Population: 88,339 people; population density 34,536 people per square mile (Brooklyn: 34,817; Manhattan: 67,355)
Adjacent Neighborhoods: Astoria, Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, Maspeth, Sunnyside
Public Transit: 7 (52nd, 61st, 69th Streets), E/M/R (Northern Blvd, 65th St), LIRR (Woodside)
What’s it like?: Woodside is a working-class neighborhood east of Astoria and west of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. Just inside its northern border is St. Michael’s Cemetery, a peaceful enclave and one of the largest green spaces in Woodside. Queens Blvd forms the approximate southern border, and the liveliest parts of the neighborhood are just north of here, along Roosevelt and Woodside Avenues. This area is a melting pot of cuisines: be sure to try the chicken adobo at Engeline’s, and the S’mores crepe at fresca la crepe (“the bomb,” which isn’t on the menu, is also great). By and large, the neighborhood is residential, quiet, and extremely family friendly. It’s impossible to walk more than a few minutes without hearing kids playing; what the area lacks in parks, it more than makes up for in playgrounds.
Flat or Tall?: Northern Woodside is mostly one- or two-story semidetached houses, while the areas south and east have more apartment buildings, though it’s rare to see a building more than five stories tall.
History: Woodside was settled in the late 17th/early 18th century, and was mostly an agricultural area until public transportation made inroads in the late 18th century. Country estates gave way to single family houses in the 19th century. Starting at the turn of the 20th century, Irish immigrants began to converge on Woodside and soon earned it the nickname “Irish Town.” Now, though, Woodside is diverse; you’ll find Bangladeshi, Italian, Mexican, Indonesian, Korean, and Filipino businesses and residents, though the prevalence of Irish pubs attests to its history.
Activities: Besides the restaurants and many, many Irish pubs, Woodside boasts the only LGBT-friendly St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the St. Pat’s for All Parade, which meanders through Sunnyside and Woodside every Spring and usually plays host to the Mayor of New York City as well as other local politicians.