Neighborhood: Hunters Point
Population: 6,426 people; population density 9,321 people per square mile (Brooklyn: 34,917 people per square mile)
Adjacent Neighborhoods: Northwestern Queens (Astoria, Steinway, Jackson Heights, Woodside)
Public Transit: E, M (23rd St. – Ely Ave.), 7 (45th Rd. – Court House Sq., Vernon Blvd./Jackson Ave.), G (Long Island City – Court Sq., 21 St.), and the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) (Long Island City, Hunters Point Avenue).
What’s Here?: Hunters Point is quickly-gentrifying neighborhood on the western edge of Queens, with East River views to Manhattan and Midtown just a subway stop or two away. Hunters Point Park South, a brand new public park on the waterfront, has been called Queens’ new “destination playground,” a much-lauded green space featuring athletic fields, a state-of-the-art playground, a dog run, and a sandy beach — with panoramic views of Manhattan. The park is the centerpiece of this neighborhood on the rise, with thousands of new, modern apartments and middle-income housing developments currently being built. Galleries and museums have been popping up throughout the neighborhood, including PS1 and the Dorsky Gallery, and there are two comedy clubs (The Laughing Devil, The Creek and The Cave) with entertainment almost every night of the week. Top restaurants include M. Wells Dinette at the PS1 gallery, French bistro Tournesol, John Brown Smokehouse for barbecue, and Sweetleaf coffee shop.
Flat or Tall?: Historically, Hunters Point was industrial, working-class, and residential. But as gentrification sweeps the area, luxury apartment buildings are beginning to dominate. New towers on the waterfront — with views of the Midtown skyline — are turning the neighborhood into a place for young professionals seeking homes close to Manhattan without the Manhattan prices.
History: Hunters Point has long been a transportation hub for the city, with the LIRR’s main terminus, subway stops on multiple lines, the Queensboro bridge, and the Long Island Expressway forming the neighborhood’s southern border. For many years the area was largely industrial, filled with warehouses and factories. The Hunters Point Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, is a set of townhouses along 45th Avenue between 21st and 23rd streets. In the 1990s, gentrification began with the building of Gantry Plaza State Park. Now, more and more, the neighborhood is coming alive with young New Yorkers.
Activities: 5Pointz was until recently an outdoor art exhibit known as the world’s premier “graffiti mecca.” Socrates Sculpture Park offers unique art and great views of Manhattan. Gantry Plaza State Park and the new Hunters Point Park South provide lots of options for outdoor relaxation and sporting activities.
Check it out: The local firehouse and police station were featured in the TV series Third Watch. The East River Ferry also makes a stop in the neighborhood.