|Neighborhoods of Queens|
The Flushing Town Hall, now a cultural center
|City||New York City|
|Named for||Vlissingen, Netherlands|
|o Median income||$39,804|
|Area code(s)||718, 347, 917, 929|
Flushing is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens in the United States. While much of the neighborhood is residential, Downtown Flushing, centered on the northern end of Main Street in Queens, is a large commercial and retail area and is the fourth largest central business district in New York City.
Flushing's diversity is reflected by the numerous ethnic groups that reside there, including people of Asian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, European, and African American ancestry. It is part of the Fifth Congressional District, which encompasses the entire northeastern shore of Queens County, and extends into neighboring Nassau County. Flushing is served by five railroad stations on the Long Island Rail Road Port Washington Branch, as well as the New York City Subway's IRT Flushing Line ( and trains), which has its terminus at Main Street. The intersection of Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue is the third busiest intersection in New York City, behind Times and Herald Squares.
The neighborhood of Flushing is part of Queens Community Board 7 and the broader district of Flushing in Queens County. The Flushing "neighborhood" is bounded by Flushing Meadows-Corona Park to the west, Kissena Boulevard to the east, the Long Island Expressway to the south, and Willets Point Boulevard to the north.
ZIP codes beginning with 113 are administered from a sectional center at Flushing Post Office. The 113-prefixed area extends northwest from Broadway-Flushing, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights, south into Ridgewood, Forest Hills, and Fresh Meadows, and Murray Hill, Bayside, and Little Neck to the east.
Flushing was originally inhabited by the Matinecoc Indians.
On October 10, 1645, Flushing was established by the Dutch on the eastern bank of Flushing Creek under charter of the Dutch West India Company and was part of the New Netherland colony. The settlement was named after the city of Vlissingen, in the southwestern Netherlands, the main port of the company. However, by 1657, the residents called the place "Vlissing." Eventually, "Flushing," the British name for Vlissingen was used. Despite being a Dutch colony, many of the early inhabitants were British.
Unlike all other towns in the region, the charter of Flushing allowed residents freedom of religion as practiced in Holland without the disturbance of any magistrate or ecclesiastical minister. However, New Amsterdam Director-General Peter Stuyvesant issued an edict prohibiting the harboring of Quakers. On December 27, 1657, the inhabitants of Flushing approved a protest known as The Flushing Remonstrance. This petition contained religious arguments even mentioning freedom for "Jews, Turks, and Egyptians," but ended with a forceful declaration that any infringement of the town charter would not be tolerated. Subsequently, a farmer named John Bowne held Quaker meetings in his home and was arrested for this and deported to Holland. Eventually he persuaded the Dutch West India Company to allow Quakers and others to worship freely. As such, Flushing is claimed to be a birthplace of religious freedom in the New World.
In 1664, the English took control of New Amsterdam, ending Dutch control of the colony, and renamed it the Province of New York. When Queens County was established in 1683, the "Town of Flushing" was one of the original five towns which the county comprised. Many historical references to Flushing are to this town, bounded from Newtown on the west by Flushing Creek (now Flushing River), from Jamaica on the south by the watershed, and from Hempstead on the east by what later became the Nassau County line. The town was dissolved in 1898 when Queens became a borough of New York City, and the term "Flushing" today usually refers to a much smaller area, for example the former Village of Flushing.
Flushing was the site of the first commercial tree nurseries in North America, the most prominent being the Prince, Bloodgood, and Parsons nurseries. Much of the northern section of Kissena Park, former site of the Parsons nursery, still contains a wide variety of exotic trees. The naming of streets intersecting Kissena Boulevard on its way toward Kissena Park celebrates this fact (Ash Avenue, Beech, Cherry ...Poplar, Quince, Rose). Flushing also supplied trees to the Greensward project, now known as Central Park in Manhattan.
During the American Revolution, Flushing, along with most settlements in present-day Queens County, favored the British and quartered British troops, though one battalion of Scottish Highlanders is known to have been stationed at Flushing during the war. Following the Battle of Long Island, Nathan Hale, an officer in the Continental Army, was apprehended near Flushing Bay while on what was probably an intelligence gathering mission and was later hanged.
