5. The Belt Parkway passes right by Floyd Bennett Field

Floyd Bennett Field. Courtesy of Aaron Asis.

Nestled deep in Brooklyn on Barren Island by the Belt Parkway sits Floyd Bennett Field. The once legendary airport opened in 1931 as New York’s first municipal airport. The field has been used by some of history’s greatest aviation figures like Amelia Earhart and Howard Hughes, and it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. The airport was named after pilot Floyd Bennett, who was the first man to fly to the North Pole — although many suspected that he never actually made it all the way there.

Floyd Bennett Field also was where Douglas Corrigan left for Ireland instead of Los Angeles after being denied permission to make a transcontinental flight. Corrigan gained the nickname “Wrong Way” since he was supposed to fly to the West Coast and mistakenly ended up in Ireland, but many suspect that this was an intentional flight for him to prove that he could fly across the Atlantic. Floyd Bennett Field was also the start and finish point of Howard Hughes’ legendary circumnavigational flight around the world in 1938. For decades, Floyd Bennett Field sat relatively abandoned starting from when the Navy deactivated the site in 1971. Today, several buildings have been restored, while others still sit abandoned. Still, it is a busy recreational site that hosts a vintage aircraft restoration facility, film location shoots, outdoor camping, and other activities.