Next up in InterExchange's guide of NYC Boroughs is Queens, the easternmost borough. Attached to Long Island to the west and Brooklyn to the south, it is the largest of the five boroughs. Even more impressively, Queens is the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world with over 2.2 million inhabitants. As such, Queens offers many different neighborhoods to visit, sites to see, and cuisines to sample.
Like the other boroughs, Queens is easily accessible by subway and train. Also, New York's two major airports are both located here for out of town travelers.
Air: If you are flying into New York, both JFK and LaGuardia airports are located in Queens. After you arrive, you can take a cab or local bus to other parts of the borough. You can also take the AirTran and connect to the Long Island Railroad, and A and E trains when flying into JFK.
Subway and Bus: Depending on which area of Queens you want to go to, there are many different subway options. The N, Q, E, F, M, R, G, J, Z, M and 7 trains all run through Queens, as far out as Jamaica at the end of the F and E lines. Many of these trains run express routes so that your travel time is much shorter. There are also over one hundred bus lines that run within Queens. For a full map of buses in Queens, click here.
Train: The Long Island Railroad has 20 stations in Queens that provide service to Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island. For more details, visit the LIRR's website: http://new.mta.info/lirr
What to Do
Since it is the biggest borough, Queens has tons of things to do. Here are some suggestions, but this is just the tip of the iceberg!
- Astoria Park: This park runs along the waterfront in Astoria and has great views of Manhattan. It is home to the oldest and largest swimming pool in New York! And in the summer, there are free movie nights on Monday evenings.
- Citi Field and Mets Game: For baseball fans, Queens is the home of the NY Mets! Catch a game or take a tour of the stadium!
- Flushing Meadows-Corona Park: This historic park was the site of two World Fairs and is the largest park in Queens. Within the park are Citi Field, the Queens Museum of Art, the Queens Zoo, the New York Hall of Science, the Queens Theater, and the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center- home to the U.S. Open since 1978.
- Museum of the Moving Image: This museum is devoted to the art and history of film, television and digital media. Admission is $12 for adults and $9 for students with ID. Free admission on Fridays from 4:00-8:00pm.
- Louis Armstrong House Museum: In 1943, Louis Armstrong and his wife moved to Queens, where they lived for the rest of their lives. Their home has been turned into a museum where visitors can learn more about Louis' life and music.
- Socrates Sculpture Park: The only area in New York specifically dedicated to providing artists a platform to display large-scale works of art.
- City Ice Pavilion: Go ice-skating any time of the year at this indoor rink! There are also classes to learn to ice-skate or play hockey.
- Queens Botanical Gardens: Open from April 1st to October 31st, this garden is where "people, plants and culture meet."
- Queens County Farm Museum: This farm is the oldest area of undisturbed farmland in New York City and is the longest continuously farmed site in New York State. Get away from the city for a little while in a tranquil natural environment. You'll get to see farm animals too!
- 5 Pointz Aerosol Art Center: An outdoor art and exhibit space in Long Island City. It is a warehouse entirely covered in graffiti, and tours are offered during "painting season." http://5ptz.com/
Here are some of our favorites!
- Cherry Valley Deli (12-29 150th St, Whitestone NY): Some of the best sandwiches in Queens, and a huge menu! http://www.cherryvalleydeli.net/#!menu
- Benfaremo the "Lemon Ice King of Corona" (5202 108th St, Corona): The best and oldest Italian ices. You'll also see older Italian men playing Bocci ball across the street. http://thelemonicekingofcorona.com/index.cfm
- Picnic Garden (14742 Northern Blvd, Flushing): All-you-can-eat Korean BBQ and you can cook your own meat. http://www.yelp.com/biz/picnic-garden-flushing#query:picnic%20garden
- Taverna Kyclades (33-07 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria): The best Greek restaurant in NY! It has the best seafood and there is always a wait to get a table. http://www.tavernakyclades.com/
- Martha's Country Bakery (Multiple locations): With a wide variety of cakes, pies and other baked goods, this bakery is local favorite. http://www.marthascountrybakery.com/default.aspx?pg=home
Those are just some of InterExchange's Staff picks. For more Queens restaurant recommendations, check out some of the links below.
- Eater's Top 20 Must-Try Queens Restaurants: http://ny.eater.com/archives/2012/02/mapping_queens_20_musttry_restaurants.php
- New York Magazine Top 20 Picks: http://nymag.com/restaurants/cheapeats/2011/queens/top-twenty/
- NYC Go "Seventh Heaven" Dining Along the 7 Train: This article has an emphasis on the many ethnic cuisines you can find along the 7 subway line in Queens. http://www.nycgo.com/slideshows/seventh-heaven-dining-along-the-7-train/1
- CBS New York's 15 Best Lunches in Queens: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/guide/the-15-best-lunches-in-queens/
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Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Ani is a fan of exploring new places through photography and the local cuisine. After earning her BFA in photography from NYU and gaining communications experience at International Planned Parenthood Federation, she joined InterExchange in 2012, and worked as the Marketing Producer until 2016.