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.
- Take the train out to Citi Field and cheer for the Mets at their new(ish) stadium. Have a drink and try to catch one of those long balls.
- Check out Chinatown in Flushing and make sure to sample some amazing dumplings while you’re at it.
- MoMA PS1 always has an amazing and cutting-edge show to check out plus it’s in a beautiful Romanesque Revival style building.
- Lay out in the grass at Socrates Sculpture Park; enjoy the art and the outdoors and the incredible view of Manhattan.
Queens is cheaper than Manhattan and Brooklyn, though still far more expensive than the average US city. In 2010 Queens’s composite cost of living (based on annual data) was 59.0% higher than the average US urban area. Also in 2010 the Queens cost of housing was a healthy 130.8% higher than the average US urban area.
- Queens College
- St. John’s University
- Long Island University