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Please help me plan a day in Queens

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Please help me plan a day in Queens

We are about to leave for our 3rd trip to NY. Since we have done most of the touristy things in Manhattan, I thought it would be nice to visit Queens (already did Brooklyn last time).

Here are my thoughts - feel free to comment:

1. Catch the train to Queens Museum of Art to see the Panorama. (Are there other things to see within walking distance eg the stadium where they play the US Open tennis?)

2. Then, do a bit of self-guided food walk along Roosevelt Ave and try the various ethnic eateries

3. Finally, visit the Museum of Moving Image

4. Catch train back to Manhattan

Does this sound reasonable for one day, in winter (January) with 2 kids age 9 & 11?

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1. Re: Please help me plan a day in Queens

You just made my evening. I spend every day on TripAdvisor just hoping, hoping that someone will ask about interesting things in Queens. And now you're here! Oh thank you.

First of all: it's reasonable if it isn't too cold. I'm saying that because right now it is skin-flayingly cold in NYC, but winter weather is variable; it could be nicely chilly, or superconducting zero Kelvin. Obviously walking around is less pleasant when the wind is a bone knife of ice needles. So be flexible.

1. Yes, the Panorama is awesome, and the US Open stadium is quite nearby. Also within walking distance is the New York Hall of Science, which might appeal to kids 9 & 11 if they're the types of kids that like children's/science museums. Flushing Meadows Park is a desolate wasteland at that time of year, though - not unsafe, just empty.

2. As a resident of Jackson Heights, I try to tell people to spend as little time actually on Roosevelt Avenue as possible; it's noisy and dirty and loud. That said, yes, it has taco trucks and good Mexican food near the 74th Street stop, and good Filipino food near the 69th Street stop. But I'd also walk up 74th Street to 37th Avenue trying the many Indian snacks and sweets, and then along 37th Avenue to 76th for a cannoli at Carollo's and then to 79th for a tamal at the Colombian bakery Seba Seba.

3. The R train runs to the Museum of the Moving Image at Steinway Street from 74th Street, so you have another good idea there. Right by AMMI there's also a very fun, hip coffee shop called Cafe Bar with couches where you can get the traditional coffee drink of Astoria, the super sweet, whipped "frappe." I wonder if they make decaf frappes for kids ...

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2. Re: Please help me plan a day in Queens

As another Queens resident ( you beat me jhwanderer) I too am glad that you are coming to Queens. As you get on/off the train at Flushing Meadow Park you will be able to see Citifield, home of the NY Mets not that far off.

Basically thought, you have been given a really complete outline.

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3. Re: Please help me plan a day in Queens

As a Queens resident myself, I am glad you are coming to visit, but keep in mind the size of Queens -- it could easily hold 4 Manhattans, and still have room left over. You therefore might want to use the subway to move between parts of Queens. Perhaps you could start by taking the #7 to its end for the Korean and Chinese food available in downton Flushing. Reboard the 7 to go to Willets Point Boulevard for the Queens Museum. (And if you hve kids, they might enjoy the Hall of Science nearby in the same park) You can walk through Corona and Jackson Heights to 74th Street, and reboard the 7 for Manahttan. Note that the Museum of the Moving Image is closed for renovation until January 15.

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4. Re: Please help me plan a day in Queens

I think jaykat has a pretty good focus on western Queens, and the distances aren't daunting at all if you hop on and off the subway. I don't want to scare him off (or scare off anyone else) by making them think they're questing from Bayside to Maspeth.

I assume he's going to take the #7 from Willets Point (or from 111th, if he's at the science museum) to 74th Street for Jackson Heights and then take the R from 74th to Steinway for AMMI, if it's open. It's a pretty well trodden path. I wouldn't indulge in really long walks (like going all the way through Corona to Jackson Heights) in January weather, rather saving outdoor freeze time for targeted neighborhoods.

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5. Re: Please help me plan a day in Queens

You had me at "plan a day in Queens!!"

I concur with all of the above, but want to add the following:

1. For the Panorama, BRING BINOCULARS. The buildings are so small, it feels like you're in a plane high above the city. In fact, the original gimmick of The Panorama was a "helicopter ride," and up until the 1990s, there were coin-operated "viewfinders" around the perimeter, like the kind they have at observatories and vista points.

