NFT New York Greater Queens

Greater Queens

The most diverse borough in the city, people from all over have been "discovering" Queens for years, making it home to some of the city's best ethnic restaurants and neighborhoods. Flushing's Chinatown is rivaling Manhattan's as the center of New York's Chinese community. Queens also has some of the city's best open spaces with everything from forestland to surfing beaches. And at a time when Brooklyn real estate prices push higher and higher toward Manhattan extremes, Queens is a great alternative for those who are willing to explore a little.

From the stately Tudor homes of Forest Hills Gardens (28) to the hip-hop beat of Jamaica Avenue (11), Queens has it all. Eastern Queens tends toward suburbia, while the communities along the borough's southern border often include active industrial districts. All things Asian can be found in Flushing (20), the city's largest Chinatown. Sunnyside (21) and Woodside (22) are home to Irish and Mexican immigrants alike, making it easy to find a proper pint and a fabulous taco on the same block. Jackson Heights' (6) 74th Street is Little India, while 82nd Street is packed with South and Central American businesses. Corona (23) blends old-school Italian-American delis with Latino dance clubs. Elmhurst (24) has attracted Asian, Southeast Asian, and South American immigrants to set up shop on its crowded streets. Island Broad Channel (12) feels like a sleepy village, while the Rockaways (13) offer the only surfing beaches in the city.See more.

Fans of contemporary art have long known P.S.1 (4) is the place to be, especially during its summer weekend WarmUp parties. Then head over to the Sculpture Center (31), to see what new exhibit they've cooked up for us. The Noguchi Museum (3), dedicated to the work of the Japanese-American sculptor, and neighboring Socrates Sculpture Park (2), a waterfront space with changing exhibitions, attract visitors from far beyond the five boroughs. The Fisher Landau Center for Art (25) features a world-class collection of modern art (and is free, to boot). Movie buffs should look for repertory screenings at the Museum of the Moving Image (5). The delightfully kitschy Louis Armstrong House (26) is a must-see for jazz lovers. In Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the New York Hall of Science (8) beckons the geeky kid in all of us with its hands-on exhibits while the Queens Museum of Art's (9) scale model of the entire city will wow even the most jaded New Yorkers.

In 2009, the Mets inaugurated a brand new place to make memories of exquisite disappointment, Citi Field, just in time for the team's ownership and its corporate sponsor to lose proverbial shirts. The U.S. Open takes place right across the street at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center (7). Check out girls gone wild when our local ladies, The Queens of Pain, compete in the Gotham Girls Roller Derby league. See the ponies and fritter away your hard-earned cash at the Aqueduct Racetrack (14). Hitch a ride to Rockaway Beach (13) for swimming and surfing or paddle out in a kayak on loan from the Long Island City Community Boathouse (27). Astoria Pool (1) is the city's largest with room for 3,000 swimmers. For bowling, all-night Whitestone Lanes (18) is the place to be.

Gantry Plaza State Park's (29) spacious piers attract strollers and urban fishermen alike with panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline, and a major park expansion will eventually connect the waterfront from Anable Basin to the north all the way down to Newtown Creek. The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge (15) in Gateway National Recreation Area is internationally known for bird-watching. Queens Botanical Garden is a peaceful refuge with its own bee hives out in Flushing. Fort Tilden is becoming more popular, but it's still one of New York's prettiest, natural, non-commercial beaches. Flushing Meadows Corona Park (30) is designed for active recreation, but Alley Pond Park (16) and Forest Park (17) have wooded trails perfect for wandering.

