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[[Image:The Unisphere.JPG|thumb|250px|The Unisphere - [[Queens/Flushing-Northeast|Flushing]]]]
'''Queens''' is a crescent-shaped (with a tail) borough traversing the width of [[Long Island]] and including two of the major [[New York City|New York]] City area airports, LaGuardia (LGA) and John F. Kennedy International (JFK). It also carries the largest ethnic diversity in its area of any region in the world, divided into small enclaves. Jackson Heights, for example, includes a huge Indian area, followed by a Colombian area, and then a Mexican area. Each offers a wide array of authentic shops, native-style cuisine, and festivals modified only slightly by the generally colder New York City experience.
===Visitor information===
* <listing name="Discover Queens Visitor's Center" alt="" address="90-15 Queens Blvd" directions="inside the Queens Center, Subway: M/R trains to Woodhaven Blvd" phone="+1 718 592-2082" url="" hours="M-F 10AM-6PM, Sa-Su 11AM-7PM" price="" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]" fax=""></listing>
For information on how to '''walk''' or '''bicycle''' to and from Queens, check out the Transportation Alternatives website []. Except for the Whitestone and Throgs Neck bridges, all the bridges can be crossed by pedestrians and bicycles. Be prepared, however, for long walks, and don't forget that Queens is very, very big, and not well-designed for a walking tour. A map is necessary.
Sadly, most Queens visitors spend their visit on a bus to or from LaGuardia Airport or JFK Airport. A proper tour of Queens is worthwhile. It can be conducted by a stalwart driver; others may find the roads tough to navigate. However, much a lot of of Queens (but unlike Manhattan, not all of it), including many of the most interesting parts, can be seen by subway. A trip on the 7 train, made nationally famous by the contempt of former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker, is a cultural experience in and of itself. The 7 runs elevated through most of Queens, so you'll be able to get a good sense of much of the borough through its windows. A good tour of Queens should include at least three meals in three different ethnic enclaves.
Other subways for getting around (and in and out of) Queens include the A, E, F, G, J, M, N, Q, R, and Z. The Long Island Rail Road makes several stops in Queens: the main line runs through central Queens and the Port Washington line runs along the north shore (including a stop in Flushing).
Queens is quite diverse in density and character. While western Queens (closer to Manhattan) is urban, much of eastern Queens is relatively suburban. As in every borough, the closer you get to Manhattan, the more rare it is to find a stand-alone house. The more urban clusters are in the northwest: Astoria and Long Island City (LIC). LIC also contains Queens' most prominent skyscrapers, including the "other" Citibank building, located directly across the East River from the more prominent angled-roof skyscraper in Manhattan. Rising 50 stories, the building, the result of Citibank's attempt to create a new business district in LIC, is the tallest building in New York State located outside of Manhattan.
* <see name="P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center" alt="" address="22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City" directions="" phone="+1 718 784-2084" email="" fax="" url="" hours="Th-M noon-6pm" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Supported by the Museum of ModernArt, this innovative (and cheap) contemporary art museum is in a former public school building. The conversion left most of the original features of the school - the large ex-classrooms are perfect for installations - and the bathrooms are a blast from the past. P.S.1 is a few blocks south on Jackson Avenue from the Citibank tower; the entrance is a concrete slab (how fitting) which occludes view of the school itself. P.S.1 also has a nice cafe and outdoor seats where every able-bodied New Yorker can enjoy a smoke.</see>
* <see name="Steinway & Sons Pianos" alt="" address="1 Steinway Place, Long Island City" directions="" phone="+1 718 721-2600" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">They offer free guided tours during fall and spring to see the skilled craftsmen at work. Phone ahead, a month in advance is recommended, to reserve a place on these popular tours, and to check the days and times. Otherwise take the online factory tour on their website.</see>
Snobbish Manhattanites never come The snobby feel of Manhattan may not always make it to Queens, which is one of its great appeals for those who live there. There are a few top-notch bars in Queens, but it's the restaurants that really shine, for a simple reason: If Manhattan food is Yuppie food, Queens food is created by and aimed towards genuine ethnic inhabitants. To put it another way, come here if you like spicy food. If you want a real taste of Hong Kong--or Tibet, Indonesia, Colombia, Peru, India, Argentina, or just about anyplace (including France)--you'll find it in Queens.
Suggested general areas for culinary roving:
*In the '''Middle Village/Ridgewood/Maspeth''' region (near the end of the M line) you'll find Rosa's Pizza (one is at Fresh Pond Rd. and Metropolitan Ave.; another is down Metropolitan Ave. at the end of the Middle Village strip). This is one of the great undiscovered pizza parlors of Queens. It also has branches in several locations.
