When Ardizzone was a child, Willets Point was still mostly farmland, and his family kept chickens and goats on their property. The World's Fair in 1939-40 gradually started to change all of that, and by the 1960s and '70s, the chops shops and warehouses had taken over.
The rest of the families that made up the neighborhood eventually moved out, but Ardizzone stayed, living in the rooms that he grew up in, above a coffee shop.
"Where would I go?" he asks. "My sister is always trying to get me to move out, but I like it here. It's quiet in the evenings, and there is always somebody to talk to."
Mayor of Willets Point: The last man standing