Entire books have been written on where to eat in Queens, so these are just a handful of suggestions:
Corona: Leo's Latticini (a.k.a. Mama's), 46-02 104th St, 718-898-6069--Insanely good Italian sandwiches that pair well with dessert from the Lemon Ice King, 52-02 108th Street, 718-699-5133, just a few blocks away.
Rego Park: Cheburechnaya, 92-09 63rd Dr, 718-897-9080--grilled meats are the speciality at this Kosher Uzbek gem.
Sunnyside: De Mole, 45-02 48th Ave, 718-392-2161-- Fresh, simply prepared Mexican food in bistro setting.
Bayside: Uncle Jack's, 39-40 Bell Blvd, 718-229-1100--Mayor Bloomberg's favorite steakhouse serves up fine flesh.
Flushing: Spicy and Tasty, 39-07 Prince Street, 718-359-1601--The name of this Sichuan place is entirely accurate.
Woodside: Sripraphai, 64-13 39th Ave, 718-899-9599--Easily the best Thai food in the city; La Flor, 53-02 Roosevelt Ave, 718-426-8023--Fantastic neighborhood café with Mexican-inflected dishes.

1 Astoria Pool
2 Socrates Sculpture Park
3 Noguchi Museum
4 P.S. 1 Art Museum
5 Museum of the Moving Image
6 Jackson Heights
7 US Open/National Tennis Center
8 Hall of Science
9 Queens Museum of Art
10 Citi Field
11 Jamaica
12 Broad Channel
13 The Rockaways
14 Aqueduct Racetrack
15 Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
16 Alley Pond Park
17 Forest Park
18 Whitestone Lanes
19 Queens Zoo
20 Flushing
21 Sunnyside
22 Woodside
23 Corona
24 Elmhurst
25 Fisher Landau Center for Art
26 Louis Armstrong House
27 Long Island City Community Boathouse
28 Forest Hills
29 Gantry Plaza State Park
30 Flushing Meadows Corona Park


This Neighborhood Featured in...
Living on a Budget in NYC

By Diana Bocco
The living is easy when you have lots of money. And that's why we need Diana Bocco to tell us to shop at the Greenmarket and patronize the free-for-all furniture store of the street. After all, what is living if not suffering; drinking if not free sampling? Nothing. It is nothing if not that.

End of the Line

By Krikor Daglian
Ever wonder what life is like at the end of the subway line? Krikor Daglian was intrigued by "Wakefield-241" at the end of the 2 line. While he was at it, he also checked out Woodlawn at the end of the 4 and Middle Village/ Metropolitan Avenue at the end of the M. Let's take a look at what he found.


On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Sarah Enelow
Photo:  Sarah Enelow

Fort Tilden Beach
If you're familiar with New York beaches, I bet Fort Tilden is on your radar. I know this because I went last weekend, and it was full of savvy urban escapists like you. However, this doesn't diminish Fort Tilden's low-key atmosphere, lack of commercialization, cleanliness, abundant green shrubbery, and isolation from the concrete jungle. Sure, it's no longer a secret, but still, most people won't drag themselves all the way out there. It's hard enough for folks to leave the house before 2 pm on a weekend, much less take the train to the bitter end, pass Far Rockaway, pass Jacob Riis Park, and find themselves at Fort Tilden or even Breezy Point. Go on, be that ambitious person who heads to the beach at 9 am; it's worth it.

Posted By:  Elina Salnikova
Photo:  Elina Salnikova

Grimaldi´s Home of Bread
So imagine: you are walking to work in the morning and you're in the desperate need of coffee. Hmm... Where should you go? The answer is Grimaldi's Home of Bread. At least if you live in Ridgewood, Queens. The bakery itself is very stylish, and the staff is friendly. They have a variety of different coffees as well as lots and lots of pastries (it is a bakery after all). Make sure you try their Danish Cheery. It is only $1.50, and it is so juicy that you will need a napkin (WARNING! Don't try eating it on the run). Serving fresh bread for over 100 years (founded in 1909), Grimaldi's employees are absolute professionals. So all you Ridgewood residents, don't waist your time in the morning on breakfast at home. Go get some fresh pastries on the way to work, and make Grimaldi's a daily stop.