*Fancier food can be found in '''Forest Hills''', including '''Nick's Pizza''' on Austin St, which is fine brick oven-style chow. In the basement of the hotel at station square (right in front of a LIRR stop) you'll find Bartini's, a small lounge offering 1000 different martinis (although I suggest stopping at two). Take the E or F express trains to 71st-Continental Av.
*'''Astoria''' offers great Greek and Czech food, as well as some of the hipper bars and diners in Queens, (you're right next to the movie studios). '''Kabab Cafe''' at 25-12 Steinway St is a great spot to go for Egyptian food. '''Mombar Egyptian Restaurant''' is an Astorian institution. Remember the address 25-22 Steinway St as there is no sign. Then again, a sign isn't necessary when you can recognize a stunning and ornate tile work framing the door. It was completed by Mombassa himself. His brother owns Kabab Cafe. Also along Steinway Street's Egyptian corridor near Astoria Boulevard is '''Sabry's''', which serves some of the most delicious and fresh fish and shellfish in the entire area, all at a fraction of Manhattan prices. '''Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden ''' is somewhere to definitely check out during the summer. This Czech beer garden and cultural center is swarmed over the summer with crowds enjoying the huge back patio filled with picnic tables. There is food served until about midnight. During the year, the center also holds various cultural events.'''Tokyo 1''' located at 3105 24th Avenue (near 31st street) is a Japanese Restaurant restaurant that has good and cheap sushi. '''Los Amigos''' is a Mexican Restaurant restaurant just beneath the Ditmars Avenue stop on the N train. It's on 31st streetStreet. They have very good food and drinks.*If you just want a hamburger, you'll find the '''Jackson Hole Diner''' along Astoria Blvd between Jackson Heights and Astoria, just west of LaGuardia airport. This is a real diner (formerly the Airport Diner as seen in "GoodFellas") converted to suit Jackson Hole (another NYC-only chain). Jackson Hole burgers are good, although they need salt. Imagine a half-pound hockey-puck-shaped meatloaf and you're pretty close. But it unlike a hockey puck would taste, this tastes good.
*There's some fine dining to be had in '''Hunters Point''', or so it's said, just southwest of Long Island City. Spacious riverfront restaurants appear here and there in the warehouse zone. It would be wise to drive or take a taxi.
*Along Cross Bay Blvd in '''Howard Beach''' you'll find '''Captain Mike's''', what appears to be a converted yacht now selling crabs, shrimp, and beer (dine at the bar or take it home; summertime only).
*'''Corona''' is home to an Italian and Hispanic community and the famous "Lemon Ice King of Corona". A favorite place for Mets fans to stop after the game, the corner shop offers over 20 flavors of ices including cantaloupe, watermelon, rum raisin, licorice, pistachio, pina colada and my favorite peanut butter.
There are a number of hotels in [[Queens/Flushing|Flushing]] that serve LaGuardia Airport, including a Sheraton. There are also many hotels near Kennedy Airport in Jamaica, but the location is generally considered undesirable for visitors, except for its proximity to the airport. Some hotels in Jamaica are listed as three stars but are nevertheless poorly kept. Other hotels are scattered through Kew Gardens, Forest Hills, Elmhurst, Long Island City, and various other neighborhoods.
* <sleep name="New York LaGuardia Airport Marriott Hotel" alt="" address="102-05 Ditmars BoulevardBlvd, East Elmhurst" directions="" phone="+1 718 565-8900" url="" checkin="4:00 pm4PM" checkout="Noon" price="" lat="" long="">Offers a fitness center, swimming pool, flexible meeting space and complimentary hotel shuttle to and from LaGuardia Airport.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Ravel Hotel" alt="" address="8-08 Queens Plaza SouthS, Long Island City" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="">A luxury boutique hotel offering 63 lodging accommodations overlooking Manhattan with 9ft ceilings, private balcony, and spa-like bathrooms.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Verve Hotel" alt="" address="40-03 29th StreetSt" directions="" phone="+1 718 786-4545" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long=""></sleep>
* <sleep name="Courtyard Marriott LaGuardia Airport" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Courtyard by Marriott LaGuardia Hotel boasts Boasts of "288 spacious hotel rooms and suites," and "a 7000-square-foot banquet facility," and touts its restaurant. </sleep>*<sleep name="Marco LaGuardia Hotel" alt="" address="137-07 Northern BoulevardBlvd" directions="" phone="+1 718 445-3300" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">The Marco LaGuardia Hotel is an upscale Upscale boutique hotel that offers 4 star accommodations and servie.</sleep> ==Stay safe==Queens overall is the second-safest borough behind Staten Island. However, it does have a few high-crime areas. This unofficial map can be used as a guide:
Unlike in the rest of New York, addresses include the neighborhood rather than the borough in Queens (e.g., Flushing, NY; Woodside, NY).
==Get out==
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{{isPartOf|New York City}}
[[fr:New York (ville)/Queens]]
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