New York City / Queens, New York

Astorians (or Sunnysiders or whatever)

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Long Island City

Young Professionals/DINKs/SINKs

Astoria is probably the hottest of the Queens neighborhoods for youngsters to settle. Certainly put it on your shortlist for checking out. It’s one of the closest neighborhoods to Manhattan so commuting is a breeze. It’s also filled with apartments/condos and bars and restaurants and coffee shops and lots of other social options for youngsters. Long Island City and more recently Ridgewood have also emerged as hotspots for young and young-ish professionals and couples. They have similar compositions of housing, social scenes and proximity to Manhattan.

  • Astoria
  • Long Island City
  • Ridgewood
  • Jackson Heights



Astoria is the most popular LGTBQ+ neighborhood in Queens. It’s much cheaper than Chelsea or Hell’s Kitchen or Bushwick or Park Slope and so you see a thriving queer creative scene here that makes the NYC thing work by living for less. There are dozens of owned and supportive bars, clubs and boutiques that are thriving in Astoria and so if you’re looking to live in NYC but don’t or can’t pay the Manhattan or Brooklyn prices then start with Astoria.

  • Astoria

Forest Hills


Forest Hills is one of if not the best neighborhood for families in any of the five boroughs. For starters it is filled with amazing parks including: Forest Park and Flushing Meadows Corona Park. You and the kiddos get direct access to miles and miles of green rolling hills and playgrounds and every kind of recreational facility, all in the neighborhood. The blocks are tree-lined and the homes beautiful and perhaps most importantly they are affordable by the standards of the area. Finally, the schools in the neighborhood are excellent. There’s a magnet public and Montessori and overall excellent public and private throughout.

  • Forest Hills
  • Bayside
  • Bellerose
  • Jamaica Estates


Families/Young Professionals/DINKs

The Up-Side (get it?)

Sunnyside is great if you want to be close to Manhattan, but not too close to Manhattan. It’s a small neighborhood, so walking to Astoria, Woodside, or Long Island City only takes a couple of blocks in any direction. You can also get more square footage for less when it comes to renting. It’s not as busy as some other neighborhoods, but there are plenty of local haunts, and you’ll easily find a grocery store, a pharmacy, a salon or barber shop, and pretty much any other quality-of-life staples that are required for a fully formed New York neighborhood. If the nearest bodega isn’t to your liking, don’t worry, the one down the street is open 24-7. Restaurants are easy to come by, and you won’t find yourself bereft of any global cuisine option. The nightlife is present and pleasant, albeit relatively low-key. Not to worry, you’re just a 15-minute train ride from Grand Central Station, which is more than some parts of Manhattan can say.

The Down-Side
Sunnyside isn’t overflowing with transportation options. There’s a bus system that can take you into Greenpoint (or the rest of Brooklyn), but it only runs every twenty-plus minutes. The 7 is the fastest way into Manhattan (but basically the only way without a car).

The So-So Side
There’s more parking in Sunnyside than in many other parts of New York, but the fastest way around is usually by bicycle, especially if traveling to Greenpoint (just over the Greenpoint Ave bridge), Williamsburg, or Astoria. Sunnyside borders an industrial area, but just on the other side of that is Long Island City, with the MOMA PS1 and the Sculpture Center, surrounded by brand-new developments.


Families/Young Professionals/Creative Types

Like Bushwick, Only Cheaper

As is the way of things, once the artists move in, the rents will skyrocket in a couple of years. Ridgewood is currently getting a similar treatment to what Bushwick and Williamsburg got after artists were priced out of Manhattan. So this once quiet, family-filled neighborhood is seeing more and more young people moving in. Like Greenpoint, this neighborhood had a strong Polish and Eastern European presence. Also like Greenpoint, this neighborhood is in the process of becoming an extension of the busier, trendier neighborhood next to it. New residents appreciate the proximity to Bushwick, and the relative convenience of the L train for getting into Manhattan. Once the Interborough express line is put in (hopefully this century), it will make getting deeper into Brooklyn much more convenient.
So while new residents may end up giving this neighborhood the Manhattan treatment, for now Ridgewood is a clean and quiet neighborhood in Queens, and there are still families living here. You can find row houses, multi-family homes, new developments, or converted industrial lofts along the border with Bushwick. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants, and this neighborhood is generally considered very safe. Parking is not easy here, so plan to live close to the train.

  • Las Margaritas
  • Ridgewood Pork store
  • Ridgewood Theater

Jackson Heights


Food Paradise

Next to Astoria on the northern side of Queens is the Jackson Heights neighborhood. This area is lively and vibrant, full of families, and very much a busy neighborhood. Jackson Heights allows you to get more space for your money than many other areas, especially if you’re renting. Beautiful Pre-War brick co-ops offer central courtyards and excellent square footage, with single-family homes scattered throughout as well. This neighborhood is also very diverse, with large Hispanic and South-Asian populations. Since the 1990s, the Queer community has flourished in Jackson Heights, and it has its own massive pride parade every year.
Every neighborhood can claim great restaurants, but Jackson Heights hits it out of the park in terms of diverse and delicious dining options. In addition to restaurants and bars, there are street food options that can take you all over the world. Dosas, arepas, rice balls– halal, vegetarian, you name it.
Multiple train lines going into Manhattan and LaGuardia right next door make Jackson Heights a transportation hub. Consequently, it can get a little loud. The tradeoff is that traveling from here is very easy. For a younger, hipper crowd you’ll probably want to be near Astoria, but if you’re seeking a diverse family neighborhood, Jackson Heights is it.

  • Mustang Thakali Kitchen
  • Samudra
  • Arepa Lady