Borough Info > Queens
Culture, arts and sportsQueens is a borough of choices - from premier cultural institutions to first rate recreational facilities. Western Queens is becoming an artistic hub, including the Noguchi Museum, Socrates Sculpture Park, Museum for African Art, and the American Museum of the Moving Image. The P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center in the neighborhood of Long Island City is one of the largest and oldest institutions in the United States dedicated solely to contemporary art. Other notable attractions include the New York Hall of Science which occupies one of the few remaining structures of the 1964 New York World's Fair in Flushing Meadow-Corona Park and stands as New York City's only hands-on science and technology center.
If you want to relax, Queens has 7,000 acres of parkland and 7 1/2 miles of beach front to choose from. In addition, residents can enjoy exploring the Queens Botanical Garden. Begun as part of the 1939 New York World's Fair it now consists of 39 acres (158,000 m²) of public rose, bee, herb, and perennial gardens.
Sports enthusiasts know that Queens is the home of the New York Mets baseball team, the U.S. Open tennis tournament, and Aqueduct Racetrack.
Food and diningBeing the most diverse county in the nation Queens is home to food markets and restaurants representing many cultures. Queens has some of the best eating in the whole world, mostly because the world has come to Queens. You can find great places for take-out, fancy restaurants with views of Manhattan, and everything in between.
Every area of Queens is home to a multitude of culinary delights. For example, residents can experience Mexican foods along Roosevelt Avenue, African American food in Jamaica, Queens, and Asian cuisine in Flushing. Fans of Greek food while find every dish or delicacy they could ever desire in Astoria. And the list of neighborhoods and foods just goes on and on.
Some of the best restaurants in Queens include Douglaston's Il Toscano, an upscale Italian restaurant, that cannot be beat for an all-out feast. In Astoria, the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden serves delicious Czech beer, roasted meats, potato dumplings, and sauerkraut. Flushing's Dosa Hutt serves delicious food from southern India. At once, exotic and homey, odd and familiar, delicious and more delicious, the Dosa Hutt is what exploring the far-flung tastes of Queens is all about.
ShoppingQueens provides a broad range of shopping options from large malls to small shops. The Queens Center Mall in Elmhurst is the premier mall in Queens and one of the most successful malls in the nation. Atlas Park in Glendale offers upscale stores and a beautiful outdoor layout.
But discerning shoppers know that Queen’s diverse neighborhoods are home to a vast collection of unique boutiques with merchandise from around the world. These include Mimi's Closet in Astoria, a new clothing boutique where designer Motomi Yamanobe makes clothes just for you, Toy Qube in Flushing where you will find the coolest-looking designer toys, and Little India in Jackson Heights where numerous emporiums feature everything from a sari to a statue of the Hindu god Ganesh.
Queens has an excellent transit system making it unnecessary for residents to own a car. Twelve New York City subway routes traverse Queens, serving 81 stations on seven main lines. About 100 local bus routes move people around within Queens, and another 15 express routes shuttle commuters between Queens and Manhattan.
A commuter train system, the Long Island Rail Road, operates 20 stations in Queens with service to Manhattan and Long Island. Jamaica Station is a hub station where all the lines in the system but one converge. It is the busiest commuter rail hub in the United States. Sunnyside Yard is used as a staging area by Amtrak and New Jersey Transit for intercity and commuter trains from Penn Station in Manhattan.
A year-round scheduled ferry service connects Queens and Manhattan. New York Water Taxi operates service across the East River from Hunters Point in Long Island City to Manhattan at 34th Street and south to Pier 11 at Wall Street. During baseball season, NY Waterway ferries operate to Shea Stadium for New York Mets weekend home games.
Two of New York City's three major airports are located there; LaGuardia Airport in northern Queens, and John F. Kennedy International Airport to the south on the shores of Jamaica Bay. AirTrain JFK provides a rail link between JFK and local rail lines.
Queens is traversed by three east-west highways. The Long Island Expressway, runs from the Queens Midtown Tunnel on the west through the borough to Nassau County on the east. The Grand Central Parkway, whose western terminus is the Triborough Bridge, extends east to the Queens/Nassau border. The Belt Parkway begins at the Gowanus Expressway in Brooklyn, and extends east into Queens, past Aqueduct Racetrack and JFK Airport.
There are also several major north-south highways in Queens, including the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, the Van Wyck Expressway, the Clearview Expressway, and the Cross Island Parkway.
Queens is connected to the Bronx by four bridges: the Bronx Whitestone Bridge, the Throgs Neck Bridge, the Triborough Bridge and the Hell Gate Bridge. Queens is connected to Manhattan by two bridges and one tunnel: the Triborough Bridge, the Queensboro Bridge, and the Queens Midtown Tunnel. The Kosciuszko Bridge connecs Maspeth, Queens to Greenpoint, Brooklyn. of Queens.
Schools, colleges and universities
Interestingly, most of the top private schools have a religious affiliation. Famed parochial institutions include Archbishop Molloy High School in Briarwood which has received many awards of excellence, including recognition as an "Outstanding American High School” and Christ the King Regional High School known for its technology program, one of the best in a New York State high school.
LaGuardia Community College, part of the City University of New York (CUNY), is known as "The World's Community College" for its diverse international student body representing more than 150 countries and speaking over 100 languages. The college has been named a National Institution of Excellence and one of the top three large community colleges in the United States.
Queens College is one of the elite colleges in the CUNY system and has over 16,000 students from 120 different countries. It was ranked eighth in the United States by The Princeton Review in a recent edition of "America's Best Value Colleges".
St. John's University is a private, coeducational Roman Catholic university with over 19,000 students. St. John's is known for its medical, pharmacy, business and law programs as well as its men's basketball and soccer teams.
Real EstateAs with all New York City boroughs, Queens offers a diversity of housing options, which vary in style and expense depending on the neighborhood. Here are a few options:
Beautiful Forest Hills Gardens, built as a planned garden city community in 1909 is still the most exclusive address in Queens and features beautiful detached homes. Along and on the north side of Queens Boulevard there is higher density housing, apartments, co-ops and condos. In the area west and south of Forest Hills Gardens, you will find single- and multi-family homes, developed in the 1920s through 1940s.
Some of the most popular neighborhoods for those commuting to Manhattan are Astoria, Long Island City (LIC), and Jackson Heights. They are all a short subway ride to Midtown. Astoria and LIC are just across the East River from Midtown and the Upper East Side.
Astoria has become one of the hottest, most popular areas in Queens. It has a real neighborhood vibe with many great places to eat and shop and there's even nightlife. It is still possible to find a great apartment (with roof or backyard access) that's a true savings from life in Manhattan.
Less gentrified than Astoria, Long Island City cannot be beat for commuting to Manhattan. It's the shortest commute from Queens. Many artists call LIC home (often migrating from pricey Brooklyn). LIC's great location has the attention of city and business leaders with big plans for developing the waterfront. A few residential towers have already been built and there are plans for many more.
Similar to Astoria, Jackson Heights offers great dining and shopping options and quiet residential streets. Housing near transportation tends to be in large apartment buildings. Many are pre-war, meaning the apartments are larger and better insulated than in newer buildings. Other streets are lined with row houses and less often with multifamily and single-family dwellings.