Note: Let us know other rides you like either in the comments or on Twitter @QueensNYCity!
There’s been much recent enthusiasm for cycling in Queens. The Tour de Queens bike race draws 2,000 riders every year and the LIC Bike Parade has been ever popular. In East Flushing, the Kissena Velodrome has been made somewhat of a comeback.
Astoria Park bike lanes – Astoria - The bike lanes extend all the way from 20th Ave to Astoria Park South along the waterfront, which is split up between Ralph deMarco Park and Astoria Park proper. On the stretch between Ditmars Blvd. and 20th Ave, it’s a shared lane (bladers, walkers/runners, cyclists) and is indicated as such. See Update on the Astoria Park bike lanes.
Cross Island Parkway Greenway – Bayside - Enjoy a view of the Throgs Neck Bridge from Little Bay Park at the north end of this path. Then proceed past Fort Totten — adventurous spirits should take a detour to explore the 19th century artillery battery — and onto Joe Michaels Mile, a stretch popular with runners and rollerbladers. Continue south along the waterfront route for more uninterrupted riding.
Image source: Flickr Creative Commons – user sethw
Sometimes you just need a break from it all: the rumble of the train, the text alerts, the taxi honks. Here are some of our favorite places to recharge.
The hidden pathways in Sunnyside Gardens – Sunnyside - You’ll know you’re stepping into this section of Sunnyside when the trees suddenly get taller, the gardens lusher, and the houses infinitely more charming. It’s the city’s largest private park, and it’s meticulously maintained. Keep your eye out for narrow pedestrian alleys that let you cut through the block surrounded by greenery. (GMAP)
Here are some of our favorite vegetarian and vegetarian-friendly spots, from Turkish and Chinese to innovative American comfort food.
Mundo – Astoria – You know a place “gets” vegetarians when the signature dish—a rich red lentil appetizer called Red Sonja—is meat free. The rest of the Turkish/Argentinian menu is full of both veggie and meaty options, from soups to empanadas to dumplings. (GMAP)
We all know NYC is known for its walkability: the grid makes the city easy to navigate, it’s become much safer in the past few decades, and there’s 24-hour public transportation. But while NYC is most walkable city in the US, Sunnyside and Hunters Point in Long Island City top the charts (ranked 95 of 100) in Queens on Walk Score, a site that ranks cities and neighborhoods based on on-foot access to amenities. For example, can you grocery shop without a car, walk to a nearby park, or is it safe for your kids to walk to school?
Next are Jackson Heights (93), Kew Gardens (91), Elmhurst (91), and Ridgewood (90). All of these neighborhoods rank higher than NYC’s average of 85. It’s easy to stay on your feet in these neighborhoods: Sunnyside’s greenmarket is an easy walk from most of the surrounding streets, 15 CSAs abound in the borough, and you can find many yoga and fitness classes near Astoria and Hunters Point. Even though prices are rising for condos in LIC, the Hunters Point neighborhood is poised to be middle-income, family-friendly community.
We’re seeing yoga studios pop up all over Queens; clearly the craze has hit the borough. In practically every neighborhood from LIC to the Rockaways, there’s something for everyone — including young kids, women who are expecting, and seniors with limited mobility. And if you’ve ever used high cost as an excuse not to join a yoga or fitness class, then the jig is up. Here’s our guide to shaping up with minimal impact on your budget.
The local food movement is happening in Queens too. Brooklyn Grange, which happens to be in LIC, is a one acre rooftop farm that sells to CSAs, restaurants, and the public. Butcher Bar in Astoria brings local, sustainably farmed meat to the borough (here’s a review by Serious Eats). And we have the oldest continually operating farm in the state, Queens County Farm. On Huff Post, you can read a profile on one of the farmers.
Not sure what a CSA is? Members get a portion of a farm’s weekly harvest by making a seasonal investment. Rather than choosing the week’s groceries at the supermarket, whatever’s harvested on the farm that week is what you get — the mystery is part of the fun.
If you’re like me and the warm weather makes you crave some serious outdoor play time, you don’t even have to leave town to feel the rush of adrenaline. All of these adventures await in Queens.
Kayaking – Long Island City - On Saturday afternoons, LIC Community Boathouse offers free walk-up paddling sessions in Hallets Cove on the East River, open to children and adults of any skill level. More experienced paddlers can sign up for longer kayaking trips to various spots along the Brooklyn and Queens waterfront or around Roosevelt Island. (GMAP)