Visiting Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
New York is the greatest city in the world, just ask any New Yorker. There's so much to do here, there's little reason to leave. In this recurring feature, we'll take you to a different place in New York City for a daytrip.
First up: Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, where there's something for everyone. Like to play sports? There are fields aplenty. Want to nerd out? Hit up the New York Hall of Science. Like animals? The Queens Zoo is nearby. And what about art? The Queens Museum, with its famous New York City panorama, is at Flushing Meadows, too.
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park was envisioned in the '30s by Robert Moses, the power-broker behind many city parks. Once a swampland and garbage dump, the park is now the crown jewel of Queens.
It is also home to the Unisphere, the 140-foot tall steel replication of the Earth, which was designed for the World's Fair held at Flushing Meadows in 1964. The Unisphere is quite a sight, and has been featured in movies and TV, most notably in "Men in Black."
Flushing Meadows is the largest park in Queens. It's time for a visit.
The Panorama at the Queens Museum
New York Avenue, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park (718) 592-9700, queensmuseum.org
The Panorama of the City of New York is one of the coolest things in NYC. The giant 3-D map fills an entire room, and includes every building built before 1992. Game idea: Try and spot your apartment building!
New York Hall of Science
47-01 111th St., 718-699-0005, nysci.org
This is a great place for the kids- it's both fun and educational. Don't miss the 3-D adventure "The Last Reef," which takes you on a trip to the ocean to experience the coral reefs and aquatic life.
The Queens Zoo
53-51 111th St., 718-271,1500, queenszoo.com
This zoo isn't as grand as some others nearby, but if you love animals, it's an amazing place. There are more than 75 species housed at the Queens Zoo, including California sea lion, puma, bald eagle and alligator. Be sure and visit the Aviary, an enclosed structure for bird-viewing.
The New York State Pavilion
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
The pavilion was also built for the World's Fair. It was once a marvel, symbolic of the future of New York, but is now a relic of the past. Its signature flying-saucer like observatories, and the entire structure, are deteriorated, but it's still a historical landmark, and a literal blast from the past.
How to get there:
Take the No 7 train to 111th Street. The E, M, R trains stop at 67 Ave., and the park is a mile away.
104-05 47th Ave., Corona, 718-699-2434, tortillerianixmatal.com
Known for their tortillas, which are made of nixmatal (white dent corn cooked and soaked in a calcium-hydroxide solution), this spot is just a few blocks from the park. You can also buy tortillas to take home as they are made fresh all day long.
Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan
42-47 Main St., Flushing, 718-888-0553, thegrandsichuan.com
On the eastern side of the park is Flushing, which is literally flush with Chinese restaurants. This is one of the best. Make sure to order the braised pork, Mao's style.
Empanadas Del Parque
56-27 Van Doren St., Corona, 718-592-7288, empanadascafe.com
Fresh ingredients and out-of-the-box combos give this spot an edge. And don't miss the dessert empanadas, either. Guava and cheese? Yes please!