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Map of Queens

Queens

Queens, across the East River from midtown Manhattan, is becoming a top cultural destination. P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, housed in a former elementary school (P.S. stands for Public School), is a hip destination, especially in the summer when there are DJs spin on the roof. It was recently remodeled by famed architect Frederick Fisher, and includes sculpture, a theater, and many interesting modern installations. Socrates Sculpture Park, an open-air park with free exhibits of large sculpture, has a great view of Manhattan. The Noguchi Museum displays many sculptures and works of design created by the famed Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi.
Did You Know?
Since the 1920s, Queens has been the "home of jazz," the residence of choice for hundreds of jazz musicians, including such notables as Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Dizzy Gillespie.

Most of the above cultural attractions are in Long Island City (L.I.C.), which is the closest Queens neighborhood to Manhattan, directly across the East River from midtown. It's the first stop out of Manhattan off the 59th Street (Queensborough) Bridge and the E and V subways, and is also accessible via the 7 train and the G, the latter which stops in Queens and Brooklyn only, not Manhattan. Also part of the free weekend Queens Artlink shuttle service is the American Museum of the Moving Image, which no movie fan should miss. AMMI is in Astoria, which has a large Greek population, as showcased by the many Greek restaurants, coffee houses, pastry shops, lounges, and clubs. AMMI, which has the nation's largest permanent collection of moving image artifacts, educates the public about the art, history, technique, and technology of film, television, and digital media, and examines their impact on culture and society. Located within the former Paramount Pictures studio complex, the museum has more than 70,000 items in its permanent collection and has more than 300 special programs a year. Don't be surprised if you hear someone shout "Action!" There are two studios filiming movies and TV shows nearby: Kaufman Astoria Studio in Astoria and Silvercup Film Studios in L.I.C.

Following a major renovation, the QCC Art Gallery in Bayside, Queens reopened October 24, 2004 with the sole U.S. exhibition of "An American Odyssey, 1945-1980 [Debating Modernism]."

From Ireland to India in a Subway Stop
Queens is the most ethnically diverse 115 square miles on earth. The 7 subway line has been dubbed The International Express and has been designated a National Millennium Trail for its representation of the immigrant experience. In addition to Greek Astoria, Jackson Heights has a fantastic Little India, with great restaurants, food markets, and shopping, and Peruvians swear this is where you can get the only decent grilled chicken outside of Lima. Flushing has a large Chinese and Korean population and is home to the 1862 Romanesque Revival Flushing Town Hall, where Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts organizes a variety of art exhibits and jazz and classical music performances throughout the year. In Sunnyside you can spend an evening at a Spanish theater or a Romanian night club; in Woodside, rent a Thai video or hear traditional music at an Irish pub. Italians, Japanese, Colombians, Asian Indians, Puerto Ricans, Israelis, Maltese, and many other groups add diversity and flavor to Queens.

The Great Outdoors

Flushing Meadow-Corona Park's 1,255 acres, the site of two World's Fairs (1939 and 1964), has meadows, lakes, and athletic fields, and is home to the Unisphere, Queens Museum of Art, the New York Hall of Science, Shea Stadium, the Queens Theatre in the Park, the USTA National Tennis Center, the Queens Zoo, and the Queens Botanical Garden. The Unisphere, an enormous metal globe sculpture, is a well-known symbol of the 1964 World's Fair. Its adjacent uneven towers were the spaceship launching pad for aliens in the first Men in Black. U.S. Open Tennis Tournament is held at the USTA National Tennis Center every year starting at the end of August. At one time the tennis center was called Louis Armstrong Stadium, honoring the jazz trumpeter whose home in Corona is a national landmark. Jazz aficionados can explore the Queens Jazz Trail, a tour operated by Flushing Town Hall that visits the neighborhoods, clubs, and museums of and about America's jazz legends including Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, and Tony Bennett. These tours are led by historians and musicologists, and conclude with a homemade lunch of southern cooking followed by a live concert by leading jazz musicians at Flushing Town Hall. Also in the park, the New York Hall of Science is a kid-friendly place with more than 225 interactive hands-on exhibits; the Queens Museum of Art has a model of the entire city - more than 835,000 tiny buildings; Shea Stadium is home of the New York Mets; the Queens Zoo has more than 400 animals of nearly 70 species; and the Queens Botanical Garden has 39 acres of paths to enjoy. Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge (718/318-4340), a 9,000-acre preserve with more than 325 species of birds, salt marsh, upland fields and woods, freshwater ponds, and an open expanse of bay and islands, is heaven on earth for both birds and birdwatchers. And for beach-goers longing to hang ten, the surf at Far Rockaway is a boarder's paradise all year round. Rockaway Beach is America's longest municipal beach, with almost ten miles for sun worshippers and sandcastle builders. The Alley Pond Environmental Center, in Douglaston, has the only working windmill in New York City. With an extensive system of nature trails on the grounds, it offers a wide range of educational programs related to the environment.

Historical Sites

Queens has many historical sites including the Queens County Farm Museum in Floral Park. The Farm Museum is the oldest and longest continuously farmed site in New York State, and offers educational and recreational programs for free all year long. There are colonial houses, a greenhouse, livestock and now a modern corporate and private event center in the renovated barn. Bowne House (718/359-0528), in Flushing, was built in 1661. The birthplace of religious freedom in America, the Bowne House is a National Historic Landmark. The Quaker Meeting House (718/358-9636), also in Flushing, is New York City's oldest house of worship, and has been used continuously since 1694. The King Manor Museum (718/206-0545) in Jamaica, is the former home of antislavery stalwart Rufus King. The circa 1800 house is surrounded by 11 acres of original farmland. Kingsland House (718/939-0647), in Flushing, was built for Charles Doughty in 1785. When you fly into John F. Kennedy or LaGuardia airport, your New York experience begins in Queens. As you can see, this borough has much more than runways and is well worth exploration.

More Information on Queens:
Discover Queens, 718/286-2663

Map David Lindroth Inc., dlindmap@bellatlantic.net
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