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City Living: North Bayside
The northeastern Queens neighborhood of North Bayside is a prime catch for lively young people and newly budding families alike.
This scenic nabe has excellent schools and beautiful homes boasting well-manicured front lawns and backyards.
The Little Neck Bay and the Long Island Sound hug North Bayside’s northern and eastern boundaries, giving the area some waterfront.
“It’s a great place for raising families; it’s a quiet neighborhood and it’s safe,” said Rose Meehan, a resident of 16 years who volunteers at The Worthy Pause Thrift and Gift Shop on Corporal Kennedy Street. “If you take the LIRR you’re at 34th Street in a half hour and the schools are excellent; it’s a big draw for people who move here.”
According to Insideschools.org, District 26, which also includes parts of Douglaston, Little Neck, Oakland Gardens and Jamaica Estates, has been the city’s highest achieving district for many years. Schools like P.S. 159 and P.S. 41 in North Bayside are National Blue Ribbon schools.
The district’s reputation is what attracted Sila Asa to the neighborhood.
“We decided to move here because of the schools. As I was searching, I saw that District 26 had many Blue Ribbon schools and all ranked A,” said the eight-year Bayside resident who relocated from Rego Park. Her 9-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son both attend P.S. 203 in Oakland Gardens, and her 14-year-old son also attended the school.
Asa said she also appreciates the area’s convenience.
“It’s not too close to the city, not too far, and not too suburban,” she said. “I can walk my kids to school, I can walk to the supermarket, I can walk to my florist or I can walk to the [Long Island Railroad].”
Though many buses shuttle residents around and the LIRR provides a quick trip to Manhattan, this is a car-owner’s nabe. Many residents work in Nassau or Suffolk county.
North Bayside is a low-density neighborhood consisting mostly of low-rise single and two-family homes. In 2005 much of the area was rezoned to cut back on the subdivision of larger lots and the building of oversized homes or "McMansions," so new homes built would reflect the housing style that already exists.
The area also has smaller neighborhoods, like Bay Terrace, Bayside Gables (a gated community), and Weeks Woodlands.
Its younger crowd comes from all over Queens and nearby Long Island to rent affordable apartments or party at its row of restaurants and bars on the popular Bell Boulevard strip and to shop at the Bay Terrace Shopping Center.
The lively Bell Boulevard corridor abounds with a multitude of culinary options.
“The restaurants on Bell really reflect every neighborhood in Queens,” said Lyle Sclair, executive director of the Bayside Village Business Improvement District. “If you don’t know what type of food you want, you can come to Bell Boulevard and then decide.”
Sclair said one challenge the neighborhood faces is the lack of a subway line.
However, that doesn’t stop the streets from getting packed on the weekends with young people drinking and dancing at places like Beer Belly’s, Bourbon Street and Brian Dempsey’s American Ale House.
The Bay Terrace Shopping Center on 26th Avenue is a shopping magnet with stores like the Gap, Express and Ann Taylor Loft and restaurants including Outback Steakhouse and Tony Roma’s. It also has a movie theater, AMC Bay Terrace 6.
Residents are also close to the Queens Golf Course at Clearview Park, which offers a beautiful view of the Throgs Neck Bridge. Local little league games are held at Crocheron Park on 35th Avenue. At the Alley Pond Environmental Center and Park just below Northern Boulevard, people can bird-watch, star-gaze, and rock climb or zip-line at the the Alley Pond Adventure Course.
“There’s a little bit of everything,” Sclair said. “A lot of generations stay because it’s so nice in many ways.”
Four houses on 223rd Street and Mia Drive are causing concern for some Bayside residents. The homes were built in 2003 by Flushing developer Tommy Huang who started off building one at 39-39 223rd St. then erected three others on Mia Drive. But the homes were never completed and currently sit abandoned. More »
219-12 43rd Ave. Three-bedroom, one-bathroom; 900 square feet: $2,150 per month. 23-14A Corporal Kennedy St. Three-bedroom, one-bathroom; 2,000 square feet: $3,200 per month. More »
36-31 211th St. Four-bedroom, 1 1/2-bathroom home; 1,620 square feet: $848,000. 210-50 41st Ave. #3G. Two-bedroom, one bathroom co-op; 800 square feet: $230,000. More »
Levine makes everything from scratch at her bakery. More »
North Bayside is bounded to the north by Little Bay, to the east by the Cross Island Parkway and Shore Road, to the south by Northern Boulevard and on the west by Francis Lewis Boulevard and Utopia Parkway from 30th Avenue up to Little Bay. More »
Trains: LIRR to Bayside station on the Port Washington branch Buses: Q12, Q13, Q16, Q28, Q31, QM2, QM3, QM20, N20, N21 More »
North Bayside is covered by the 111th Precinct at 45-06 215th St. Petit larcenies, or small thefts, are high in the precinct compared to other crime complaints. In the week of May 12-18, there were 10 petit larcenies reported by the precinct. The same amount was reported in that week in 2013. So far in 2014 there have been 181 petit larcenies reported by the 111th, up from 162 in the year to date in 2013. There were five burglaries and two robberies reported by the precinct between May 12th and 18th. More »
Queens Library Bayside, 214-20 Northern Blvd. Queens Library Bay Terrace, 1836 Bell Blvd. More »
USPS, 212-35 42nd Ave. USPS, 212-71 26th Ave. More »
Bourbon Street Café
Find a bit of New Orleans in Bayside at this Cajun-themed restaurant. The hot spot serves up popular New Orleans favorites like gumbo, jambalaya and catfish.
Donovan's Grill & Tavern
Since 1978 this classy spot has been known for its steak and beer.
This sandwich and wine bar serves lunch, dinner and late-night snacks. They are well-known for their Belgian frites, knishes and their cold and hot press sandwiches, which got the attention of Travel Channel's Adam Richman.
Worthy Pause Thrift & Gift Shop
Find anything from clothing and jewelry, to antiques, dinnerware, games and books at this friendly shop ran by volunteers. Proceeds from sales go to animal welfare services.
Bay Terrace Shopping Center
Stores like Barnes & Noble, Chico's, Ruby and Jenna, Tess Morgan, Express, Aldo, Men's Wearhouse and The Children's Place are located in this outdoor mall.
This lingerie shop has fitted women into corsets, lingerie and other intimate apparel for more than 25 years. They also do custom fittings for those who have just had a mastectomy, lumpectomy or reconstructive surgery.
Conga's Bar and Lounge
This spot is known for their fish bowl drinks, 25-cent wing specials on Sundays and lively Caribbean music from reggae to reggaeton.
Play pool, air hockey and ping pong or opt to sit on plush seats around a fire pit while sipping on drinks and chomping down on a burger, a Jamaican mini beef patty, wings or nachos at this trendy spot.
Pour House is loved by locals for their wide selection of beers, laid-back atmosphere, live DJ and friendly staff.
This landmarked Civil War fortress and park presents lush green space, a pool, canoeing around the Long Island Sound, wildlife tours, and a haunted house on Halloween. The guided "Historic New York: The Fort Totten Tunnel Tour" will be on Sunday, June 29 at 1 p.m.
Spend the day fishing, biking or getting quality time in with the family while taking in the views of Little Neck Bay. The marina also offers a snack shop, boat docking and kayak storage.
Bayside Historical Society
Celebrate the society's 50th anniversary with exhibitions including "Native Bayside" which showcases artifacts recovered from an archaeological site in Queens by archaeologist Edward J. Platt.