Astoria is a popular neighborhood in northwest Queens that has kept its longtime residents happy while attracting many new ones. It's convenient to Manhattan, has an urban atmosphere but with more space and greenery than other parts of the city, and features affordable, but appreciating, real estate prices. Eating and cultural options have grown over the years, earning Astoria’s reputation as one of Queen’s true gems. Once known only as a hub of Greek life, Astoria is home to immigrants from around the world and young people who have fled pricey Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Astoria’s original name was Hallet’s Cove, after William Hallet, the first man to own land in the area in 1659. Later, it was renamed to Astoria in an attempt to persuade America’s richest man, John Jacob Astor, to invest in the neighborhood, a plan which backfired when he only gave $500, but the name stuck.
Astoria's main shopping areas are 30th Avenue, Steinway, Ditmars, and Broadway. 30th Avenue and Ditmars are Greek and Cypriot areas. Meanwhile, Broadway has more Latin American flavor, and Steinway, just south of Astoria Blvd is a Little Egypt with lots of Middle Eastern cafes, markets, and shops.
The southern reaches of the neighborhood have swiftly changed since the late 1990s. Once barren, industrial streets are now home to restaurants and cafes.
As far as boundaries, there's no doubt that Astoria's western border is the East River, but go inland and all bets are off. Real estate brokers like to draw the southern border just north of Queens Plaza, though the Post Office marks it along Broadway and 31st Avenue. North/northeast is the Con Ed plant and the East River again. North of 24th Avenue and west of Steinway Street is known as Ditmars. Or go east and it's Steinway, another subneighborhood. The eastern border with Woodside is 50th Street.
Green Spaces, Landmarks, and Museums: Astoria Park (19th St between Ditmars and Hoyt) is on the East River with superb Manhattan views and a great huge pool, where the Unite States Olympic trials occurred in 1936 and 1964. ARROW Park (35-38 35th St) is a community garden. Athens Square Park (30th Ave and 30th St) is a hot spot. Other cool places include the Kaufman Astoria Studios' Museum of the Moving Image, Socrates Sculpture Park, Isamu Noguchi Museum, The Hell Gate Bridge, The New York Connecting Railroad, Bohemian Hall, NYC’s oldest beer garden, the Quinn Memorial Building, which houses the Greater Astoria Historical Society, and St. Michael’s Cemetery, where pianist and composer Scott Joplin is buried.
Area hotels include the Fairfield Inn and the Franklin NYC. Restaurants include Jackson Hole, Piccola Venezia, Last Stop Restaurant Café, Taverna Kyclades, Ponticello Ristorante, Trattoria L’incontro, Brick Café, Cavo, Kumo Japanese Restaurant, Angelo & Sons Bakery, Agnati Restaurant, Ayza Chocolate Bar, and Mom Bar Egyptian Restaurant. Bars include Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden, Rapture Lounge, Albatross Bar, Irish Rover, McCanns Pub and Grill, Bar 36, Flemings Pub, Uncle George’s, Broadway Sports Bar, and Jimbo’s Sports Bar. Some of the hottest clubs are Zodiac, Club DNA, Eternity Lounge, Club 21, Waltz Astoria, Pirata Bar and Lounge, Shadow, Studio 34, Lattitude, Moomialounge, and Catra.
Annual festivals that attract thousands include the Astoria Chicken Festival, the New York City Musical Saw Festival, and the Queens International Film Festival.
There are a large number of public schools in Astoria, including private schools such as El-Ber Islamic School, Immaculate Conception School, Les Enfants Montessori School, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School, Queens Lutheran School, and St. Francis of Assisi School.
Astoria Transportation: Astoria is a 20-minute commute on the N or W subways to midtown Manhattan. The subway runs above ground along 31st Street.
Buses 18, 19, 19A, 101, 102, 103, and 104 criss-cross Astoria.
The Grand Central Parkway cuts through Astoria on its way to the Triborough Bridge.
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