During the 19th century, as New York City continued to grow in population and economic vitality, so did Flushing. Its proximity to Manhattan was critical in its transformation into a fashionable residential area. On April 15, 1837, the Village of Flushing was incorporated within the Town of Flushing. The official seal was merely the words, "Village of Flushing," surrounded by nondescript flowers. No other emblem or flag is known to have been used. By the mid-1860s, Queens County had 30,429 residents. Flushing's growth continued with two new villages incorporating: College Point in 1867, and Whitestone in 1868. In 1898, although opposed to the proposal, the Town of Flushing (along with two other towns of Queens County) was consolidated into the City of New York to form the new Borough of Queens. All towns, villages, and cities within the new borough were dissolved. Local farmland continued to be subdivided and developed transforming Flushing into a densely populated neighborhood of New York City.
The continued construction of bridges over the Flushing River and the development of other roads increased the volume of vehicular traffic into Flushing. In 1909, the construction of the Queensboro Bridge (also known as the 59th Street Bridge) over the East River connected Queens County to midtown Manhattan.
The introduction of rail road service to Manhattan in 1910 by the Long Island Rail Road Port Washington Branch and in 1928 by the New York City Subway's IRT Flushing Line ( and trains) hastened the continued transformation of Flushing to a commuter suburb and commercial center. Due to increased traffic, a main roadway through Flushing named Broadway was widened and renamed Northern Boulevard.
Flushing was a forerunner of Hollywood, when the young American film industry was still based on the U.S. East Coast and Chicago. Decades later, the RKO Keith's movie palace would host vaudeville acts and appearances by the likes of Mickey Rooney, the Marx Brothers and Bob Hope.
In the 21st century, Flushing has cemented its status as an international melting pot, predominantly attracting immigrants from Asia, particularly from throughout the various provinces of China, but including newcomers from all over the world. Flushing Chinatown is centered around Main Street and the area to its west, most prominently along Roosevelt Avenue, which have become the primary nexus of Flushing Chinatown. However, Chinatown continues to expand southeastward along Kissena Boulevard and northward beyond Northern Boulevard. The Flushing Chinatown houses over 30,000 individuals born in China alone, the largest Chinatown by this metric outside Asia and one of the largest and fastest-growing Chinatowns in the world.
In the 1970s, a Chinese community established a foothold in the neighborhood of Flushing, whose demographic constituency had been predominantly non-Hispanic white, interspersed with a small Japanese community. This wave of immigrants from Taiwan were the first to arrive and developed Flushing's Chinatown. It was known as Little Taipei or Little Taiwan. Along with immigrants from Taiwan at this time, a large South Korean population also called Flushing home.
Before the 1970s, Cantonese immigrants had vastly dominated Chinese immigration to New York City; however during the 1970s, the Taiwanese immigrants were the first wave of Chinese immigrants who spoke Mandarin rather than Cantonese to arrive in New York City. Due to the dominance of Cantonese-speaking immigrants, who were largely working-class in Manhattan's Chinatown, as well as the language barrier and poor housing conditions there, Taiwanese immigrants, who were more likely to have attained higher educational standards and socioeconomic status, could not relate to Manhattan's Chinatown, and chose to settle in Flushing instead. As the Taiwanese population grew, a Flushing Chinatown was created with a higher standard of living and better housing conditions.
Over the years, many new non-Cantonese ethnic Chinese immigrants from different regions and provinces of China started to arrive in New York City. This led to the creation of a more Mandarin-speaking Chinatown or Mandarin Town that gradually replaced Little Taipei. This wave of immigrants spoke Mandarin and various regional/provincial dialects. Like the Taiwanese, they faced cultural and communication problems in Manhattan's Cantonese-speaking Chinatown and settled in Flushing as well as Elmhurst, Queens, which also has a significant Mandarin-speaking population. Flushing's Chinese population became very diverse over the next few decades as people from different provinces started to arrive, infusing their varied languages and cultures into its Chinatown.
