Queens, New York extends over 109 square miles, making it the largest of New York City’s five boroughs. More importantly, Queens contains the most ethnically diverse population of any county in the United States, giving it a unique atmosphere.
Queens is located on the western end of NY’s lovely Long Island, and includes some of the smaller islands of Jamaica Bay. Known for its outstanding bird-watching opportunities, the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge remains a favorite haunt for nature enthusiasts. Queens also contains parts of the Gateway National Park, located in both New York and New Jersey. This unique national treasure holds 260,000 areas of verdant parkland, a gem of natural beauty surrounded by some of America’s most exciting urban terrain.
Trade, industry and tourism make up the main economic factors of Queens, NY. The district of Jamaica is the county seat and a main transportation hub. Located here is the enormous JFK International Airport, while the Queens community of Flushing contains La Guardia Airport. These are two of the busiest airports in the world, making Queens, NY a vital global transportation center. A number of large corporations make Queens their central U.S. headquarters, including Steinway and Sons, Jet Blue Airways, British Airways and Citibank.
According to Census 2000 data and 2005 estimates, Queens contains more than 2,200,000 residents. Over 80% of the population holds a high school diploma, and almost 30% go on for higher education. Many of the residents of Queens commute across the Long Island Expressway to the borough of Manhattan, a 42-minute drive. Queens reported an average household income of $42,439, almost $500 above the national mean.
The film industry shows increasing interest in utilizing the cultural diversity found in Queens, NY. Visitors and travel magazines often comment that a walk through Queens is like a trip around the world. The neighborhood of Astoria is rich in Greek culture and tradition, home to the largest populations of Greeks outside of Greece. The same is true fort Richmond Hill, holding the largest population of Indian Sikhs outside of India. Rockaway Beach reflects the culture and traditions of the largely Irish immigrants who first settled here.
Each of the 71 neighborhoods of Queens retains its own special flavor and atmosphere. Middle-class African Americans make Jamaica their home. The southern and eastern portions of Queens reflects Latino and Caribbean heritage. Corona, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights contain a large percentage of Hispanic and Asian residents. Howard Beach and Middle Village are Italian-American neighborhoods. A visitor may sample any number of international cuisines during a short afternoon stroll.
The Western side of Queens holds a reputation as an artistic center. Found here are the Museum for African Art, the Socrates Sculpture Park and the Museum of the Moving Art, highlighting the film industry. Eastern Queens hosts the US Open Tennis Tournament, and has also hosted two World Fairs. Found here is Shea Stadium, home to the New York Mets baseball team.
Queens, New York is a microcosm of the larger national Melting Pot. Found here is almost every nationality and faith of American immigrants since the U.S. began. This proud and vibrant borough offers culture, tradition and diversity.
Additional Queens, New York Resources
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