Posted By:  Layne Mosler
Photo:  Layne Mosler

If the idea of spending $5 for a decent gelato makes you cringe, Rinaldi's might be the answer to your ice cream prayers. Yes, you have to travel to the wilds of Maspeth to taste it, but if you're in the neighborhood, it's well worth a detour. This is a family-run ice cream parlor boasting 10 flavors of rice pudding (including almond, chocolate-hazelnut and cheesecake, which is especially good) and a rotating ensemble of house-made gelato: cappuccino and hazelnut are the stars in this line-up, though dulce de leche tastes more like vanilla. Owner Max Rinaldi and his family hail from Salerno, so they also make a mean cappuccino.

Posted By:  Sarah Enelow
Photo:  Sarah Enelow

LaGuardia Airport
Raise your hand if you've considered taking a quick weekend jaunt to get out of the city. Just find a cheap flight to Florida and be back in a couple of days, right? Absolutely wrong, especially if you plan to fly Delta or any of its affiliated airlines. My history with this company during the last year has consisted of waiting at JFK for 12 hours before a canceled flight (which couldn't be rebooked for two days), being told to sprint across the terminal with an entire hour to spare (only to find a gigantic line at the gate), a three hour delay for a two-hour flight, and another cancellation resulting in an overnight stay, among other inconveniences. My legs don't fit in their seats either, and if I ever checked bags, I would have more to report. Admittedly the weather is partially to blame for some of this, yet Delta's customer service infrastructure seems ineffective, and evidently, there is an equal likelihood of disaster with clear skies.

Posted By:  Karen Clements
Photo:  Karen Clements

The Door
Dinner time at The Door means double parked cars, folks gathered round front, and sweet-smelling air. It's no wonder 'cause this Caribbean eatery delivers on taste. It might cost a bit more, but you will be satisfied. All the traditional curried and jerk favorites are on the menu along with king fish, snapper and stews. The soup of the day--no matter which day--will not disappoint. Call ahead for take out, otherwise you will wait. Thursday nights are buffet style for dine-in customers. Wear loose pants!

Posted By:  Karen Clements
Photo:  Karen Clements

Mississippi Barbeque
When the air is scented with charcoal and your eyes sting from smoke, the light must be spinnin' at Mississippi Barbeque. That light is the cue 'cause their ain't much signage to lead the way to that sweet and tangy BBQ sauce. Ribs and chicken are the finger lickin' specialties but get the sauce on the side. You'll want more and it's not sold separately. The usual Southern fixins and deserts are available to round out the meal. Take out only.

Posted By:  Karen Clements
Photo:  Karen Clements

Mama Maria's Pizzeria Restaurant
In an area rife with Caribbean cuisine, Mama Maria's is a rare find. Tucked into the corner of the ever busy Pathmark-anchored strip mall, Mama's offers traditional pizzeria pizza and Italian specialties in a surprisingly roomy and comfortable atmosphere. The dining area boasts plenty of booths and tables with groovin' tunes piped in and a flat screen high in the corner. Definitely a space worth taking a load off with friends. The prices are reasonable with weekday lunch specials. Don't want to eat in? Take out is available and neighborhood delivery is free on orders above $10. Molto bene!

Posted By:  Karen Clements
Photo:  Karen Clements

Rochdale Village
Affectionately dubbed the Big Mall, this weatherproof cornucopia of stores is a neighborhood mainstay and a valuable resource for all your important last-minute small errands. Need to play Lotto? Five stores in the complex sell tickets. Hungry? Choose from Chinese, Caribbean, American or the adjacent grocery store. Need Cash? Three Chase ATMs are available--and there's always a line. Need an outfit for tonight? The Rainbow Shop has you covered. A few doors down are hair pieces and ponytails or a beauty salon to complete your look. And don't forget to stop by the liquor store for some hooch. Shoes, jewelry, hardware, bedding, a variety store or even get your taxes done. It gets crowded the eve of a holiday and you'll probably recognize someone or run into a neighbor. With three entrances you can plan your entry and escape by the closest store.