Flushing and its Chinatown abut the rapidly growing Long Island Koreatown as well. Koreatown originated in Flushing before sprawling eastward along Northern Boulevard and eventually into Nassau County. This Koreatown abuts the rapidly growing Flushing Chinatown as well.
Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the population of Flushing was 72,008, an increase of 2,646 (3.8%) from the 69,362 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 853.06 acres (345.22 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 84.4 inhabitants per acre (54,000/sq mi; 20,900/km2).
The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 9.5% (6,831) White, 4.2% (3,016) African American, 0.1% (74) Native American, 69.2% (49,830) Asian, 0.1% (59) Pacific Islander, 0.2% (172) from other races, and 1.8% (1,303) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 14.9% (10,723) of the population.
The intersection of Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue
Flushing Chinatown (), or Mandarin Town () is one of the largest and fastest growing ethnic Chinese enclaves outside Asia, as well as within New York City itself. In Mandarin, Flushing is known as "Falasheng" (Chinese: ; pinyin: ).
Main Street and the area to its west, particularly along Roosevelt Avenue, have become the primary nexus of Flushing's Chinatown. However, Chinatown continues to expand southeastward along Kissena Boulevard and northward beyond Northern Boulevard. In the 1970s, a Chinese community established a foothold in the neighborhood of Flushing, whose demographic constituency had been predominantly non-Hispanic white. Taiwanese began the surge of immigration, followed by other groups of Chinese. By 1990, Asians constituted 41% of the population of the core area of Flushing, with Chinese in turn representing 41% of the Asian population. However, ethnic Chinese are constituting an increasingly dominant proportion of the Asian population as well as of the overall population in Flushing and its Chinatown. A 1986 estimate by the Flushing Chinese Business Association approximated 60,000 Chinese in Flushing alone.
The intersection of Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue, the business center for Flushing, on the westernmost edge of the neighborhood, has a large concentration of Chinese and Korean businesses, including Asian restaurants. Chinese-owned businesses in particular dominate the area along Main Street and the blocks west of it. Many of the signs and advertisements of the stores in the area are in Chinese. Ethnic Chinese constitute an increasingly dominant proportion of the Asian population and as well as of the overall population in Flushing. Consequently, Flushing's Chinatown has grown rapidly enough to become the largest Chinatown outside Asia and has surpassed the Manhattan Chinatown in size.
A 1986 estimate by the Flushing Chinese Business Association approximated 60,000 Chinese in Flushing alone. By 1990, Asians constituted 41% of the population of the core area of Flushing, with Chinese in turn representing 41% of the Asian population. However, ethnic Chinese are constituting an increasingly dominant proportion of the Asian population as well as of the overall population in Flushing and its Chinatown. High rates of both legal and illegal immigration from Mainland China continue to spur the ongoing rise of the ethnic Chinese population in Flushing, as in all of New York City's Chinatowns.
According to a Daily News article, Flushing's Chinatown ranks as New York City's second largest Chinese community with 33,526 Chinese, up from 17,363, a 93% increase. The Brooklyn Chinatown () now ranks #1 as the largest Chinatown of NYC with 34,218 Chinese residents, up from 19,963 in 2000, a 71% increase. As for Manhattan's Chinatown, its Chinese population declined by 17%, from 34,554 to 28,681 since 2000 to rank #3.
Flushing now rivals Manhattan's Chinatown as a center of Chinese culture and has been called the "Chinese Manhattan". The Lunar New Year Parade has become a growing annual celebration of Chinese New Year. More and larger Chinese supermarkets are locating and selling a diverse and uniquely vast array of Chinese food and ingredient selections in Flushing, the largest of which include Hong Kong Supermarket and New York Supermarket, which also happen to be rapidly growing Chinese American chain supermarkets. The segment of Main Street between Roosevelt Avenue and Kissena Boulevard represents the cultural heart of Flushing Chinatown. Flushing's rise as an epicenter of Chinese culture outside Asia has been attributed to the remarkable diversity of regional Chinese demographics represented.
