The board shows a disproportionately-sized Z100 van dragging a massive speaker across the Brooklyn Bridge in front of the Twin Towers and a variety of other illustrations of New York icons.
Being close to three decades old, the game’s trivia is obviously quite dated, with many of the answers no longer accurate. Test your knowledge of ’90s New York and see how many of the sets stranger cards you can answer correctly:
1. Name the bicycle race that runs through five states, starting in Albany, NY and finishing in Atlantic City.
Answer: Tour de Trump
In 1989 and 1990, the Tour de Trump existed as a “national competitive cycling event,” Politico wrote in a piece last year on the short-lived occasion. In protest of the race’s namesake, many stood at the finish line with signs reading “TRUMP=LORD OF THE FLIES”, “FIGHT TRUMPISM” and the like. Come 1991, the race was reborn as the Tour Du Pont, named for new primary sponsor, the DuPont Corporation. The Tour DuPont ran until 1996.
2. What is housed below street level that has more that [sic] fifty tableaux [sic] of famous people and scenes in history?
Answer: The Museum of Famous People
This basement museum on West 50th Street did indeed boast an impressive array of famous figurines, and long before Madame Tussauds’ Times Square opening in 2000. It is unknown what happened to the Museum of Famous People’s some 50 dioramas of historic scenes when the museum closed in the 1970s, according to Atlas Obscura. The collection included models of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and Alexander Hamilton’s duel with Aaron Burr.
3. Name the oldest Catholic hospital in New York City which is also the largest Catholic hospital in America.
Answer: St. Vincent’s
Formerly located in Greenwich Village, St. Vincent’s is no longer America’s oldest Catholic hospital due to the fact that it shuttered on April 30, 2010, after more than 150 years of service. At the time of its closure, it was being investigated by the Manhattan DA’s fraud unit, its administrators suspected of purposefully running the hospital — which had filed for bankruptcy a few years earlier — into the ground.
4. Where is the only artificial ski slope in New York City?
Answer: Van Cortlandt Golf Course
The Van Cortlandt Golf Course, now 123 years old, is America’s first public golf course. While the course opened in 1895, the artificial ski slopes (of which there are actually three) on the back of the course didn’t open to the public until the winter of 1961, according to NYC Parks. These only lasted a few years, “before winter golfers reclaimed the course.” Since 1992, the Van Cortlandt Golf Course has been operated by private company The American Golf Corporation.
5. Name the deli that boasts to be the city’s finest.
Answer: Carnegie Delicatessen and Restaurant
A beloved and iconic delicatessen chain, Carnegie Deli opened across from Carnegie Hall in 1937. Famed for its pastrami, its appearance in Woody Allen’s Broadway Danny Rose, and its old school Jewish American flavor, the main 7th Avenue Carnegie Deli branch closed in 2016. A Bethlehem, PA, and Las Vegas branch remain open.
6. Name the fashion model who moved to New York City from Dallas that was slashed in the face with a razor blade?
Answer: Marla Hanson
In 1986, Missouri-born model Hanson refused her landlord’s sexual advances. He sought revenge by hiring two friends to slash her in the face with a razor-blade. Hanson needed 100 stitches and multiple surgeries. Her story was, perhaps predictably, on the front page of The Post and was made into a TV movie. Her landlord was given the maximum sentence of five to fifteen years in prison.
7. In Feb., 1986, the FBI was involved in a case of the highest priority due to the death of a New York state woman. What was the cause of death?
Answer: Cyenide-filled Tylenol capsules
Most victims of what have become known as the Tylenol poisonings were in Chicago, in 1982, but one 23-year-old was in Yonkers when she died in 1986 after ingesting two Extra-Strength Tylenol capsules laced with cyanide. No one was ever charged or convicted of the bizarre and horrific drug tampering attacks, which killed seven in Chicago. The mass murder remains unsolved.
8 During the summer of ’88, many of New York’s beaches were closed for a short period of time. Why?
Answer: Wash-up of medical paraphernalia
In the summer of 1988, with AIDS ravaging communities and the FDA only beginning to respond, over 70 syringes and vials of blood washed up on a Staten Island beach. This followed some 36 syringes appearing on Queens and Long Island beaches just days before. Beaches were closed across New York and New Jersey as a result. While the public initially blamed hospitals for inappropriate waste disposal, it turned out that the majority of the debris had come from the Fresh Kills Landfill and New York City’s sewage system. None of the medical waste was found to be contaminated with AIDS.
9. What was the motto of the Picklman, 27 Essex Street?
Answer: “Our pickles make you sexy”
Currently occupied by the Rainbow Bodywork Station, 27 Essex Street was the former home to a pickle shop, according to virtually no sources besides this game (although it’s not hard to believe). Some proof comes in the form of a trademark registered in 1979 for the phrase “Our pickles make you sexy” by The Pickleman, Inc. but the only address listed is 521 5th Ave. The trademark was marked un-revivable in 1989.
10. The cable show “Interludes After Midnight” was what type of program?
Answer: The first all-nude talk show
Oh, public access television back in the 1980s. Manhattan cable TV’s Channel J used to be synonymous with smut, a reputation helped significantly by the Monday night show “Interludes After Midnight”. The show starred host Dan Landers, who would sit naked and discuss swinging with his guests, who were also naked.
Next, take our Quiz: Guess these 10 NYC Landmarks from Their Floorplans.