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I ♥ Queens! (Tips from a local Queens Moving Company) July 26, 2013

Somehow, when people think “New York City”, they assume that it’s synonymous with “Manhattan.” Manhattan is great, but is not the only borough. People who are wary of moving to Queens should take into consideration one of the best traits Queens has- its incredibly rich and diverse neighborhood life. There is something about the segmented, sometimes random structure of Queens’s neighborhoods that just makes it feel like home.

First off, the facts- Queens, sometimes referred to as the “third county of Long Island” because of its geographic location and the sprawling suburban-looking homes you can find in places like Forest Hills and Jamaica Estates, is one of the most diverse and culturally rich places in the country. In fact, Queens College (known to many as “the jewel of the City University of New York system”) recently received a grant to fund the Center for Ethnic, Racial, and Religious Understanding. Straddling Jamaica and Flushing,  QC isn’t just a place to watch cultures blends. The College offers a huge array of open classes, community events, and cultural displays, connected both to the students’ studies and CERRU. This year, “The year of India”, included Bollywood performances, art exhbitions on the near East, and a special stand-up appearance by Parks and Recreation’s Aziz Ansari.

If you are not into the collegiate scene, travel down Jewel Avenue and hit the best street for date locations in New York- Austin Street. Lesser known than Metropolitan Avenue, Austin hits two major neighborhoods that are known for family friendliness and good, clean fun. If you are looking to dine, Forest HIlls is where it is at, with places like the Exo Cafe (for culinary inventions), MocCa (for pan-asian fusion), Garcia’s (REAL authentic Mexican food), Juice (for health nuts), and Martha’s Country Bakery (for anyone with a sweet tooth). If you are more of the adventurous type, head 1 stop east on the E or F train (or, if you are taking a car, about 5 minutes worth of driving) and head into Kew Gardens. While parts of the Gardens are still a tight-knit ethnic enclave for the Orthodox and the Haccidim, the community has expanded and become a mini-center of culture and entertainment. Check out Odradeks Coffee House for weird, delicious caffeine beverages (like the “Edgar Allen Poe”, a milkshake with espresso, belgian chocolate, and peanut butter) and events like poetry slams and open mic nights. Up the staircase from Odradeks, you can see Arthouse and independent films at a great price at the Kew Gardens Cinema- there’s usually an amazing Groupon deal for free popcorn and tickets.

Moving further West, you get a flavor for each of the neighborhoods and how they developed.  You can spend entire afternoons searching the fresh markets and dumpling stalls in Downtown Flushing or the bazaar style shops in Jackson Heights. The Queens Center Mall in Elmhurst has everything you could ever want to shop for, while Forest Park (split amongst Glendale and Woodhaven) has amazing trails and beautiful fauna and flora year round.

If you aren’t so into family friendly, never fear. Three neighborhoods compete for the title of Nightlife Champion in Queens- Jamaica, Long Island City, and Astoria. Each boasts their own flair and handles the club and outing scenes different. Jamaica has some of the best acts for ground level hip-hop and rap, and is great for music lovers who want to get in on the next big thing. Long Island City is stylish, with discos (really) and experimental bars. Astoria is the more Bohemian version of nightlife- you can grab a pint of mead at Kickshaw to pregame for the Astoria Beer Garden.

Wherever you move in Queens, you are going to need a Queens moving company to welcome you home. For the best in the business, turn to Empire Movers- established in Middle Village and fully aware of the awesomeness and challenges that daily face Queens residents.

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