Queens County, at 109 square miles, is the largest of the five boroughs. It encompasses almost 60 unique neighborhoods and its residents speak 138 languages according to the 2000 census. It's estimated that the number is much larger, and that the metropolitan area of NYC has over 800 languages spoken in it. Queens is not a pretentious borough. It doesn't get the spotlight like Manhattan or like Brooklyn, but it doesn't ask for it either. Queens is quieter and more relaxed and just as…
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Long Island City, Northwestern Queens, Queens
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Queens County, at 109 square miles, is the largest of the five boroughs. It encompasses almost 60 unique neighborhoods and its residents speak 138 languages according to the 2000 census. It’s estimated that the number is much larger, and that the metropolitan area of NYC has over 800 languages spoken in it. Queens is not a pretentious borough. It doesn’t get the spotlight like Manhattan or like Brooklyn, but it doesn’t ask for it either. Queens is quieter and more relaxed and just as culturally interesting (if not more so) than the rest of New York. Queens is not only the most diverse borough, it is the most diverse urban area in the country.
Queens has been slower to gentrify than its neighbor Brooklyn. The smaller volume of subways that service the borough likely plays a large role in that. While there are plenty of trains to take you to Queens, there is a higher percentage of neighborhoods that don’t have a dedicated subway. Gentrification may also be slower in Queens because it’s not as close to downtown Manhattan as many parts of Brooklyn. Geographically, getting from Queens to Midtown is easier than getting down to Wall Street, though there have been studies that prove that proximity to and density of transportation are not the sole defining factors of gentrification.
If you’re a foodie, Queens is the place to be. The borough is known for its real authentic cuisines. From Thai to Greek, Queens (as the most diverse urban area in the country) truly masters its food and it's all authentic and delicious.
The public transportation system of New York City is expansive and reliable. However, the subways in Queens don’t service the full borough. In many neighborhoods, cars are required for transportation, or a healthy patience for the bus is needed. Queens has the reputation of resembling suburbia, and when you get far enough out into the borough, you understand why. Quiet streets, with single family homes, and cars parked out front or in covered driveways. Back yards, front yards, maybe a trampoline. Queens has the full spectrum of urban and suburban living. The Long Island Railroad (LIRR) is commonly used to get to Manhattan there are 23 LIRR stations in Queens.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg's decade in office saw a dramatic increase in NYC support for bikers. Queens has seen countless new miles of bike lanes over the last few years. Citibike, however, has only made it as far as the more Southern and western neighborhoods (Long Island City, Sunnyside, and Maspeth). While biking alongside seemingly reckless cab drivers, aggressive bus drivers, and blind-spot laden delivery trucks is not for everyone, a bike during rush hour traffic can often be faster than any other mode of transportation, especially when there is no direct subway line to your destination. Or if you’re out in quieter Queens, a bike ride may quickly more recreational than utilitarian.