Posted By:  Karen Clements
Photo:  Karen Clements

RCL Enterprises
Cars park two deep, cops frequently sweep the area for traffic violations and the line is long. It's dinner hour at RCL Enterprises aka The Fish House. It's not just the fried-to-order fish that draws the crowds but the heaping platters of black eyed peas, collard greens, oxtails, smothered chicken, ribs, chopped bar-b-que, Salisbury steak--all the foods you were warned about--plus such rare commodities as pig ears, hog maws and chicken gizzards. Save room for the gargantuan size desserts. Need to lessen the guilt? RCL gives back to the community with free Thanksgiving dinners. Feeding your soul never felt so good!

Posted By:  Karen Clements
Photo:  Karen Clements

Lady Bug Video & Gifts
Internet porn gotcha down? Tired of looking over your shoulder at work? Then, get your nasty on at Lady Bug Video. Conveniently located steps from Farmers Blvd, this adult store includes all the essentials once you bypass its aging video and magazine section. Swing through a set of double half doors for toys, lube and paraphernalia. Videos occupy the rear and include a selection of fetish titles far from the standard kinky fare and several amateur titles that definitely get the curiosity flowing. Viewing booths are equipped with a fresh paper towel but be warned, the store is well lit so wear a cap and shades if you don't want to be spotted. Still worried about a cover? Buy a piece of jewelry for your sweetie as you exit the store.

Posted By:  Karen Clements
Photo:  Karen Clements

La Dame Freda Botanica
Double, double, toil and trouble, go to the Botanica to build a charm of powerful trouble. Okay, so maybe it's not as intense as Shakespeare but you know someone's put roots on you! Or you need a love spell for that cutie who ain't givin' you the time of day. Freda's got all the eye of newts for a powerful stew. Crowded with candles, raw incenses, statues, coal, sage, lavender, cauldrons, and even special mixes to draw money or ward off evil onlookers. You're bound to find something that works. Even the traditional religious paraphernalia of white candles, rosaries and crosses are available. Don't be too shy to ask for suggestions, counseling or potions.

Posted By:  Karen Clements
Photo:  Karen Clements

Vincent's Clam Bar and Italian Restaurant
Here is an offer you can't refuse... a meal at Vincent's. Its all in the sauce and you can choose between three: sweet, mild or spicy (not that there's ever a wrong choice). The calamari is deftly prepared and the pasta is al dente. Loosen the belt or wear a big shirt. The food grabs on to your taste buds and never lets go. Even the bread gets a thumbs up. You will drop some cash but won't feel pinched. Vincent's is great for a date, the family or just hanging with the crew. Diners are treated with respect from a service staff that is quick and attentive to its wide range of patrons. The Godfather would be proud.

Posted By:  Karen Clements
Photo:  Karen Clements

Foodworld is the key ingredient for all your Caribbean, West Indian and soul food dishes. This neighborhood grocery gem packs a grand selection of produce at kick ass prices essential for those stews, brews, curries and soups. Yucca, chittlerlings, coconut milk, tropical fruits and all sorts of yams--they got it. Items typically limited and hard to find at chain grocers are here in abundance. Their seafood section boasts goodies from codfish to king fish so you need only make one trip. All the basics are also covered to round out your meal. Parking gets tight during weekend mornings and pre holidays. Free Sunday paper for those spending over $10.

Posted By:  Karen Clements
Photo:  Karen Clements

Rockaway Roti Shop
"Bust up shirt" is the term natives used to describe the effect good roti has on someone. It tastes so good, your belly busts out of the shirt. The West Indian Roti Shop is bound to do all that and more. Hearty portions of Caribbean favorites like curry goat, chicken and stew beef are made the West Indian way and served with either rice or roti. But get the roti 'cause they don't skimp with the sauce and it makes for the best spoon! Be warned, the cookup rice is so good, you won't want to share. Eat in or take out. Either way give yourself enough room to bust.

