Travel, visit and explore best sights, attractions and activities in Queens.
Queens is a crescent-shaped (with a tail) borough traversing the width of Long Island and including two of the major 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.
The geographical center of New York City is actually in Queens and the borough is home to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, the site of the 1939 and 1964 World's Fairs. The area around the park still includes an interesting museum and some architectural and artistic relics of the events (including the Unisphere, a 300 ton spherical grid of steel, the world's largest globe, as featured in "Men In Black"). The northern end of the old fair grounds includes Citi Field, home of the New York Mets professional baseball team, and the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home of the U.S. Open (tennis); further north one can walk along the edge of the marina along the Long Island Sound. The park also includes a science museum, a zoo, and pedal-boats, and hosts frequent special events.
Queens has many distinct neighborhoods, some of which are ethnically diverse: Long Island City, Jackson Heights, Flushing-Northeast, Forest Hills-Forest Park, Jamaica and The Rockaways.
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.
P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center. Supported by the Museum of Modern Art, 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.
Steinway & Sons Pianos. 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.
A number of museums are located in Long Island City, including the Isamu Noguchi Sculpture Museum in Noguchi's former sculpture studio, the Museum of African Art, Sculpture Center, and the Museum of the Moving Image which includes interactive exhibits on the history of video games. The area also includes two free places to view art, Socrates Sculpture Park which overlooks the East River (next to Price Costco on Vernon Blvd.), and the Fisher Landau Center showing a private collection of contemporary art.
(A general tip on NYC Museums: if you work for a large company such as IBM, GE, or Citigroup, check to see if your company is a member --this goes for all museums in NYC; different museums have different sponsors of course.)
In Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the Queens Museum offers visual art, cultural events, Worlds' Fair Memorabilia, and a sprawling scaled-down Panorama of the entire city. It's incredibly accurate, except they've yet to remove the World Trade Center.
Just off Northern Blvd in the area between Astoria and L.I.C, at 35th Avenue and 36th street, you'll find the Museum of the Moving Image, which showcases movies and the televisual arts, including video games, with revolving exhibitions. Kaufman-Astoria Studios (home of the Sesame Street, among others) stands next door; there's also a gigantic movie theater, and a nice new 24 hour diner/bar (which serves pitchers of beer) known as Cup. Take the M/R or the N/Q line.
From historic landmarks to cultural attractions, Queens offers a world within itself.
Afrikan Poetry Theatre. For Thirty-four years The Afrikan Poetry Theatre recognizes that their experience has indeed had a very broad worldwide African community outreach, in the true spirit of Pan Africanism. They have continued that legacy that emerged from that era in the 1960’s that saw an independence movement on the continent of Africa, and a resurgence of an African identity in the Americas.
Alley Pond Environmental Center is more than 655 acres of trees, water marshes, meadows, hills, and trails. It occupies part of a terminal moraine that was formed by a glacier roughly 15,000 years ago, and features kettle ponds formed by melting ice and natural springs. Though located near the Long Island Expressway, in the spring, pollen fills the air, and flowers bloom everywhere. In the summer, frogs and salamanders sun themselves on tree branches and rocks in the ponds. In the fall, birds of all feathers pass through. And in the winter, raccoon tracks can be found in the snow.
Take a look at Queens beautiful and colorful landscapes.
47-20 Center Blvd, Long Island City, NY 11109, United States
48-19 Vernon Blvd (49th Ave.), Long Island City, NY 11101, United States
4746 Vernon Blvd (at 47th Rd.), Long Island City, NY 11101, United States
Terminal 5 (JFK International Airport), Queens, NY 11430, United States
Queens, NY, United States
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