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The 12th Annual Panorama Challenge: Q&As

NYCentric Events

Hello Panorama Challengers & Pros:

This year was another wonderful success, raising money for The City Reliquary and having fun at one of the most unique spots in the world, thanks to the generosity of the Queens Museum.

Despite my fears that this year would be more difficult, the scores were actually higher than last year in both categories! Go figure. There was ONE stumper this year: no one knew how many public libraries Andrew Carnegie’s $5.2 million paid for in the early 20th Century. The answer: 67 libraries (although, because there is a slight discrepancy in the count, we would have also accepted 65). The Dual Contracts came closest with a guess of 50.  I guess Carnegie’s generosity is underappreciated, as surprising as that may be to believe?

See you all next year,

Your Quizmaster,

Jonathan Turer


Now, here’s the complete Challenge:

We neglected to read out the answers to the Halftime Quiz so I’ll include them here first. (As I mentioned in the blog post with the scores, no one got a point for the Atlas Obscura ‘I Predict a Riot’ section, but no question was a stumper.)

Miracle Mets:

  • The Montreal Expos (a Canadian team) played their first (and last) game at Shea.
  • Tommie Agee hit the longest home run ever at Shea and the Mets marked the spot in the upper deck.
  • The UN Secretariat is the tower depicted on the right side of the Mets logo. Most of the structures are meant to represent specific buildings like the Williamsburgh Savings Bank or the Woolworth Building.

I Predict A Riot:

  • The Dead Rabbit Riot involved the Dead Rabbits and the Bowery Boys
  • The Great Police Riot of 1857 involved the Metropolitan Police and the NY Municipal Police.
  • The William Charles Macready and Edwin Forrest Shakespeare riot took place at Astor Place.
  • The Straw Hat riots took place in the 1920’s!
  • The 1837 riot over high food prices involved rioters rolling barrels of flour onto the streets of Lower Manhattan.


  • 100 years ago: Alexander Woolcott’s party began the Round Table at the Algonquin Hotel in June of 1919.
  • 25 years ago: Mark Messier scored the winning goal, sealing the Ranger’s Stanley Cup victory, at MSG on June 14, 1994.
  • 75 years ago: Mary Margaret Truman dedicated the USS Missouri, the last US battleship ever built, at the Brooklyn Navy Yard on Jan 1, 1944
  • 100 years ago: Raymond Orteig announced the $25,000 prize (that would inspire Charles Lindbergh to fly nonstop from New York to Paris in 1927) at NY’s Aero Club of America on March 22nd
  • 50 years ago: Sylvia Rivera helped spark the Stonewall Uprising on Christopher Street on June 28th
  • 50 years ago: Joe Namath predicted he and his underdog NY Jets teammates would win Super Bowl III at the Touchdown Club in Miami on January 9th
  • 100 years ago: James Reese Europe led the regimental band (which introduced jazz to the European continent) of the highly decorated Harlem Hellfighters home to Harlem up Lenox Ave on February 17, 1919.

Now, on to the regular Challenge:


Tunnel Time

1          Which ‘piano man’ is the #7 train tunnel, here, named for?  WILLIAM STEINWAY

Digging began in 1892.  What conveyance did it originally carry TROLLEYS

2          This troublesome ‘tube’ is named for the neighborhood where its trains terminate, at Rockaway Parkway. What’s the name of the tunnel? CANARSIE TUBE

The repairs to this tunnel are part of Sandy Recovery Work feared by New Yorkers and described by which ‘f-ing’ three-word MTA phrase? FIX AND FORTIFY

3          Regarding this spot, in 1861, which Brooklyn poet said: “The tunnel: dark as the grave, cold, damp, and silent… now all closed and filled up, and soon to be utterly forgotten.” WALT WHITMAN

Pros, which engineering student ‘discovered’ the railroad tunnel under Atlantic Ave in 1980? BOB DIAMOND

Civic Fame

4          They’ll always have Paris and he’ll always have 103rd Street between Broadway and West End Ave thanks to our MC, Gary Dennis!  What is the actor’s name? HUMPHREY BOGART

Pros, which prestigious prep school, founded downtown in 1709, did the actor attend? TRINITY

