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Meet the Borough of Queens: tours, walks, museums, housing...

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If you go to New York and are eager to discover more than just Manhattan, you could go to Queens.
In this article I am going to indicate what you may see in Queens: museums, parks, neighborhoods... 😉

The geography and demography of Queens

Queens is a borough with 2.2 million habitants. 52% of the population is American, the rest are from 130 different nationalities. You can’t get more diverse than that!
23% of its population is under 18 years old.
It is a large borough, with a portion of Long Island, dozens of islands in Jamaica Bay and its airports La Guardia and JFK.

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What are the main neighborhoods of Queens to discover?

Queens has 60 very different neighborhoods. Obviously I could not visit them all, but during one of my stays a few years ago, Ellen Jovin a Big Apple Greeter took me to many different places.

I will not give you details about each area of Queens, only the ones I visited and liked.

The neighborhood of Long Island City (LIC) is an area that reflects quite well the evolution of Queens.

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At the moment there are many works in progress in this neighborhood, with the construction of apartments, offices, hotels. I guess in 10 years, LIC will look very different. At the moment there are many works in progress.

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In Long Island City there are many things to see and visit. This is where you can visit the museum MoMA PS1, but also Gantry Plaza State Park. The park offers a clear view on the skyline of Manhattan. You can dine at one of the restaurants in Vernon Boulevard (like Casa Enrique) and see the movie studiosaround.

Here are some pictures of these places:

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Another area is Astoria. It is a very nice neighborhood, close to Manhattan, with many bars and restaurants, and renting an apartment is much cheaper in comparison to Manhattan.

There you can visit the Museum of the Moving Image in the Kaufman film studio.

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Then I recommend that you take the 7 train and make your first stop in Jackson Heights (stop Jackson Hts - Roosevelt Avenue).

In this neighborhood there are two main communities.

On one hand, on 73rd Street, is the Asian district (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh...). You will have the impression of being in India because you will find everything specific to this country: clothing stores, food markets, restaurants ...

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Passing Down the Highway 278 bridge, you will come to the Colombian neighborhood. All the small businesses are Colombia like the restaurant "Pollos a la Brasa Mario".

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If you go back up to subway 7 to Corona Plaza Station you will reach the North Corona neighborhood with a large community of Latinos: Ecuadorians, Colombians, Bolivians, Peruvians...

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In the latter area, the houses are made of wood or brick, like the neighborhoods you can see on series and movies!

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In this same area you can visit the house-museum of Louis Armstrong (see more here).

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Just of North Corona, you'll be in Flushing Meadows with the famous Flushing Meadows Corona Park which is just as big as Central Park. It also offers many activities to do and places to see: the tennis courts where the US Open is organized every year (end of August and beginning of September), 2 museums (Queens Museum of Art and the New York Hall of Science), baseball fields, soccer and the Unisphere.

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If you keep walking north of Flushing Meadows Corona Park, or go back to the subway line 7, you will arrive on Flushing Main Street. There, you will discover a more authentic Chinatown than the one in Manhattan.

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There are almost no tourists! It looks like you are in China! That's what I liked 😀

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There are all kinds of shops, like this library with magazines and newspapers written in Chinese (well, I guess because I do not read Chinese haha).

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Thanks to Ellen, I discovered a typical tea room called Fang Gourmet Tea. I highly recommend it!

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Can one find museums in Queens?

There are 6 major museums in Queens:

- The Museum of the Moving Image: a museum about film, television and everything that has to do with image. Highly recommended 😉

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- MoMA PS1: is part of MoMA museum in Manhattan. It exhibits art, organizes special events and there's a restaurant. Highly recommended for fans of contemporary art.

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- Louis Armstrong House Museum: it is the house of the famous trumpeter Louis Armstrong. You will have the impression he still lives there. Also highly recommended.

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-Queens Museum of Art: An art museum with a reproduction of NYC !

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- New York Hall of Science: it is a perfect museum for children, with many interactive activities they will love.

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- The Noguchi Museum: a museum of the Japanese-American artist Noguchi which showcases over 240  art pieces.

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What parks does Queens offer?

In Queens there are many parks, but the biggest is Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

As I indicated earlier in this post, it has many interesting places:

- The US OPEN tennis court in Arthur Ashe Stadium with 22,500 seats.

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- Unisphere, a steel sculpture representing the Earth. It measures 42.7 meters high. It was created in 1964 in the Perisphere font created by Gilmore D. Clarke.

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- Playgrounds, tennis, soccer and baseball fields.

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- It is a perfect place to take wedding pictures.

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- Sundays are when the different communities of Queens gather with their families, they play volleyball, dance...

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- It's in Flushing Meadows Corona Park where you can visit the two museums that I pointed out above, the Queens Museum of Art and the New York Hall of Science with its 2 rockets outside the building.

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Where are the best places to go out?

In Astoria and Long Island City there are many bars and restaurants. I will soon publish new posts 😉

I highly recommend these two places but mostly Vernon Boulevard where many restaurants like Corner Bistro with their delicious burgers.

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Where to stay in Queens?

Queens is a real good deal to stay in NYC, at a good price.

I just stayed at the Wyndham Garden Long Island City which I thought was very good. It is less than 20-25 minutes from Times Square and a few feet of Vernon Boulevard.

Here's where I found 3 hotels for a really good price. (see more here)

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Can you surf in Queens?

Yes! There are many beaches in Queens like Rockaway Beach. The waves can reach 8-9 feet.

These beaches are very close to Manhattan, so they are usually very crowded during summer.

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The map of Queens with all these places:

Conclusion

You realize in this long article that the Borough of Queens is very diverse, with a lot of things to do and see.
You don't need to visit everything during your first stay in New York, but if you already have been in its most touristic places, visiting Queens could be a very good option to discover another neighborhood 😉



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