Jul 10 2019

Sam & Dave’s “Excellent 2019 Vanderbilt Day”- #10 Bethpage #1

In the tenth post of the series, the father and son team of Sammy and Dave Russo explored one of the favorite sections of the Motor Parkway around Deadman's Curve in Bethpage.

Howard Kroplick

 2019 Vanderbilt Day  

    March 30, 2019
    Dave Russo :
    So we did it yesterday. After a one year hiatus, Sam and I resumed our annual Vanderbilt Day tradition.
    What better starting point than the Deepdale Mansion  in Lake Success, William K. Vanderbilt, Jr.'s  residence in the early 1900s. The home is still standing, just steps off of the Motor Parkway.  I'm sure not by coincidence.
     Moving west to east as always, we traveled 18 miles by bike from Lake Success to the Maxess Road Bridge in Melville We had a great time!

The garage of the Massapequa Lodge- still standing.

Heading east towards Stewart Ave along the Central RR ROW, the starting point!

Historical marker.

Original LIMP on eastern abutment of Stewart Ave bridge.


Moving east from Stewart Ave - beyond the sump.

Motor Parkway

How is this possible? Nature.


The first McDonald's! Fast food? I tried to order a drink here, but the looked at me like I was nuts. I guess they don’t know the history of the place. It was Ellen Foran's Halfway Tea House.

Sam's favorite location - the curve of the Dead Man

Close up raised fragment

Video of biking the curve


Jul 11 2019 frank femenias 3:48 PM

You had me going on that mud-trap- bike-spill at Sophia St. Great shots guys - love that profile pic of the deadly banked curve. Guessing about a 20* slope I had to reach for the protractor. More like 13*.
If I remember correctly the homeowner is aware of the fast food joint history. Wonder what a Frankfurter De Luxe cost back then when Nathan’s was 5cents.

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Jul 11 2019 Brian D McCarthy 4:18 PM

I know your not shy, Dave. Did you really knock on their door and joke about wanting takeout? Maybe they’ll check out the site here and learn about their homes history. Great video by you guys, too.

Jul 11 2019 frank femenias 5:49 PM

Whoops, forgot one

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Jul 12 2019 Dave Russo 12:38 PM

I didn’t knock on the door, but someone was in the driveway. And I told him he lived in the first McDonald’s and how that side of the house was a big take out window. I’m not sure if he was the homeowner or just a visitor. You only live once! No time to be shy! Gotta enjoy life!!

Btw I went in the Massapequa garage looking at original studs for possible markings / dates as per SBIII suggestion but there is nothing there.

Jul 14 2019 James Spina 6:40 AM

Back in the late 50s my brother and cousins would walk and ride bikes on that very curve. My grandfather worked on that very section of the road and then built a house on the left side just off ace trap in Bethpage. I’m certain the incline was close to 20 degrees and it see
S like it has settled a bit. And the actual distance of the sweep was. L myth was also quite impressive. My sister n Gram and I still walk there occasionally. Gram begins studying for a degree in Automotive Restoration at Penn College this fall. The Motor Parkway (that’s what we called it as kids in the 50s) and Howard have had a giant impact on Gram!

Jul 14 2019 Dave Russo 8:46 PM

Awesome James, stay tuned for the next post. Your input will be helpful!

Jul 16 2019 Tom 8:32 AM

Love that pic Frank, gas up and eat!

Jul 16 2019 frank femenias 11:42 AM

Dave - When you visited inside P.O. Zinzi’s motorcycle garage, did the existing studs/joists appear a century old (frail, discolored from leaks), or newer and perhaps replaced at some point? This century old + structure has an immaculate exterior!

Jul 18 2019 Dave Russo 12:19 AM

Hey Frank——I’ve been in there twice, and I never took any pics!

You’re right the exterior was definitely re-done but I believe much of the interior is original. It definitely didn’t appear new in there. I looked closely at many studs for any markings/dates, etc that SBIII said would/might be there but found nothing.

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