The World Journal, one of the largest Chinese-language newspapers outside China, is headquartered in adjacent Whitestone (), Queens, with offices in Flushing as well. Numerous other Chinese- and English-language publications are available in Flushing.
The popular styles of Chinese cuisine are ubiquitously accessible in Flushing, including Taiwanese, Shanghainese, Hunanese, Szechuan, Cantonese, Fujianese, Xinjiang, Zhejiang, and Korean Chinese cuisine. The relatively obscure Dongbei style of cuisine indigenous to Northeast China is available in Flushing, as well as Mongolian cuisine.
Mandarin Chinese (including Northeastern Mandarin), Fuzhou dialect, Min Nan(Hokkien), Wu Chinese(Wenzhounese, Shanghainese, Suzhou dialect, Hangzhou dialect), Cantonese, and English are all prevalently spoken in Flushing Chinatown, while the Mongolian language is now emerging. Given its rapidly growing status, the Flushing Chinatown has surpassed in size and population the original New York City Chinatown in the borough of Manhattan and this substantial growth has resulted in a commensurate rise in this Chinatown's cultural status. The New York Times says that Flushing's Chinatown now rivals Manhattan's Chinatown for being the center of Chinese-speaking New Yorkers' politics and trade.
In accompaniment with its rapid growth, Flushing in particular has witnessed the proliferation of highly competitive businesses touted as educational centers as well as non-profit organizations declaring the intent to educate the community. Some entities offer education in Mandarin, the lingua franca of Mainland China; others profess to provide students with intensive training in computer and technological proficiency; while still others entice high school students with rigorous preparatory classes for college entrance examinations in mathematics, science, and English literacy.
The Elmhurst Chinatown on Broadway in nearby Elmhurst, another neighborhood in the borough of Queens, also has a large and rapidly growing Chinese community and is developing as a satellite of the Flushing Chinatown. Previously a small area with Chinese shops on Broadway between 81st Street and Cornish Avenue, this newly evolved second Chinatown in Queens has now expanded to 45th Avenue and Whitney Avenue.
There is a Koreatown which originated in Flushing, but has since spread eastward to Murray Hill, Bayside, Douglaston, and Little Neck in Queens, and also into Nassau County. As of the 2010 United States Census, the Korean population of Queens was 64,107.
In the 1980s, a continuous stream of Korean immigrants emerged into Flushing, many of whom began as workers in the medical field or Korean international students who had moved to New York City to find or initiate professional or entrepreneurial positions. They established a foothold on Union Street in Flushing between 35th and 41st Avenues, featuring restaurants and karaoke (noraebang) bars, grocery markets, education centers and bookstores, banking institutions, offices, consumer electronics vendors, apparel boutiques, and other commercial enterprises.
As the community grew in wealth and population and rose in socioeconomic status, Koreans expanded their presence eastward along Northern Boulevard, buying homes in more affluent and less crowded Queens neighborhoods and more recently into adjacent suburban Nassau County, bringing their businesses with them, and thereby expanding the Koreatown itself. This expansion has led to the creation of an American Meokjagolmok, or Korean Restaurant Street, around the Long Island Rail Road station in Murray Hill, Queens, exuding the ambience of Seoul itself. The eastward pressure to expand was also created by the inability to move westward, inhibited by the formidable presence of the enormous Flushing Chinatown () centered on Main Street.
Per the 2010 United States Census, the Korean population of Queens was 64,107, representing the largest municipality in the United States with a density of at least 500 Korean Americans per square mile; while the Korean population of Nassau County had increased by nearly two-thirds to approximately 14,000 over one decade since the 2000 Census. Along with the two Koreatowns of Bergen County, New Jersey (in Palisades Park and Fort Lee) and the Manhattan Koreatown in New York City, the Long Island Koreatown functions as a satellite node for an overall Korean American population of 218,764 individuals in the New York City Metropolitan Area, the second largest population of ethnic Koreans outside Korea. Korean Air and Asiana Airlines provide non-stop flights from Seoul to JFK Airport in Queens.
