One for the Road: The Neighborhoods of Queens

Last night I took three connecting subway lines and a bus to get from Manhattan to my brother’s new apartment in Queens. This morning I commuted back into the city with his wife, taking another bus, as well as three different subway lines. Without revealing which neighborhood they live in, you can surmise that it’s not the easiest one to reach. But the options for getting there are as diverse as the neighborhoods that comprise this bountiful borough, a characteristic that makes the inconvenient commute much easier to accept. The best part though, is that their location affords them plentiful opportunities to discover the colorful neighborhoods that make up this fantastic and often overlooked borough.

As a housewarming gift, I brought along copy of The Neighborhoods of Queens, a thoroughly researched and well documented tour through 99 neighborhoods of “the Gateway to America”, as Queens has been dubbed. Home to two of New York’s busiest international airports (La Guardia and JFK), Queens is also the most diverse county in the world. This wonderful book celebrates that diversity with an alphabetical arrangement stretching from Astoria to Woodside. Each section includes photographs, neighborhood profiles, facts, a map and a historical summary. There are also over 50 new maps that chart precise boundaries between the neighborhoods. Written by a South American immigrant who herself entered America via Queens, this well-done guide celebrates the enormity of all that the borough offers to both residents and visitors. The book, and the borough, are definitely worth checking out.