5          192nd Street, here in St Albans, is named for a member of this hip hop group. A TRIBE CALLED QUEST

The group frequently name-checks Linden Boulevard which, in Brooklyn,  is part of what NY State Route running from Brooklyn to Montauk? It may dawn on you that in other spots this road is known as the Sunrise Highway. What route is it? ROUTE 27

6          Vincent Gardenia Boulevard is here, off Shore Parkway.  Name this set-in-Brooklyn movie featuring an Oscar-nominated Gardenia. MOONSTRUCK

He was also Oscar-nominated for his role in a 1973 movie which filmed scenes at Yankee and Shea Stadiums. Name the film. BANG THE DRUM SLOWLY

Get Lit

7          The house here was home to Carson McCullers, WH Auden and other literary stars.  Another resident was a burlesque bombshell whose life was later turned into a hit Broadway musical. Challengers, what was her name? GYPSY ROSE LEE

Pros, Anais Nin gave the house what nickname? FEBRUARY HOUSE

8          The house at 75 ½ Bedford Street is known as the narrowest in the city. It was also home to a poet whose ‘candle’s burning at both ends’. What’s her name? EDNA ST VINCENT MILLAY

Another writer who resided there created Shrek. Give us the name of his creator, who also drew for the New Yorker. WILLIAM STEIG

9          When the Army Corps of Engineers lit the fuse, their project created the world’s biggest intentional explosion at the time. What channel, here, were they trying to clear? Spelling counts! HELL GATE (NO ‘S’) (HELLEGAT also accepted)

Pros, what was the name of the rock they blasted to bits? FLOOD ROCK

Rock of Ages

10        You might think one of NYC’s unique rocks is named for the ‘stranded’ Manhattan neighborhood, here. Name the neighborhood. MARBLE HILL

Pros, the stone is actually named for this Manhattan neighborhood, here. Name the neighborhood: INWOOD

11        Another unique rock is from the Bronx, here, and is nice. That’s actually what it’s called.  Challengers, spell gneiss. G-N-E-I-S-S

Pros, this gneiss shares its name with Fordham University. Their football team once featured the Seven Blocks of Granite and one of those ‘blocks’ was honored by both the NFL and the New Jersey Turnpike. What is his name? VINCE LOMBARDI

12        Manhattan Schist forms a prominent lump looming behind the ball fields here.  Challengers, it’s hard to argue with its name. What is it called?  UMPIRE ROCK (also RAT ROCK)

265 feet of schist forms the highest point on the island, here, in this park. Pros, before James Gordon Bennett bought the land, which fort was it occupied by? FORT WASHINGTON

Signs of Woodhaven

13        The Woodhaven public library was built in 1924, here, using funds from which ‘steely’ philanthropist? ANDREW CARNEGIE

This was the last of ‘his’ libraries to be built in Queens. With a price tag of 5.2 million dollars, how many libraries did the philanthropist fund city-wide, including Woodhaven? 67 (65 also accepted, apparently there’s some confusion)

14        The sign, here, claims author Betty Smith lived in Queens. What is her most famous book, about another borough? A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN

Her book was made into a movie, directed by Elia Kazan, its screenplay nominated for an Oscar. It lost the Oscar to The Lost Weekend. In what year was the film released? 1945

15        The Woodhaven post office is designed in a style similar to Art Deco but characterized as “sleek streamlined ornament” by the AIA Guide. What style is it? Spelling counts! ART MODERNE

Inside is a WPA mural by an artist whose murals can also be found at a post office here, on the Grand Concourse? Name the artist. BEN SHAHN


Sports Nicknames

16        This CUNY school’s sports teams are the Dolphins.  Name the school. CSI (COLLEGE OF STATEN ISLAND)

Dolphins are really rare around Staten Island, but in 2015 an endangered bird was spotted nesting nearby – for the first time in a century anywhere in NYC.  Name the notable bird. BALD EAGLE

17        In an odd nod to its 17th century namesake, most of the sports teams at this legendary lower-Manhattan high school are nicknamed what? PEGLEGS

In 1996 one of the school’s former teachers wrote a memoir about growing up Irish. He won the Pulitzer Prize for it. Pros, name the author. FRANK MCCOURT