The Korea Times, a news organization based in Seoul, carries a significant presence in the Long Island Koreatown.
The Long Island Koreatown features numerous restaurants that serve both traditional and/or regional Korean cuisine. As noted above, the development of this Koreatown has led to the creation of an American Meokjagolmok, or Korean Restaurant Street, around the Long Island Rail Road station in Murray Hill, exuding the ambience of Seoul itself.Korean Chinese cuisine is now also available in Koreatown.
A significant array of social services toward assisting recent and established Korean immigrants is readily available in Koreatown.
The neighborhood of East Flushing, technically within Greater Flushing, also houses a substantial Chinese community along with most of Downtown Flushing. However, East Flushing also substantially includes Irish, Greek, Russian, and Italian communities, as well as communities of Indians, Sri Lankans, Malaysians, and Hispanics, mostly Colombians and Salvadorans. This neighborhood tends to be more diverse visibly than Downtown Flushing because of the more even distribution of the ethnicities of East Flushing residents resulting in more businesses catering to each community rather than the dominance of Chinese and to a lesser extent Korean businesses in Downtown Flushing.
The northeastern section of Flushing near Bayside continues to maintain large Italian and Greek presences that are reflected in its many Italian and Greek bakeries, grocery stores and restaurants. The northwest is a mix of Jews, Greeks, and Italians. Most of central Flushing is an ethnic mix of Whites, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans.
An area south of Franklin Avenue houses a concentration of Indian, Pakistani, Afghan, and Bangladeshi markets. This concentration of South Asian businesses south of Franklin Avenue has existed since the late 1970s, one of the oldest Little Indias in North America. The Sri Maha Vallabha Ganapati Devasthanam (Sanskrit ?, Tamil ?) at 45-57 Bowne Street in Flushing was the very first of the traditional Hindu temples in the US. However, Indians are migrating eastward into neighborhoods in northeastern Queens and into Nassau County, as with many Chinese and Korean immigrants.
Broadway-Flushing, also known as North Flushing, is a residential area with many large homes. Part of this area has been designated a State and Federal historic district due to the elegant, park-like character of the neighborhood. Much of the area has been rezoned by the City of New York to preserve the low density, residential quality of the neighborhood. The neighborhood awaits designation as an Historic District by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Broadway-Flushing is approximately bounded by 29th Avenue to the north, Northern Boulevard and Crocheron Avenue to the south, 155th Street to the west, and 172nd Streets to the east.
Linden Hill is part of Flushing and is served by the NYPD's 109th Precinct and Queens Community Board 7. Its borders are defined as 25th Avenue to Willets Point Boulevard. to the north, 154th Street to the east, Northern Boulevard to the south and the Whitestone Expressway to the west.
Linden Hill was originally a rural estate owned by the Mitchell family. Ernest Mitchell owned an adjacent area known as Breezy Hill and his father owned the area now called Linden Hill. The two areas are sometimes referred to as Mitchell-Linden. A major change in the rural nature of Linden Hill occurred in the 1950s. Builders envisioned a cooperative project to be set on Linden Hill and landfill of an adjacent swamp which would provide middle-income housing to veterans of World War II and the Korean War. Under Section 213 of the Federal Housing Act of 1950, and at a cost of $15 million, the project was enacted. It provided homes for about 1400 residents in the 41 six-story buildings of the Linden Hill, Mitchell Gardens, Linden Towers, and Embassy Arms cooperatives.
Once a primarily European-American neighborhood, Linden Hill is now a diverse mix of European-Americans, Asian-Americans and Latino-Americans. The Asian-American population has expanded markedly in the southern part of Linden Hill in the past decade (as it has throughout Flushing) and the Latino-American population has also grown noticeably. Conversely, the European-American population has lessened somewhat, though European-Americans still remain in great numbers north of Bayside Avenue, west of 149th Street.
The local branch of the Queens Borough Public Library is located on Union Street and is known as the Mitchell Linden Branch.