Don't forget to check out the other stuff at the Queens Museum, such as historical photos and documents of the 1939 and 1964 Worlds Fairs, the cool topographic model of our reservoir system, and please stop by the gift shop!

There should be a free trolley from the #7 train to the museum, but it is a very short walk. The Hall of Science is also a great idea. Personally, I think there would not be much to see at the Tennis Center.

2. If the kids need some typical American downtime, or if it's just too cold, take a detour to the Queens Center Mall, complete with food court, video game stores, etc.

www.shopqueenscenter.com

Take the #7 to the 74th Street stop and go all the way downstairs. Take the local R or M subway train toward "Jamaica and Forest Hills" to the Woodhaven Boulevard stop. The mall is directly above the subway station on the NORTH side of Queens Boulevard.

Enjoy!!

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6. Re: Please help me plan a day in Queens

*gatecrashes*

Indian Food.. i'm hooked.... :)

M

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7. Re: Please help me plan a day in Queens

Four Queens residents responded to this thread and everyone made a point of expressing their gratitude for ..... finally .... a question about Queens. Hmmmm ..... just not feeling the luv lately are ya?

Okay, so you know when the plane starts to decend at JFK and you can finally start to make out houses and street lights? Then you start noticing; "Hey, where did all those backyard swimming pools come from .... and they're everywhere?" You go up to the cockpit to go ask the pilot; " Are you sure this is New York City?"

Well, that's how you know you're in Queens ..... because this is poolville NYC. I've never once seen a single backyard swimming pool on the entire island of Manhattan ..... it's poolless. Probably the lowest swimming pool per capita in the country I bet. But come to Queens and you'd think you just died and went to Harrows heaven.

http://www.harrows.com/swimmingpools.html

You don't find pools in Manhattan because the real estate on that island is way too expensive to waste on something as indulgent as a backyard swimming pool. Okay, yeah, we've also got swimming pools in Brooklyn too .... but nothing like what I've seen in Queens. I did most of my swimming in either my sister's or girlfriend's house in Queens.

Why's that even relevant you might ask? Well, because Queens has a lot of single family and two family homes. To me ..... that's the feel of Queens. It's where a man (or woman) can realize the great "American dream" of home ownership ..... couple of kids, maybe even a dog and then buy a little spread with a white picket fence all to himself. Then put a pool in the backyard.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixx66T-FPYM

And in Espanol.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdjvFstKvyk

Think of the American sitcoms set in Queens. "All in The Family" ..... "The King of Queens" ..... some of the scenes in "Seinfeld". Everyone has a character that lives in one of those little two family row houses. This is smallville USA right here in NYC.

However, when you stick to the areas where you're going you'll be near the train line and the larger housing developments. Mostly coops and apartment buildings along the train line. But to me .... the real spirit of Queens is out there in the heartland ..... "big pool country".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Y7eXF-ysjs

Edited: 17 December 2010, 14:32
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8. Re: Please help me plan a day in Queens

"I did most of my swimming in either my sister's or girlfriend's house in Queens."

Until Mrs. Lotus put a stop to it I presume. :O)

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9. Re: Please help me plan a day in Queens

That's funny Lotus, because that's totally not my experience of Queens as someone who has lived there for almost 10 years now ... I think of Queens as these dense ethnic neighborhoods of four-to-six-story apartment buildings and two-up, chockablock rowhouses.

The issue I think is the invisible dividing line between "eastern Queens" and "western Queens" which is basically along where the subway ends. I'm such a passionate explorer and booster of Queens but there's so much of the boro which is "terra incognita" to me because of no subway. That's all your "pool country."

M4RKM, 73rd/74th Streets and 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights are where the "desis" go to get Indian food in NYC ... some friends of mine from Brum pronounced their approval (while sniffing at how much smaller it was than their Soho Road.)

The real action isn't in the sit-down restaurants (decent tandoori but you can get that in Manhattan) but at the many "sweets and snacks" counters where you get a broad range/flavor of samosas and especially chat - papri chat, samosa chat, bombay chat, all the chats. You have many options up 74th and then along 37th between 72nd and 76th. There's also a big thing right now for "desi Chinese," which is Chinese food done Indian style.

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10. Re: Please help me plan a day in Queens

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Removed on: 17 December 2010, 21:14
Edited: 17 December 2010, 21:14