City Living: Downtown Flushing
Flushing is a bustling neighborhood with a downtown area home to businesses predominantly owned and operated by the communitys growing Asian population.
Signs in English are a rarity in downtown Flushing, which makes visitors feel like they have been transplanted to a foreign shore.
The mix of ethnicities has helped Queens become one of the most diverse counties in America.
You come out of the 7 train and you almost feel like youre in a different world, said Ellen Kodadek, executive director for Flushing Town Hall, an arts and culture nonprofit. I feel as though Flushing is really reflective of this country as a melting pot.
The Asian community is deeply embedded in the area and nearly 80% of businesses have either Chinese or Korean owners.
A diverse array of authentic cuisines, products and services are available in the area. And lots of food.
While downtown Flushing is known as a Mecca of multiculturalism that is heavily urbanized, there are also suburban streets lined with trees that echo the neighborhoods past.
Preservationists for years have tried to save some of the expansive houses and estates developed here between 1875 and 1925. These residences sit blocks away from modern high-rise buildings and shopping malls.
Flushings embrace of multiculturalism has roots in the neighborhoods founding in 1645 by English settlers as a beacon of religious freedom. One settler, John Bowne, allowed Quakers to practice in his home, defying laws of the time. His house still stands, as well as the Old Quaker Meeting House on Northern Boulevard, which is New York Citys oldest house of worship. --MAX STAVIS with DAN RIVOLI
The four borders of downtown Flushing are Willets Point Boulevard, College Point Boulevard, Northern Boulevard and The Long Island Expressway (or Booth Memorial, if you want to take it a bit farther). More »
Downtown Flushing is a transportation hub with 24 MTA bus routes that transport around 70 million passengers annually. The No. 7 train from Times Square has its terminus at the Flushing/Main Street station. Major highways run through downtown Flushing as well, including the Van Wyck Expressway and Grand Central Parkway. The LIRR has a station here. More »
The Queens Library at 41-17 Main St. serves more than 2.3 million people a year and circulates among the highest number of books and other library materials of any branch in the country. More »
Queens College, Flushing High School, East-West School of International Studies, Queens Academy, Townsend Harris High School, John Bowne High School, P.S. 242, P.S. 21, I.S. 237 More »
The 109th precinct station house is located at 37-05 Union St. and the Queens North Task Force is housed at the Flushing Armory, 137-158 Northern Blvd. According to the NYPD CompStat report, murders have decreased by 20% since 2001. Robberies dropped 31.2%. In 2001, there were 22 rapes reported — in 2012 there were 11. More »
41-65 Main St. is the U.S. Post Office in downtown Flushing. The building is historic, with its Roman Imperial architecture and Corinthian columns. More »