The carousel in Forest Park during the winter months is an unwelcoming site: fences block the entrance, dead leaves litter a cold hard ground and the 49 carved horses, lion, deer and two chariots sit hibernating behind blue and yellow corrugated metal gates.
But when it’s time for the carousel to reopen in the spring, the Department of Parks and Recreation wants to have a new vendor in place to operate the ride, one that the city hopes can drum up some more customers for a historic machine that too few know about.
New York has four carousels in its parks: in Central Park in Manhattan, Prospect Park in Brooklyn, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens and Forest Park.
But despite being constructed by the Van Gogh of carousel carvers, the Forest Park ride is probably the least used of them all.
While the carousel sits at the corner of Woodhaven Boulevard and Myrtle Avenue, it is barely noticeable from the streets. Signage is poor: the only markers for the structure sit just outside the enclosure.
Vendors needed to publicize historic Forest Park carousel
Forest Hills 72 weighed in on the carousel:
It's a great carousel, but like a lot of Queens parks, it is neglected. Burned out light bulbs remain unchanged, it's dark and somewhat depressing, and there is an inexplicable amount of broken equipment inside the carousel's tent for storage. Sometimes it looks more like a junkyard than a merry go round.
This being Queens, we have come to expect nothing more.