A Love Letter to Queens

The borough that offers the world. Literally.

“Queens sucks.” Chances are, if you’ve lived in New York City long enough, you’ve heard that at least once. Queens gets a bad rap, but I don’t really know why.

Queens is New York City’s largest borough, and one of the most diverse places in the world. There’s a niche for every nationality imaginable somewhere within her borders.

Irish? Head to Woodside for a properly poured pint of Guinness. In the mood for some true Mexican grub? Check out Corona (you won’t find any Chipotles there).

The borough hails some of the most talented artists of our time. Nas grew up in the Queensbridge Houses. Martin Scorcese was born here. Lucy Liu was raised in Jackson Heights and was first discovered while on the subway. Even Spiderman was from Queens.

Yet Queens still can’t shake that uncool reputation. I’d like to believe the naysayers just aren’t aware of all she has to offer.

They probably haven’t spent an afternoon at MoMA’s PS1in Long Island City yet; or a Friday night out in Astoria – where the energy is just as lively as downtown Manhattan after dark (and the drinks cheaper).

Or maybe they don’t know that the original giant scale model of NYC from the 1964 World’s Fair is still on display in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park; the same model that amazed visitors from all across the globe decades ago.

Perhaps they don’t know that the Chinatown in Manhattan pales in comparison to what lies at the end of the 7 train line – which was voted the best train line in the city for the 7th time.

Got money to blow? Who needs SoHo, when you have the Queens Center Mall? If you haven’t had a slice of New Park Pizza in Howard Beach yet, have you really lived?

Queens is underrated, but maybe we should keep it that way. Let the haters scramble into increasingly expensive Brooklyn neighborhoods, where gentrification has swept away all but the last traces of authenticity and character. Let them count Queens out for their shoebox apartments in Manhattan.

This weekend, go explore Queens.

Because Queens is big. Because Parsons and “Trads” will still be there when you get back. Because Queens is weird, unique, and has integrity. And for some reason she is underrated – but Queens most assuredly does not suck.