NFT New York College Point

College Point

St. Paul's College, a seminary founded by the Rev. William Augustus Muhlenberg, only lasted from 1839 to 1848, but College Point is still stuck with the name. Still, that's better than "Target Greatlandville" or "Whitestone Lanes-town," those two great institutions that attract today's visitors.

The village of College Point was established in 1870, and the light industry based there attracted German immigrants, the vestiges of which were still visible until only fairly recently - - the new Merseyside Pub opened in 2009 at the site of Five Corners, the neighborhood's last German restaurant. Conrad Poppenhusen, who is commemorated with a bust at Poppenhusen Triangle, opened a rubber factory in College Point in 1854 and contributed greatly to College Point's development. In 1868 the rubber magnate opened the Poppenhusen Institute, which offered vocational programs and the first free kindergarten in the United States. The building still stands on 14th Road.See more.

That big vacant lot in the center of College Point was Flushing Airport, in operation until 1984 and now a potential development site, though what shape that will eventually take is still being debated. Around the perimeter of the airport sits the New York Times Printing Plant, where the paper's color sections were first printed in the 1990s. That Target across from the airport site - - and the other big-box stores that sit along 20th Avenue - - helped change the area from being just a sleepy corner of Queens with loud airplanes flying overhead in and out of La Guardia when the College Point Shopping Center opened in 1998 with tenants like BJ's, Staples, Waldbaum's and T.J. Maxx. Home Depot opened a store a few years later along the waterfront facing the airport.

But if all you're doing is stocking up on toilet paper, you're missing some of the neighborhood's charms. The First Reformed Church, for example, is a beaut. The Schleicher House at 11-41 123rd Street, now an apartment building, is a look at College Point's fancy-pants mansion past. Hermon A. MacNeil Park, named for the sculptor that resided in College Point, is a pleasant spot along the waterfront at the northern end of College Point. The bucolic tree-lined streets north of 14th Avenue up the hill toward MacNeil Park almost look like a New England town. Meanwhile, the stretch of College Point Boulevard south of 15th Avenue is an emerging Colombian neighborhood complete with bakeries and restaurants that are all worth a peek.

Powell's Cove, the inlet in the northeastern corner of College Point, is being reclaimed as a natural area by the City Parks Department - - if you traipse down to the litter-strewn shoreline at Powell's Cove Park there is a nice view of the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge in the distance. Across Powell's Cove sits the stately neighborhood of Malba, which is actually an acronym comprising the first letters of the last names of the neighborhood's five founders. Houses over in Malba are among the most expensive in Queens. Across 11th Avenue from Powell's Cove Park is the Spa Castle, the controversial 60,000-square-foot Korean spa mecca/chlorinated Disneyland that opened in 2008.

Spa Castle is open 'til midnight, so that's an option, and Whitestone Lanes is 24 hours of bowling with a full bar, but other than that nightlife isn't something you'd typically associate with College Point. Still, try Merseyside Pub or Pourhouse if you're in the area.

Cascarino's Pizzeria serves quality 'za (they're at Citi Field, too) and Colombian joints like Mr. Pollo and Las Delicias show off some diversity. Then there's Herb International, boasting "21 Different Kinds Of Soup!" and the Japanese-Mexican fusion Miso TacoFive Guys, though a chain, is still worth the calories.

Face facts, you're there for Target, which is fine, everyone needs to go to Target now and then (ditto for Toys 'R Us, Office Depot and others here), but don't overlook the College Meat Center for your meat needs or the geographically ambiguous Corona Park Salumeria for Italian specialties.


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