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 Baysides northern and eastern boundaries, giving the area some waterfront.
Its a great place for raising families; its a quiet neighborhood and its 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 youre at 34th Street in a half hour and the schools are excellent; its 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 citys highest achieving district for many years. Schools like P.S. 159 and P.S. 41 in North Bayside are National Blue Ribbon schools.
The districts 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 areas convenience.
Its 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-owners 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 dont 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 doesnt stop the streets from getting packed on the weekends with young people drinking and dancing at places like Beer Bellys, Bourbon Street and Brian Dempseys 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 Romas. 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.
Theres a little bit of everything, Sclair said. A lot of generations stay because its 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 »