Jackson Heights is a vibrant neighborhood in the borough of Queens, New York. It is a verifiable melting pot with diverse cultures represented as residents, including many from India and Nepal. However, affordable real estate prices are currently drawing a wide variety of inhabitants. Browse the South Asian shops and restaurants in this borough, or visit the historic Queens Pride Center to celebrate your LGBTQ Pride. This area has something to offer everyone!
Jackson Heights History
Before the Queensboro Bridge was built, Jackson Heights was a small town called “Trains Meadow.” Once the bridge was built, the area flourished with development. The now more urban neighborhood was given a new name in honor of John C. Jackson, who was the president of the company responsible for the first trolley lines in the area. This community was home to some very modern residential developments for the time, including plenty of green space and roomy yet economical apartments. To this day, it retains this legacy as an affordable, family-friendly place to live.
What Can You Do in Jackson Heights?
When you visit this Queens, NYC neighborhood, it is best to come hungry, as the ethnic food choices are out of this world. Thanks to an influx of Indian and Nepalese immigrants over the past decades, there are plentiful options here for authentic South Asian cuisine. Try Indian food at Delhi Heights or Dosa Delights, or go up into the Himalayas at Himalayan Yak for something a little different. In recent years, Latin America has also made a great showing on the dining scene, boasting authentic taquerias and other spots with inexpensive and delicious menus. Both La Gloria and La Pequeña Colombia are great examples of the latter.
The shopping in Jackson Heights is also unique. Here, you can buy traditional Indian garments and beautiful jewelry in the stores, as well as popular Bollywood movies, Muslim prayer rugs and decorative knickknacks from the many street vendors who line the main thoroughfares.
In addition to being a center for international cultures, Jackson Heights serves as a haven for the LGBTQ community. The Queens Pride House is an important cultural center where LGBTQ people get supportive services and the community at large benefits from educational events. There are also a few lesbian and gay bars in the area, providing exciting nightlife options for everyone.
How to Get Here
Jackson Heights is easily accessible via some of the most convenient subway lines in NYC. The 7 train makes several stops across the neighborhood, and the E, F, G & R trains also stop at the central Roosevelt Ave – Jackson Heights Station at the intersection of 74th Avenue, Roosevelt Avenue and Broadway. Several buses make stops in the neighborhood, coming from both Manhattan and other areas of Queens.
Cars are something of a hindrance almost everywhere in New York City, and the congested streets of Jackson Heights are no different. If you drive, parking can be a nightmare. There are a few garages that might have space for your vehicle, but it’s not a sure thing. It is definitely recommended that you get around using a combination of walking and public transportation.
Now, if you’re ready to experience one of NYC’s hidden gems, work up an appetite and hop on the train or bus to Jackson Heights.