As the largest New York City borough (in terms of area), Queens is also home to the most diverse collection of ethnicities and nationalities. In recent years, several neighborhoods in western Queens, including Astoria, Long Island City, and Jackson Heights, have become extremely popular for New Yorkers who work in Midtown Manhattan (just a short subway ride away). Even beyond the obvious (Mets games at Citi Field, tennis at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home to the U.S. Open), visitors to the city would do well to branch out to Queens as well, as the borough boasts great restaurants and a burgeoning nightlife scene.
It's easy to see why Astoria (10 to 20 minutes from Midtown on the N, W, R or V trains) is Queen's most popular neighborhood for visitors or those new to the borough. Its wonderfully eclectic mix of restaurants, cafes, bakeries, and markets offer foods from practically any cuisine imaginable, from Greek at local favorite Elias Corner to Egyptian (with a heavy emphasis on great seafood) at Sabry's. Another must (especially in warm weather) is a visit to the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden.
Long Island City is a little less gentrified than Astoria and has a bit more of an industrial feel; it's best known to non-locals as the home to P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, an art exhibition space located in an old public school. Associated with the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), P.S. 1 has a much funkier, more avant-garde feel, and hosts "Warm Up," an outdoor dance party, on Saturday afternoons in July and August. When you're all danced out, walk over to Harry's at Water Taxi Beach, or to one of the restaurants/bar along Vernon Boulevard, including French favorite Tournesol.
Among the other Queens neighborhoods of note (there are too many to list here) are Jackson Heights, with its large Latin American and South Asian populations, and Woodside, home to a great selection of Irish pubs and the unassuming but famously delicious Thai restaurant Sripraphai.
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