While Manhattan and Brooklyn get much of the love and hype—we know already, Brooklyn, you are so cool—Queens is seriously one great borough. How great? Let us count ten ways that NYC’s largest and most diverse borough is a wonderful place to live or visit.
New York City, of course, is home to many cuisines from around the world. Queens, however, wins this category by a long shot. From Flushing’s Chinatown to the famous Greek diners in Astoria to Jackson Height’s Little India, food options abound. (There are also some great tacos.) Although Queens has so many terrific food choices, I especially like the Thai food. SriPraPhai, for one, is excellent. Go with your friends and share the broiled catfish salad, the Southern style curry (be careful it’s hot), and the shrimp with caramelized garlic. Another highly recommended Thai place is Chao Thai, which is somewhat hidden away but nevertheless serves some delicious food. Try the fried whole fish with basil sauce and the classic Pad Thai.
New York Hall of Science
The New York Hall of Science is a perfect place to explore with curious kids of all ages (and yes that includes me). The interactive museum allows visitors to see, feel, and listen to science in action rather than having to hear about it in theory. There are daily demonstrations to help people engage in science, technology, engineering, and math. The room full of visual illusions is especially fun!
The NYC Marathon at Hunters Point
Sure, this Sunday you could watch one of New York City’s most iconic events from Manhattan or Brooklyn with thousands of people pushing against you or obstructing your view. Or you could jump on the 7 or G train to Hunters Point Avenue and stand near the roadside to get an incredibly up close and personal view of all those amazing racers as they leave Brooklyn and enter Queens. This spot, between miles thirteen and fourteen, is a great place to cheer the runners on, as many are starting to feel very fatigued and begin wondering why the hell they signed up for a marathon in the first place. "Good job runners," you can yell. "You’re doing a great job!"
The US Open
Where else can you see Roger, Serena, Djokovic, Rafa, and more of the world’s greatest tennis players? (Okay, we saw some of them right outside our old office, but that was unusual.) During match breaks take a walk to Flushing Meadow Park and see the famous Unisphere, where Queens hosted one of their two World Fairs.
Louis Armstrong House Museum
The jazz great loved his suburban house in Corona, Queens. Louis and his wife Lucille Wilson lived there from 1943 until his death in 1971, and the house is still furnished and preserved just as they liked it. The museum pays tribute to his accomplishments and contributions in the jazz world. Plus check out the all-blue kitchen. It’s incredible!
Housed in a Romanesque revival building (a former public school), PS1 hosts cutting-edge shows, DJs, and artwork in nearly every corner. PS1 became an affiliate of MoMA in 1999, and hosts summer’s popular Saturday-afternoon party, "Warm Up," which is a great play for day-drinking and day-dancing.
Off the Jackie Robinson Parkway in Bayside, Queens is the small Machpelah Cemetery. Although the cemetery is run down and decrepit, one grave is consistently well maintained. It’s the one for famous escape artist and magician Harry Houdini. Every Halloween—which marks the anniversary of Houdini’s death—fans head out to the grave site to honor the master magician, heralding back to the yearly séances his wife held for him after his death.
Museum of the Moving Image
Only fifteen minutes from midtown, the Museum of the Moving Image is one of the city’s great institutes, advancing the “understanding, enjoyment, and appreciation of the art, history, technique, and technology" of film and television. Screening more than 400 films in its state-of-the-art 264-seat cinema, the building also hosts gallery spaces, exhibits on every step of the filmmaking process, artifacts from more than 1,000 different productions, and fourteen classic (playable!) video games, including Asteroids, Ms. Pac-Man, and Space Invaders.
Saints and Sinners
There are many, many Irish bars in the Sunnyside and Woodside neighborhoods (not to mention Manhattan) but Saints and Sinners—for the name alone, really—in the Woodside, Queens neighborhood is my favorite. Stop by and have a Guinness. Or two. And a Shepherd’s Pie. With its large Irish population in the neighborhood, there’s a good chance you’ll be served a pint by a real Irish person, which is scientifically proven to make beer taste better.
We love New York City, but the best part about it is leaving, am I right? And what more convenient place to leave New York than the lovely JFK airport near South Jamaica, Queens? Admire the space-age architectural icon commonly referred to as the “TWA Terminal,” which will soon be a 505-room hotel. A personal favorite is Terminal 4, where there is a Shake Shack. Wait, what is that? Two Shake Shacks? Oh my God, yes, I’ll have another Shakeburger. And a chocolate shake! On second thought, maybe I’ll just stay right here. Queens, we love you!