Tourism and Visitors

The area represented by Queens Community Board 1 is a destination for the entire city! Astoria was named for John Jacob Astor and was incorporated as an independent village in 1838. In 1870 Astoria became part of newly formed and independent Long Island City (which lives on in our postal codes). When the unification of New York City happened in 1898, Astoria joined the borough of Queens and the City of New York!

A dolphin visited Astoria in 2013! Why don't you?

Directions

From New Jersey, The Bronx, and Upstate New York, take the Triboro Bridge towards Queens. Get off on at the first exit, 31st Street. From Brooklyn and Staten Island take the LIE to Queens. From Manhattan take the Queensboro Bridge and head north. From the Upper Roadway take 21st Street. From the Lower roadway take 33rd Street. From Long Island take the Grand Central Parkway and exit before the Triboro Bridge. Parking lot information can be found on the DOT website.

For subway or bus directions or information on how to buy tokens, visit the Transit Authority website. Astoria is served at all times by the RR line.

Points of Interest

  • We are home to the Kaufman Astoria Studios. Founded by the legendary Adolph Zuckor in 1920, their stages have been graced by stars such as Bill Cosby, Harrison Ford, Meryl Streep, Al Pacino, Mel Gibson, Demi Moore and the cast of Sesame Street.
  • 37th Street south of Ditmars was the "establishing shot" for Seinfeld (the home of George Costanza's parents). Our streets and homes have served as movie sets and locations to countless TV shows and movies including Serpico, Julie and Julia, and the remake of Arthur. Archie Bunker lived in Astoria!
  • There is an amazing variety of stores, but the Queens Community Board 1 wishes to emphasize that "Northern Boulevard has mega stores such as Home Depot, Marshalls, Sports Authority, and Best Buy, as well as the many automobile dealerships!" There are also a lot of independent stores barely worth mentioning.
  • Steinway Street is perhaps the longest retail shopping street in Queens. Toward its northern end, between Astoria Blvd and 28th Avenue, more than 20 "hookah" parlors attract Muslim immigrants and the watchful eye of the NYPD.
  • "Queens Plaza is the gateway into Queens from Manhattan and is being developed with high-rise residential buildings and hotels." Corporate residents such as Jet Blue coexist with gentlemen's entertainment. In a heartwarming tradition in the wee hours of the morning, prisoners from Rikers Island are greeted by their loved ones when they step off the Department of Corrections buses. Many new hotels are in this area.
  • Boy, do we have good food! Whether you like ethnic or regular food, we have "eateries" for you. Many "eateries" have Community Board 1 approved sidewalk seating, since it adds such a nice "European" feel.
  • Did you know Hellgate Bridge was the inspiration for the design of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia?
  • Our "visually and historically adept" waterfront is "the future for development in our community." We have no idea what a "visually and historically adept waterfront" means.
  • For 20 years (until 2010) Sabra Hummus was made right here in the area of Queens Community Board 1. It doesn't taste as good since they've moved. Seriously.
  • SingleCut, Queens' first big brewery since prohibition, opened in 2012 in Queens Community Board 1. We think their beers are too hoppy, but do wish them the best of luck.
  • New buildings in Queens Community Board 1 are modern, hygienic, and award winning.
  • Rikers Island holds local offenders who are awaiting trial and those serving sentences of one year or less or awaiting transfer to another facility. Put together, the ten jails of Rikers Island would be the nation's second largest! Operated by the New York City Department of Corrections, Rikers Island has a budget of $860 million a year, a staff of 9,000 officers and 1,500 civilians to control an inmate population of up to 14,000 men and women. The Q100 bus provides access to the Rikers Island Visitor Center.
  • Some of the finest public housing in the nation can be found in the Queens Community Board 1 area. These include the Astoria Homes, the Ravenswood Houses, the Woodside Houses, and, perhaps most famously, the Queensbridge Houses. They opened in 1939 and are currently the largest public housing complex in America, home to 6,900 poor and working-class New Yorkers. The buildings, built on the cheap, featured "skip floor" elevators until a 2007 renovation. Nas, Mobb Deep, Marley Marl, MC Shan, and Roxanne Shante have all called "The Bridge" their home.
  • Queens' famously confusing system of similarly numbered streets and avenues came into being to impose order in Queens by making sure there was only one street per name! This modern system was imposed on the areas of Long Island City in 1925. To remember which way is which, you may learn the following ditty, sung to the tune of Little Brown Jug:

    In Queens to find locations best,
    Avenues, Roads, and Drives run West
    But ways to North or South 'tis plain.
    Are Streets or Place or even Lane.
    While even numbers you will meet,
    Upon the West or South of Street.

    If you look carefully, you can still find old street numbers above the doors of some houses!