Are Queens and Kerouac getting overlooked by the Landmarks Preservation Commission? Preservationists are making some noise about the Ozone Park walk-up where Jack Kerouac started On the Road. He lived with his parents at the 133-01 Cross Bay Blvd home starting in 1943, after being let out of a Navy psychiatric ward with an "Honorable Discharge With Indifferent Character." The apartment is something locals would like to see preserved and honored, and this Sunday the Queens Historical Society will run a guided trolley tour past not only the home, but seven other sites.
The Daily News reports that it's "Kerouac scholar Patrick Fenton, who will lecture Sunday about how the author's work was shaped by living in Ozone Park during the 1940s," that is questioning the city for not landmarking the site. He told the paper, "They don't really know the history of Jack Kerouac in Queens. If they knew it, I think they'd run to his house to put a plaque up."
In 1950, after his father died, Kerouac and his mother moved to an apartment in Richmond Hill, Queens. A place that Allen Ginsberg once described as a "brown, gloomy house, lamp in his room. I remember old, wooden banister leading up to his room on the second floor, a window that faced the street. We used to walk over to the Van Wyck Expressway, which was around the corner. The two of us would stare down at the sunken highway, this bowling alley of cars, and Jack would talk about how he thought that it was terrible that they could run a highway like this through a neighborhood and ruin it."
Learn more about Kerouac's Queens here and here (more details on Sunday's tour at the bottom of this page). And forget McSorley's, Harmony Bar, White Horse and Cedar Tavern, head over to Glen Patrick’s, which used to be McNulty’s Tavern, "a second home for Kerouac who used to drink there with friends like Ginsberg and Cassady."