Saturday, June 13, 2015

'Ghost town' in New York City - The Hole (20 Pics)

Locals call it The Hole. But few agree on where The Hole is located. Some say The Hole is in Howard Beach, others say it is in Spring Creek or Ozone Park, or maybe East New York or Lindenwood. Residents do agree on one thing - The Hole is famous. Mostly because of the bodies. Or maybe the horses.

The Hole is a small triangle of land divided in half by Brooklyn and Queens, and is located west of the intersection of Linden and Conduit Boulevard. The Hole is literally a hole. It is "30 feet below grade," according to the NY Times, sunken down from the busy roads around it. The neighborhood floods often and is only a few feet above the water table, so its homes are "not incorporated into the city sewer system. They all have cesspools," according to the NY Times. Streets are threatened by reedy marshes, and many residents keep a boat parked in the driveway.

The Hole is well known for its holes. The New York Times has called it a "reputed mob dumping ground" while Wikipedia refers to it as "an infamous mob graveyard." People living in the neighborhood tell stories of how "200 dead bodies" were found up the street in a now-abandoned development, or how bodies are frequently "found by the side of the road." These stories are rooted in truth.

In 2004, the FBI descended on the neighborhood, searching for the bodies of up to four men believed to be buried in an empty lot. They began digging in the same location where - 23 years earlier - "the body of a Bonanno crime family captain" was found dead, wrapped in a "yellow carpet," according to the NY Times. Investigators sifted through the soil "like prospectors panning for gold," said the NY Times. Eventually, they discovered what may have been the remains of "two mafia captains" from "the Bonanno crime family" that were buried by "several members of the Gambino family who were close to John Gotti," said the NY Times.
Other residents of The Hole reminisce about how it was once populated by vast fields of horses. Many belonged to The Federation of Black Cowboys, who hold an annual rodeo nearby. It was "the closest thing New York has to a border town" with "all the characteristics of a frontier town in the Old West.... dusty streets, stray dogs, ramshackle corrugated tin structures and even a few cowboys," according to the NY Times.

There are no longer any horses in The Hole. Beginning in 2002, according to the Village Voice, "about 100 horses" were evicted to make way for a new development. 40 horses still live nearby at Cedar Lane Stables, but there is no evidence that the horse-pasture-development ever happened. Instead, an abandoned house sits at the center of The Hole in a huge empty field. As one local said to The Voice, "it's tough being a cowboy in East New York."

Today, the neighborhood has been torn apart by failed development schemes. Besides the empty horse pastures and abandoned houses, the edges of the The Hole are dominated by two large, apparently abandoned real estate projects. At the western edge is a trash strewn, boarded-up row of new homes, and towering above the eastern edge of the neighborhood is a stalled development once named "Cobblestone Estates." According to the NY Times, construction here stopped in 2007, and the remaining mountain of debris has given neighbors below in The Hole "nightmares about avalanches" and a "constant fear of a rockslide."

Although the future of The Hole is uncertain, it still stands - like The Iron Triangle  and Edgemere - as one of the most unique neighborhoods in New York City. Satan's Laundromat once enthusiastically called this area "the most obscure neighborhood in New York" and according to a 2005 article on the area in Forgotten New York, "this is the true New York, this is NYC with pretense and artifice stripped away."


Greg Straw said...

Up state is fine...the rest is all the S-hole.

robertsgt40 said...

That was my first thought NYC is the hole. Heard it described by friend who used to live there. "Five lbs of sht in a three lb bag" LMAO

Dan said...

I hear Andrew Archer aka Richie 127 used to live there.

ThePatriotMuckraker said...

I bet rent is still $1500 a month, lol.

kevpen said...

We do not know where this is but yet we DO have photos!!! Interesting!!

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