by Michael Hsu, 03/18/2014
Photo: Dominick Totino
William F. Moore Park
Corona Avenue and 108th Street, between 51st and 52nd Avenues
When you think of sports in New York City's public parks, a few games probably come to mind: basketball, handball, baseball, soccer. But the classic Italian game of bocce has been a fixture in City parks since 1934, when Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia had NYC's first bocce court installed (in Thomas Jefferson Park, in Harlem). Today, Queens has more public bocce courts than any other borough in the City, and the one at William F. Moore Park (most locals call it "Spaghetti Park") is one of the most famous. The court in this triangle-shaped space has a brick-dust surface. Young and old, experienced players and casual observers alike, congregate along the bench-lined court, nestled among the birch and maple trees. The string of lights hanging above the court adds to the festive, block-party-like atmosphere. The Lemon Ice King of Corona is just down the block, so its signature white cups are a fixture here among those who gather to watch the action.