Flushing, Queens: A day in the neighborhood

The site of the US Open and two world’s fairs, Flushing, Queens, has lots to offer adventurous 7 train riders.

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  • Photograph: Liz Clayman

    Flushing Meadows Corona Park

  • Photograph: Liz Clayman

    Queens Botanical Garden

  • Photograph: Liz Clayman

    Queens Botanical Garden

  • Photograph: Liz Clayman

    Soup dumplings at Joe's Shanghai

  • Photograph: Liz Clayman

    Queens Archery

  • Photograph: Liz Clayman

    Queens Archery

  • Photograph: Liz Clayman

    Queens Archery

  • Photograph: Liz Clayman

    Diver's Cove Bar

Photograph: Liz Clayman

Flushing Meadows Corona Park


Flushing is a bustling urban center that’s home to beautiful parks, plenty of cultural attractions and one of the city’s three major Chinatowns (arguably, the best of the lot).

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Hop off the 7 train at the Mets–Willets Pt stop and head to Flushing Meadows–Corona Park (enter at New York Ave and Perimeter Rd, nyc.gov/parks), a sprawling outdoor space that features open fields, a skate park and many a bargain fresh-mango vendor. It’s centered on the Unisphere, a 140-foot-tall stainless steel globe surrounded by water jets, erected for the 1964 World’s Fair. Fun fact: Those rings mark the orbital paths of the first three man-made satellites (cheers, Sputnik!).

Across the street is Queens Botanical Garden (43-50 Main St at Dahlia Ave; 718-886-3800, queens botanical.org; $2–$4), a 39-acre refuge full of forests, flower beds and fields that was originally built for the 1939 World’s Fair (Flushing’s had a couple of ’em). Stroll through planted environments like the coniferous Pinetum and the Korean-themed Circle Garden, or find yourself a peaceful patch of grass in the Meadow.

Post-stroll, grab a bite at Joe’s Shanghai (136-21 37th Ave between Main and Union Sts; 718-539-3838, joeshanghairestaurants.com), known for its soup dumplings (eight for $4.95–$6.95). They’re a treat and a marvel of physics: Each delicious parcel is filled with either pork or crabmeat and a generous amount of warm, soothing broth.

Now it’s time for medieval feats of marksmanship; hop the Q28 bus to Queens Archery (170-20 39th Ave at 171st St; 718-461-1756, bigapplearchery.com) to partake in the age-old tradition of shooting stuff with a bow and arrows. Both newbs and skilled archers are welcome at this indoor sports hall; for first-timers, $20 gets you an hour of equipment rental, an intro lesson and a sense of derring-do that could come only from playing Robin Hood.

You’ve earned a libation. Aim your feet toward Divers Cove (29-01 Francis Lewis Blvd at 29th Ave, 718-352-9631), which has been a local institution for 35 years. This unassuming, unpretentious dive is equipped with a pool table; cheap beers (Bud, Amstel, etc.) that are actually cheap ($3.50) and served ice-cold out of a picnic cooler; and a bartender who always calls you “hon.”

Ask a blogger


“From 4am to 11am, something very interesting happens at Curry Leaves Malaysian (135-31 40th Rd between Main and Prince Sts, No. 1). They provide a special night-only soup service. You choose your broth and noodles, then add whatever else you like, leaving you with your own unique dish.”
—Joe DiStefano, chopsticksandmarrow.com


Users say

1 comments
Keppler
Keppler

I'm often confused by TimeOut's restaurant recommendations, which is why I rarely use them. I mean, why on earth would I take the 7 train from Manhattan (or anywhere else) to "one of the city’s three major Chinatowns (arguably, the best of the lot)," to eat at Joe's Shanghai, a restaurant already available to me at two locations in Manhattan? I like Joe's, but let's face it, it's not particularly exotic, is it? If I'm gonna spend 35 minutes on a train, I'd like to try something more interesting, like Nan Xiang Dumpling House (38-12 Prince Street), where I can get Shanghainese food with a little more flair (and authenticity) than what's available to me at Joe's. Or, maybe I'd like to dabble in Taiwanese cuisine and have lunch at Gu Shine Taiwanese Restaurant (135-38 39th Avenue), where the Beef Noodle Soup is spicy and delicious, and the Beef with Bamboo Shoots is always delightful. Or, if I'm in the mood for something really spicy, there's Biang (41-10 Main Street), where the recipes are drawn from street food in the central Chinese city of Xi'an. Any of these would justify by itself a 35-minute trip from Manhattan. But Joe's Shanghai? I suppose if what you're looking for is good Chinese "diner" food, Joe's is a good choice. But you don't need to travel for that. If what you want is a culinary adventure, there are many better choices, and Flushing crowded with them. Take a chance (and look for a better guide than TimeOut).

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