Posted By:  Karen Clements
Photo:  Karen Clements

B&B Beauty Supply
When its time to get your do on, you got to go to B&B. This place sells all the brand named packaged hair for weaving, braids, and buns. Plus they have a full line of insta-weaves, ponytails and wigs. But even novices know the best hair extensions aren't complete without all the gels, sprays, lotions, and potions it takes to manage your hair and theirs and this place is stocked. Accessories for your hair and the right equipment to get the job done. Makeup at the counter to finish the look and scarfs and do-rags to hold it together at night. This place stops traffic, literally. Early evening hours means no parking out front and traffic tie ups.

Posted By:  Jennifer Keeney Sendrow
Photo:  Jennifer Keeney Sendrow

Queens Criminal Courthouse
Five tips for surviving jury duty as it is served at the Kew Gardens, Queens criminal courthouse: 1. "Appropriate court attire" just means "not naked." Wear something comfortable. 2. Though you can bring your own coffee and snacks, limiting yourself to a few Washingtons for the vending machines will give you a taste of the prison life you might condemn someone to later in the afternoon. 3. Bring a laptop. There's wifi in the waiting room, and you will be waiting. 4. Bring an iPod to drown out the sounds of several televisions playing The Rachael Ray Show. Turn it off later so you can learn from Judge Judy. 5. Don't miss the aesthetically challenged, politically incorrect public artwork known as "Civic Virtue." Nothing will make you happier emerging from the E/V train at 8:30 am than seeing a sculpture depicting a mighty man trampling on the bodies of semi-nude, presumably sinful women.

Posted By:  Karen Clements
Photo:  Karen Clements

Aqueduct Flea Market
Aisles and aisles of bargains. This über-sized flea market is a low-budget outdoor shopping paradise. Wear comfy shoes ‘cause its big. Bring your fives, tens and singles; this is mainly a cash business. The usual fare—clothes, bags, music, house wares, watches, candy—is represented en masse and there are unlikely finds like fabrics and antiques. And when hunger hits, stop by the food vendors, conveniently located mid center of the aisles. They have all your favorite greasy favorites—onions and ketchup, oh my! Small admission price applies to walk-ins and on-site parking, no matter how many people are stuffed in the trunk. On nice days, go early to beat the crowds.

Posted By:  Karen Clements
Photo:  Karen Clements

Forest Park Golf Course
Kudos to the city of New York for the much needed upgrade of the track at Forest Park. This key fitness locale now looks as good as exercise makes you feel! The non-traditional track colors act as a lure so quickly that you don't realize you're getting fit. The upgrade extends to the adjacent fitness field where crunches and pull up bars are now available. And if that's not enough, the Astroturf field (okay, NY's version of Astroturf!) in the track's center makes it official. Despite the upgrade, collisions are still a factor with large amounts of local ruffians using the field. If track laps make you dizzy, the nearby walking path is yours for the meandering.

Posted By:  Karen Clements
Photo:  Karen Clements

Johnny Rockets
Sunday, Monday, Happy Days. The good old days are back. Johnny Rockets fifties-themed eatery brings all the charm of the rose-tinted fifties to your dining experience. Head up to the counter or grab a booth and waiters with white paper hats and aprons are happy to serve you. Yummy burgers wrapped in paper, fries served with ketchup smiley faces and you also get a shake with those fries via the floor show. They pump up the tunes and waiters shake their thing in group splendor. And they don’t mind if you join in! Tuesdays is cheap family nite. The adjacent theatre brings in teens and it’s a great place to bring a date!

Posted By:  Karen Clements
Photo:  Karen Clements

Santoor Indian Restaurant
Tandoori and Masala and Curry, Repeat! I’m talking the best Indian food buffet ever. All you can eat, relatively cheap. A variety of flavorful choices, a selection of spices and condiments—including tamarind sauce. Apply liberally. They keep the naan warm and plentiful. Fear not the spicy as the water is kept flowing. The L shaped buffet causes a few minor scrapes, but the pain is well worth it. You leave full in the belly and wallet. You can chow down at the lunch buffet throughout the week, but Sunday is the best day to visit for the happening scene. Just get there early ‘cause it gets busy.

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