Franklin, French Bulldog (2 y/o), Smith & Bergen St., Brooklyn, NY • “Tennis balls are what he’s all about. He goes crazy for them. He accidentally ingested marijuana once and got really stoned – it wasn’t mine, of course.”
John Baptist Greco, a staunch Roman Catholic, had a vision of a roadside theme park devoted to God. By the end of the 1950s, he had created a theme park built to replicate a miniature Bethlehem. Yes, you read that correctly. There was, in fact, a theme park made to be a miniature Bethlehem in devotion to God. By the 1960s, the park was visited by some 50,000 people a year. One could come and see a recreation of the Garden of Eden, biblical-themed dioramas and various tributes to the life and work of Jesus Christ. In 1984, the park was closed for renovation. Greco had hopes of expanding the site to attract more visitors; however, this was never achieved as he died in 1986.
There are two things that give this place its creepy feel. The first thing is Holy Land USA’s Catacombs. The Catacombs snake through about 200 yards, leading somewhere under the parking lot. At the time of the park’s prime, the Catacombs served as representations of famous biblical characters’ tombs. Since the park’s abandonment, they’re described as “The whole experience was definitely pretty creepy and I wouldn’t recommend it to the weak of heart. It’s dirty, dank and extremely unearthly down there” [Chuck Taylor/Ron Bozman, 8/18/97]. The second factor into this park’s creepiness is not for the faint of heart; if you would not like to read about homicide and assault, please stop reading here. In 2010, Chloe Ottman (16) went to explore the abandoned theme park with her friend, Francisco Cruz (19). Cruz made unwanted advances towards Ottman, and when she declined he decided to rape, strangle, and stab Ottman to death. This all took place right under the park’s 50-foot cross (pictured above).
Monday, March 10 is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWAGHAAD) is a nationwide observance that encourages people to take action in the fight against HIV and raises awareness of its impact on women and girls.
In New York City:
1 out of every 5 new HIV cases is among women and girls
By the end of 2012, black and Latina women accounted for more than 91% of all new HIV cases among women
Women of all races and ethnicities can get HIV, but risks of HIV may be higher in some communities.
The only way to know your HIV status is to Get Tested!
NYC Health community partners are holding numerous NWAGHAAD testing and educational events this week. Check out events in your area, call 311 or text ‘testNYC’ to 877-877 for your nearest testing location!
Voces Latinas will provide free information in Spanish focusing on HIV and women, demonstrations of the female condom, and free HIV testing.
Thursday, March 13
6-8pm: Robert Fulton Terrace Council in collaboration with National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS of NYC, Uptown Health Link and BOOM! Health will be at 530 East 169th St., Bronx, NY 10456
“Teen Talk, That’s What’s Up! A Real Conversation about Sex and your Health.” Free HIV testing will also be provided.
Saturday, March 15
10am-3pm: Bridging Access to Care will be at Berean Baptist Church 1635 Bergen St., Brooklyn, NY 11213
Free HIV testing will be provided.
To help stop HIV in NYC, remember to:
Get Tested – In addition to all the free testing locations listed above, you can also call 311 or text ‘testNYC’ to 877-877 to find local testing sites at any time throughout the year.
Get treated – If you are living with HIV or know someone who is living with HIV, get medical care. The sooner you begin treatment, the less HIV will damage your body. And if you take your HIV medications as prescribed, you are much less likely to pass HIV to your partners. For help finding care in NYC, text ‘CARE’ to 877-877.
Get Educated – Learn about the basics of HIV and AIDS in your local community.
Get Involved – Host an event, speak out, or volunteer with a local community organization that is working to combat HIV. Visit NYC Health’s HIV/AIDS information pages to learn more about HIV.
Stay Safe—Condoms provide excellent protection against HIV, other sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy. NYC Health distributes free condoms in over 3,500 locations throughout the five boroughs of NYC. Click here for more information about free NYC Condoms.
Paul, Brussels Griffon/Bichon Frise mix (7 y/o), Smith & Bergen St., Brooklyn, NY • “She’s a girl with a boys name. And she’s a wild little girl – she once jumped off the ledge of a building but didn’t break anything.”