2. Art Spiegelman’s Maus takes place in Rego Park

Art Spiegelman house

Art Spiegelman, who edited for comics magazines Arcade and Raw, is best known for his graphic novel Maus, which depicts interviews with his father who was a Polish Jew who survived the Holocaust. The frame tale of the novel features interviews with Vladek, his father, who lived in Rego Park, where Art was raised. His mother, who also lived in Rego Park, committed suicide while he was still young. Spiegelman tells of his time skating with friends in Rego Park before falling and hurting himself, after which he goes back home and tells how his friends left him behind. This scene then propels the novel into his adulthood, during which he visits his father periodically from 1978 to 1979.

Some illustrations in the book depict sites that Rego Park residents may recognize. One illustration shows Spiegelman exiting the 63rd Drive subway station, which closely resembles the station today. Another illustration reveals the address 63-12 on a building, corresponding to 63-12 Carlton Street family home in Rego Park. The home today bears no clear signs or markings denoting this was the Spiegelman family home, but the home was an important site for preserving Holocaust history.