Sweet Spot With Mike Sugerman: Unraveling The Mystery Of Haberman, Queens

Mike Sugerman
November 15, 2019 - 5:00 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — If you've checked a map of New York City recently you may have stumbled across a neighborhood in Queens that you've never heard of and that's because it doesn't exist.

For the latest episode of the Sweet Spot, WCBS 880's Mike Sugerman recently went to Maspeth in search of the community of Haberman. 

When he asked people in the neighborhood "Where's Haberman?" many replied "I don't know" and one man even replied, "Who's Haberman?"

"Haberman" apparently sits in the shadow of the Kosciuszko Bridge. It's mostly industrial or abandoned, but one man who lives in the area says it used to be a more vibrant neighborhood.

Blogger Jeff Sisson — a software engineer, artist and math aficionado — noticed the name while searching for directions on Google Maps last year.

He'd never heard of it, so he decided to do some research.

"It didn't seem like an actual name of a real place and so I did some digging," said Jeff Sisson, a software engineer, artist and math aficionado. "It was a name that was sort of inadvertently invented by Google and other digital mapping providers."

Once upon a time there was a stop along the Long Island Rail Road's Montauk Branch called "Haberman Station," but that disappeared decades ago.

It is still on some government maps so it was unknowingly digitally resurrected.


Sisson wrote the story up on his blog, The RegEx King, and Haberman soon disappeared from Google Maps.

"Someone within Google sort of noted that I had noted that the neighborhood name wasn't real and they must have some kind of after-the-fact editorial process that allows them to sort of pull neighborhood names that aren't real or in some way aren't worth putting on the map from their map," Sisson said.

It's not the first time this has happened. 

Ever heard of Brooklyn's RAMBO, or Right Around the Manhattan Bridge Overpass?

Well, it's on some Google Maps. As Sugerman reports, it's a nice place... but it doesn't exist.