"When Jackson Heights was being developed in 1914, urban planners from the U.S. and Europe marveled over this first-ever cooperative garden community. The gracious co-ops remain, with their high ceilings, French doors, fireplaces, sunrooms and huge, hidden gardens that are more like private parks. Solidly built, low-rise rental apartments were later added. Residents are proud that a good portion of Jackson Heights lies in a federal, state and city Historic District.
On 37th Avenue, one of the main commercial arteries, the vibe is urban and vibrant. More young families have discovered the neighborhood. Gays, along with artists, have long been attractedâ€”the Queens Gay Pride Parade in JH seems bigger every year. Although rents and real estate prices are rising, housing remains more affordable than in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Maybe itâ€™s no surprise that the Guggenheim Museum chose JH for the Queens segment of its five-borough performance art project, â€œstillspotting nyc.â€
With five subway lines, you can be in Midtown in 12 minutes, no exaggeration. For foodies, thereâ€™s no reason to eat elsewhere. Within blocks are the famous South Asian restaurants, along with South American, Mexican and more recently, several Japanese. Visitors notice the profusion of markets selling fruits and vegetables, including the most exotic (durian, anyone?), at great prices. A boutique wine store offers tastings, and new arrivals include a large natural foods market, Bubble Tea shop and for working off those meals, a Blink gym.
As one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in the nation, Jackson Heights has a special spirit and thrives on people of different cultures, religions and economic means getting along. Parking is tight, and so itâ€™s a place to share the sidewalks with neighbors (six out of ten speak another language). Youâ€™ll rub shoulders with Buddhist monks, nannies pushing strollers, seniors, Brooklyn transplants and immigrants from every nation in Jackson Heights, a rich and stimulating place to live."
By: Maria Terrone
(Maria Terrone, a lifelong resident of Jackson Heights, is a writer and poet.)
Rental Prices:$688 ― $1,491
Sales Prices:$165,000 ― $358,000
Landmarks:82nd Street Shopping District