So, you’ve chosen your NYC borough – and what a choice, by the way! Queens has the suburbia feel, yet it’s less than an hour away from the heart of Manhattan. This way you can have the best of both worlds! It’s also the largest and the most diverse of all boroughs, so you’ll easily fit in with your lifestyle. However, picking the borough isn’t the end of the relocation decisions, especially when you take into consideration how large Queens is. You need to choose which Queens neighborhood fits best with your preferences and your lifestyle. Read about the most popular neighborhoods and take your pick!
Astoria – the most famous Queens neighborhood
With just a 15 minute commute to midtown Manhattan and relatively affordable housing, it’s easy to see why Astoria has a head start. Other than that, it also holds the title as one of the safest neighborhoods. In fact, the only thing you need to watch is your weight, as the food here is super delicious. Among numerous international cuisines, Astoria is especially famous for its Greek food – so much so that it’s nickname is the Greek capital of NYC. Another thing that’s so attracting about this Queens neighborhood is it’s convenience – everything is within walking distance. Speaking of walking, Astoria Park is a great place to spend time on weekends. The park is widely known for the oldest and largest public pool in the city, which is admission-free and offers the most scenic swim in the city. If you move in the summer, you’ll definitely have fun things to do after you settle in!
Bayside – the ideal family neighborhood
If you’re moving to Queens with a family, then this is just the neighborhood for you. Quiet yet lively, it’s a true middle-class oasis with mostly Italian and Greek residents. Bayside is especially popular because of its school districts, frequently the highest-rated in the city. For this reason, families with kids are moving to the neighborhood, which is why it’s mostly a single-family area. LIRR shortens the commute to Manhattan to a 30-minute ride, but with the top-notch restaurants and nightlife in Bell Boulevard, you’ll be fine just staying in Queens. Bayside also has beautiful green spaces for all kinds of activities. Here’s a short list of the most popular parks:
- Crocheron Park – Good for baseball, basketball and tennis players
- Clearview Park and Alley Pond Park – Both parks have golf courses. If you’re a golfer, this Queens neighborhood is just right for you!
- Bayside Marina – A true heaven for bikers, joggers and all nature lovers
- Fort Totten Park – Outdoor pool, soccer field, and nature center
Flushing – the home of Asian culture
You’ve been to Manhattan and think you’ve seen the original Chinatown? Think again, because as of late the Flushing Chinatown, so-called Mandarin Chinatown, has surpassed the Manhattan one! In this Queens neighborhood, Chinatown has fused with the American way of life, so you’ll see McDonald’s right next to an Asian restaurant. Flushing is also home to some of the City’s best attractions, from Louis Armstrong House Museum to Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The green lung of the neighborhood is the Queens Botanical Garden, a 40-acre urban oasis with inspiring gardens. However, keep in mind that in Flushing, homes are much more expensive than the US median. If you don’t have enough savings and don’t want to move to a smaller apartment, it’s best you look for a more affordable neighborhood.
Jackson Heights – the world’s melting pot
Garden apartment buildings, brick rentals, and co-op buildings are the most popular living options in this neighborhood. With a largely immigrant population, mostly Latinos, Colombians and South Asians. this is a true melting pot of the world. In fact, over 160 languages are spoken in the area! It’s seeing an influx of young professionals, so it’s above all an urban neighborhood. If you love treating your palate – and let’s face it, who doesn’t – you’ll love the fact that Jackson Heights is teeming with restaurants. And then, there are the parades, the Ecuadorian Parade, the Colombian Parade, the Halloween Parade – you name it. They all reflect the neighborhood’s diverse culture, bringing the community closer together. Plus, it’s also the midpoint of local train routes, whether you’re going to Jamaica or Brooklyn, so every part of town is accessible.
Long Island City – the evolving neighborhood
This is a neighborhood for all the artistic souls who wish to experience the urban feel of Queens. It’s one of the most vibrant areas in the whole New York City. This is a newly developing area still in transformation, so if you want a youthful, cosmopolitan vibe, then you can stop searching. Once an industrial part of New York, it has become extremely diversified and gentrified, with condos popping up left and right. Additionally, it’s slowly becoming the largest concentration of art outside of Manhattan. If you’re into sophisticated, intimate art – Long Island City is the perfect Queens neighborhood for you. Want to experience live music while watching a silent movie? Then head straight to the Museum of the Moving Image. If you prefer exhibition space to the collecting institutions, then visit MoMA PS1 for the most experimental art in the world. And there’s more: free kayaking, waterfront parks, wineries, comedy clubs, you name it, Long Island City’s got it.
The rustic charm of Sunnyside
Here we have a quiet, low-rise, safe, and affordable neighborhood. This old-fashioned part of New York is attracting more and more newcomers, as it is a cheaper alternative to Brooklyn and Manhattan. A part of the neighborhood called Sunnyside Gardens is a historic district, built in the 1920s. The neighborly vibe makes it a tightly-knit community. Also, it’s a dog lover paradise, so if you’re moving with your paw friend you two will have lots of company during your walks. Due to the ongoing gentrification, however, prices are expected to skyrocket. Still, for that amount of money, you’ll still get a larger apartment than in Brooklyn, for example.
All in all, each Queens neighborhood is unique in its own way. Remember that these are not all of the neighborhoods in the borough, but hopefully, this article has crystallized your idea of an ideal neighborhood.