If Jack Kerouac were still alive, he'd be turning 88 today! The author and voice of the Beats made his way all over New York City during his lifetime (the Columbia Spectator just visited some of his old urban haunts)—but his life in Queens was never really well documented, even though he lived there for 12 years (leaving in 1955).

His homes in the borough were at at 133-01 Cross Bay Blvd in Ozone Park and 94-21 134th Street in Richmond Hill, and the Queens Gazette reports that it was the longest amount of he and his mother stayed in one place. Professor and playwright Larry Myers tells them, “They were constantly on the move. Jack and his mom would sometimes just pack up and leave because they could not pay the rent.”

But why was he so quiet about Queens? It is, after all, where he wrote On The Road. Myers says it was "because nothing major ever happened to him while he was living there. Gabrielle worked all day in a shoe factory in Brooklyn while he sat home and wrote. He was kind of a recluse.”

There are a few anecdotes of his time in the borough, however. Like when he and Allen Ginsberg stopped at the Atlantic Avenue overpass of the Van Wyck Expressway, and Kerouac declared: "It looks like a bowling alley of cars." Another friend of his, musician David Amram recalls, “I knew Jack for many years , and I only heard him mention Queens once. One night in the late 50’s I was riding in a car on the Long Island Expressway with him, and as we passed by Queens, he gave this little gesture with his hand. It was a French Canadian sort of thing. And he said, ’I used to live over there.’"

Maybe for his birthday the Landmarks Preservation Commission will give him and the borough some love. To learn more about his lost years in Queens, expert Patrick Fenton has a nice history; and the New York Public Library has an expansive Kerouac Archive curated by Dr. Isaac Gewirtz (who even wrote a book about the author's fascination with fantasy sports leagues).