18        This Brooklyn High School, featured in the Spike Lee movie He Got Game, calls it’s basketball team the Railsplitters. Being tall like the school’s namesake could also help your game. Name the high school. LINCOLN

In 1996 the Railspitter’s biggest star staged a press conference at Juniors to announce he’d be available for the NBA draft.  Ten years later he’d play for the Knicks. Pros, name the ‘star’.STEPHON MARBURY


19        In 1776, here, John Adams, Ben Franklin and other patriots met Admiral Lord Richard Howe to negotiate an end to the conflict at this home.  It’s now in a Staten Island park named for the building’s current name. What is that name? CONFERENCE HOUSE

Before the failed sit-down, the house was known by its owner’s name. Pros, what was his last name? BILLOPP

20        Before the Battle of Brooklyn, General John Sullivan sent only five men to guard this spot. Unfortunately that’s how the Brits snuck up behind Continental Army lines. What’s the name of this pass? JAMAICA PASS

Now you can find a cemetery spanning two boros. Connie Hawkins and Lester Young are laid to rest there, surrounded by pines and hemlocks. Pros, what’s the name of the cemetery? CEMETERY OF THE EVERGREENS

21        Revolutionary War veteran Rufus King owned a home here [Jamaica] saying ‘the house is not fashionable but it is convenient’ Considering that it’s just a few blocks away from the subway, LIRR and Airtrain, the same could be said today. Which neighborhood is this? JAMAICA

Pros, King was the last presidential candidate from what political party? FEDERALIST

Creeks & Brooks in the Bronx

22        Givan’s Creek runs beneath Co-op City, here and empties into a river named for a woman accused of heresy, excommunicated and exiled from Boston in 1637. Challengers, what is her name? ANNE HUTCHINSON

Back in 1960, the creek ran through the largest amusement park in the country.  What was it called? FREEDOMLAND

23        Tibbets Brook feeds this lake, here, in what park? VAN CORTLANDT PARK

After that it flows, covered, into the Harlem River. Pros, plans are afoot to uncover it in a process known by what ‘bright’ name? DAYLIGHTING

24        Seton Falls, here, is named for a family that alienated its most prominent member — the patron saint of in-law problems.  Challengers, please name this saint. ELIZABETH ANN SETON

The brook that fed the falls is named for a type of reptile. Pros, name the reptile. RATTLESNAKE


25        This football field belongs to a historic high school on Flatbush Ave.  Founded in 1786, it was named for a Dutch scholar.  Challengers, what high school is this? ERASMUS HALL

The field is named for their one-time quarterback, who the AJHS calls the best Jewish NFL player ever. The Football Hall of Fame agrees – he’s there as a Chicago Bear. Pros, what’s his name? SID LUCKMAN

26        Back to Woodhaven! This tavern has been open since 1829 when it was known as the Old Blue Pump House.  Now it’s the oldest bar in Queens! Challengers, what is it’s name today? NIER’S

Pros, it has a horse on its sign today because it was originally built to accommodate patrons from which long-gone race track, the first dirt track in the country? UNION COURSE

27        This field, here, now belongs to Manhattan College, but it’s name refers to a longer Irish history. Challengers, what is its name? GAELIC PARK

This is one of the few spots where you can watch an ancient Irish sport using sticks, a small leather ball and goalposts. Some call it the ‘fastest game on grass.’ Pros, what sport is it? HURLING

Old Time Religion

28        Church Avenue gets it’s name from the church established by order of Peter Stuyvesant in 1654. What denomination was it then? DUTCH REFORMED

The current 1798 Georgian structure, uses materials similar to St Pauls Chapel in Manhattan. What  makes up the majority of the church’s exterior? MANHATTAN SCHIST or  STONE

29        Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims, here on Orange Street was originally led by which abolitionist preacher? HENRY WARD BEECHER

The congregation was also notable Mark Twain wrote a book – the best selling during his lifetime – in which many of them appeared.  Pros, what was its title? THE INNOCENTS ABROAD

30        Here, alongside Adam Clayton Powell Jr Boulevard is the church where he and his father preached. The Ethiopians who helped found it give it its name. What is it? ABYSSINIAN BAPTIST CHURCH

Pros, one block south is the oldest African American congregation in the state. What is it called?MOTHER AME ZION


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