I first fell in love with flushing when I had to attend a meeting at Flushing High School. The school, built in 1875, is a stunning piece of architecture that is not often seen in the city. After the meeting, I decided to explore Flushing a bit more. This is not a good idea if you are driving. Flushing is very congested and it takes a while to move around. Once I found a parking spot near Flushing’s main hub, Roosevelt Avenue and Main Street, I stepped into a world that is a wonderful mix of Asia and America thrown together in the form of stores and restaurants. But Flushing is more than this; it is a very large part of Queens, taking up most of its north-central section.
Parks and Recreation
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Flushing Meadows Corona Park is the second largest park in New York City and is home to lakes, meadows, among lots of other things. The park houses the New York State Pavilion and the Unisphere, which were created in 1939 for the World’s Fair, the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and Arthur Ashe Stadium, which are the homes of the US Open. It is also home to the Queens Museum of Art, the Queens Theatre in the Park, the New York Hall of Science, and the Queens Zoo. Located on the fringes of the park are Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, the Flushing Aquatic Center, and the Al Oerter Recreation Center, which has a gym, an indoor track, and basketball courts.
Queens Botanical Gardens
Flushing is also home to the Queens Botanical Gardens, located on Main Street. The garden charges a nominal fee for entrance, and provides visitors with a small slice of piece and tranquility in a very bustling area.
Bowne Park is located at 29th Ave. – 32nd Ave., between 155th St. and 159th St., on the former estate of Mayor Walter Bowne, great-great-great grandson of John Bowne. There are bocce courts, basketball courts, a playground, and sprinklers.
Kissena Park, conveniently located near the LIE on Flushing’s southern end on Oak Avenue, is surrounded by playgrounds, soccer fields, tennis courts, and a beautiful lake.
Flushing also has a number of landmark buildings. Along with Flushing High School, Flushing Town Hall, which hosts a number of cultural events throughout the year, houses a concert hall and a cultural center. Located at 1 Bowne Street at 37th Avenue is Bowne House, the home of John Bowne, a Quaker leader who was part of America’s struggle for religious freedom. The home is also known to have served as a stop on the Underground Railroad before the Civil War. The Lewis H. Latimer House is the historical home of the African American inventor credited with inventing an improved method of producing filament in light bulbs. The house now sits at 34-41 137th Street, but it was moved from its original location on Holly Avenue, which is also in Flushing.
Where to Eat
The Rose House at Queens Crossing
The Rose House at Queens Crossing is a bit, okay a lot, pricy, but worth the experience. It offers an Asian take on the English tea experience circa Victorian England. But you can get a lot of different food there to enjoy, like the Rose Cheesecake. Definitely the kind of place to go to if you want to sit, relax and have nice conversation.
39th Ave. at Main Street, (718) 359-ROSE
The Green Papaya
The Green Papaya on Prince Street has been a family favorite for years. It, like the restaurants nearby, is small and unassuming, but the food is reasonably priced and bountiful. It offers a great blend of Thai and Malay food. It’s better to go during the day or early evening to avoid crowds. On the weekends it’s packed and there is very little space to move around. There is one thing you need to know before you head there: they only accept cash.
38-04 Prince Street
Where to Shop
This a tiny mall dedicated to serving the needs of the Asian community in the area. It offers everything from a harp store to eye glasses repair. But the food court is not to be missed. Most of the items are not written in English, so you just have to go on the pictures and your gut. I have not been disappointed yet. From there, head upstairs to King World Stone, where Amy will create a perfect, custom made bracelet for you.
133-31 39th Avenue
Sky View Center Mall
The Sky View Center Mall on College Point Blvd. offers big name stores like Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, BJs, and restaurants like Applebee’s. It also offers a residential living condo community with many amenities.
40-24 College Point Boulevard, Garage entrance on Roosevelt Avenue
There are also a wide variety of shops along Main Street, down Northern Blvd., and more. Take a walk around to discover Flushing!