Forest Hills, Queens, New York

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Station Square, home to Forest Hills' striking Long Island Rail Road station.

Forest Hills is an neighborhood in central Queens, New York. It is bordered to the north by Rego Park, the east by Flushing Meadows Park and Kew Gardens, the west by Middle Village and the south by Forest Park. The neighborhood is home to a mix of lower-middle to upper-class residents, the latter of whom often live in the neighborhood's prestigious Forest Hills Gardens area. Forest Hills has historically had a very large Jewish population, and more than 10 synagogues are located in the area. It is also home to many airline pilots because of its proximity to both JFK International and LaGuardia airports, and jetBlue is headquartered there.

The neighborhood contains areas of private houses with little commerce, such as the Gardens area; dense commercial districts full of stores and large apartment complexes; and streets with the six-story brick apartment buildings common throughout Queens. The main thoroughfare is the 12-lane-wide Queens Boulevard, while Metropolitan Avenue is known for its antique shops. However, the commercial heart of Forest Hills is a mile-long stretch of Austin Street a block removed from Queens Boulevard that features an eclectic collection of shops, restaurants and nightlife.

Though many Forest Hills residents have lived in the neighborhood for decades, recently an increasing number of young professionals have been attracted to the area because of its cosmopolitan nature, plentiful shopping and restaurant options, safety, and excellent access to public transportation. Manhattan is only 20 minutes away on the subway, and a Long Island Rail Road trip from the landmark train station at the entrance to the Gardens to Manhattan's Pennsylvania Station is just 15 minutes.

Forest Hills was once the home of the US Open tennis tournament, played at the West Side Tennis Club before it moved to the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows. When the Open was played at the tennis stadium, the tournament was commonly referred to as merely Forest Hills just as the British Open was referred to as Wimbledon.

Marvel Comics founder Stan Lee grew up in Forest Hills and made the neighborhood home to his most famous character, Spider-Man.

The neighborhood has been home to a number of other famous residents over the years as well. Members of the punk rock group The Ramones grew up there, as did Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel as well as actor Carroll O'Connor. Singer Carol Channing lived there in the 1950s during her time on Broadway. The controversial psychologist Wilhelm Reich established his Orgone Institute while residing in Forest Hills after emigrating to America from Europe. Representative Geraldine Ferraro lived there when she was the first woman to run for Vice President. U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY), who is running for the Democratic nomination for mayor of New York City in 2005, also resides in Forest Hills.


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