A tour of Queens with Nasty Nigel

Nasty Nigel

We sent photographer Brandon Haynes to Queens to spend a day with self-anointed Queens historian, Nasty Nigel of World's Fair/Children of the Night. Nigel was not exaggerating his knowledge of the history and took his tour guide task beyond the pale, offering helpful insider tips to each location.

Lemon Ice King of Corona

All Photos by Brandon Haynes

Lemon Ice King of Corona

Almost reaching it's 70th year, I think we can all say that this Queens establishment has been on the corner of 52nd ave and 108th st for what seems like forever. You would think that LIK's claim to fame was Kevin James accidentally dropping his ice in the opening theme of late 90's sitcom King of Queens but it's really the unique variety of flavors (boasting 37 flavors in which some include real fruit pieces) and other great American treats that make this place a true New York staple. Just blocks from Flushing Meadows – Corona Park, this place makes for great strolls through the neighborhood and an ideal date destination with your significant other. Also, don't forget to try the Peanut Butter Ice because that shit is awesome.

52-02 108th St, Corona, NY 11368

William F. Moore Park (aka Spaghetti Park)

If you were to ask me who was William F. Moore, I would simply redirect you to a LinkedIn profile because truthfully, who is William F. Moore (hometown hero who fought during WWI and died serving our country)? If you were to ask me what/where is Spaghetti Park, I would simply reply “the park across the street from Lemon Ice King where the Italians hang and play bocce ball till midnight to the sounds of Gianni Morandi”. It really does not get more Queens or New York in that matter than a bunch of Italian men giving everyone the side eye and screaming at the top of their lungs while grilling sausages in the middle of a hot and humid July afternoon. Proceed with caution, this is one of the last blocks pertaining to them and they will not hesitate to roll up their velour sleeves.

Corona Ave, Corona, NY 11368


Leo's Latticini/Mama's of Corona

Taking the back streets of Corona (104st to be exact) it is pretty obvious that the neighborhood was once heavily populated by Italian-Americans. From decorated front yards to street lamps, anything and everything sports the traditional green/white/red. It makes sense that Mama's would move to this section of Queens from Brooklyn because why not? Taking over half a block, Mama's is more than just a poppin' sandwich spot, it's also a great place to shop for pasta, meats, and sweets for when you want to snack over baked goods. Eataly is cool and all but when comparing it to Mama's, lets just say that Eataly is Toys-R-Us and Mama's is FAO Schwarz. Three generations later and a stand at Mets Citi Field later, nothing much has changed with the freshly made sandwiches and we wouldn't want it any other way.

46-02 104th St Corona, NY 11368

Terrace On The Park

If Puff Daddy attended the 1964 World's Fair, it is without a doubt that he would ride on the hood of his '64 Mercedes 230sl down the west side into Port Authority and hop on a helicopter flying over the borough of Queens. Originally acting as a heliport/restaurant, Top of The Fair would open to the public during the fair of '64 acting as a hub for transportation and fine dining. As the fair came and went, so did most of its relics including the New York State Pavilion. Luckily Top of The Fair would later be reintroduced as Terrace On The Park, getting rid of the heliport's accessibility thereby making it a full blown catering hall. The only drawback here is that scoring a lunch for $2.95 and a dinner for $4.95 has came and left with the fair. #NWST.

52-11 111th St, Flushing, NY 11368

Citi Field

Pretty much a given that I am the only existing Mets fan in all of the world. From Gooden rap references to rocking a Hernandez mustache, it's all about the '86 and getting 86ed… from bars. Robert Moses, the man behind the extinction of the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants (you know, the baseball team that played in Manhattan at the Polo Grounds), single-handedly changed New York City into what it is today connecting the five boroughs and making it a breeze to access Westchester and Long Island. He believed that Queens should be the epicenter bridging Manhattan and Long Island. Enter Shea Stadium. The house that housed The Beatles and the Pope, to name a few. Two World Championships later and a new home, The Mets continue to parade in their unlikely orange and royal blue uniform and I continue to leave before the seventh inning stretch.

123-01 Roosevelt Ave, Flushing, NY 11368

The Iron Triangle

If you're one to spend weeks on Netflix, you might have seen Chop Shop in the “Popular on Netflix” section next to a Ted Talk. A fictional story that takes place in the car part dump that makes up the Iron Triangle section of Willets Point. What once was the promised land for a Jets stadium and if we really take it there, the location of a small private airport circa 1930's, this dump was most likely the inspiration for The Great Gatsby's Valley of Ashes. This is the place to be when times get rough and you have to sell your Mitsubishi Eclipse for $400 because you need to fund your trip to San Fransisco. They take anything and when I say anything, I mean it. You just might end up not getting what you want for it.

Willets Point Boulevard, Flushing, NY 11368


Busy Mall I & II

There really isn't much to say about these two malls nestled in the middle of Main Street, Flushing. I remember it always being there but maybe it's fairly new? Being from the northern region of Queens, it was impossible to casually make it out to Jamaica's Colosseum Mall for the latest in customized shirts, sneakers, and jerseys. Gucci print your Chicago Bulls jersey? No problem. Paint splatter your 4xl tee? Sure why not. Air brush the Diplomats logo on the toe of your AFIs? Fuck it. You get the gist of it. Also, best Korean BBQ in all of NYC on this strip. Shit, get a modded PS4 while you're at it.

37-12 Main St, Flushing, NY 11354

World's Fair's Bastards of the Party is out now on Fool's Gold.

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