This subsection has a median income of $38,978 and ZIP codes of 11354, 11355, and 11358. Traditionally the home of families of Irish and Italian immigrants, many Korean and Chinese immigrants have moved into Murray Hill in recent years. Murray Hill within Flushing is often confused with the larger Murray Hill neighborhood on the East Side of Manhattan.
Before the area was developed for residential housing in 1889, Murray Hill was the location of several large nurseries owned by the King, Murray, and Parsons families. The Kingsland Homestead has been preserved as the home of the Queens Historical Society. The Voelker Orth Museum, Bird Sanctuary and Victorian Garden is also located in Murray Hill.
Queensboro Hill in southern Flushing is bordered to the West by College Point Boulevard, to the North by Kissena Park and Kissena Corridor Park, to the South by Reeves Avenue and the Long Island Expressway, and to the East by Kissena Boulevard. Queensboro Hill is a part of ZIP codes 11355 and 11367 and contains a New York Hospital Queens branch. One of the leading churches is the Queensboro Hill Community Church, a multi-racial congregation of the Reformed Church in America. Turtle Playground serves the residents of this section of Flushing.
This area is often referred to as South Flushing. This may also refer to Pomonok.
The Waldheim neighborhood, an estate subdivision in Flushing constructed primarily between 1875 and 1925, is a small district of upscale "in-town" suburban architecture that preservationists have tried to save for at least twenty-five years. Waldheim, German for "home in the woods", known for its large homes of varying architectural styles, laid out in an unusual street pattern, was the home of some of Flushing's wealthiest residents until the 1960s. Notable residents include the Helmann family of condiment fame, the Steinway family of piano notability, as well as A. Douglas Nash, who managed a nearby Tiffany glass plant. The neighborhood was rezoned by the City of New York in 2008, in order to halt the destruction of its original housing stock, which began in the late 1980s, and to help preserve the low density, residential character of the neighborhood. As with the Broadway neighborhood, preservationists have been unable to secure designation as an Historic District by the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission to date. Today, Waldheim stretches between Sanford and Franklin Avenues on the north, 45th Avenue on the south, Bowne Street on the west and Parsons Boulevard on the east. The area is immediately southeast of the downtown Flushing commercial core, and adjacent to Kissena Park.
Flushing is among the most religiously diverse communities in America. Today, Flushing abounds with houses of worship, ranging from the Dutch colonial epoch Quaker Meeting House, the historic Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Queens, St. Andrew Avellino Roman Catholic Church, St. George's Episcopal Church, the Free Synagogue of Flushing, the Congregation of Georgian Jews, St. Mel Roman Catholic Church, St. Michael's Catholic Church, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Shrine Church, St. John's Lutheran Church, Queensboro Hill Community Church, Hindu Temple Society of North America, and the Muslim Center of New York.
There are "over 200 places of worship in a small urban neighborhood about 2.5 square miles (6.3 square kilometers)." "Flushing has become a model for religious pluralism in America, says R. Scott Hanson, a visiting assistant professor of history at the State University of New York at Binghamton and an affiliate of the Pluralism Project at Harvard University."
In 1657, while Flushing was still a Dutch settlement, a document known as the Flushing Remonstrance was created by Edward Hart, the town clerk, where some thirty ordinary citizens protested a ban imposed by Peter Stuyvesant, the director general of New Amsterdam, forbidding the harboring of Quakers. The Remonstrants cited the Flushing Town charter of 1645 which promised liberty of conscience.
Flushing has many landmark buildings. Flushing Town Hall on Northern Boulevard is the headquarters of the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. The building houses a concert hall and cultural center and is one of the sites designated along the Queens Historical Society's Freedom Mile.
Other registered New York City Landmarks include the Bowne House, Kingsland Homestead, Old Quaker Meeting House (1694), Flushing High School, St. George's Church (1854), the Lewis H. Latimer House, the former RKO Keith's movie theater, the United States Post Office on Main Street, and the Unisphere, the iconic 12-story-high stainless steel globe that served as the centerpiece for the 1964 New York World's Fair. The Flushing Armory, on Northern Boulevard, was formerly used by the National Guard. Presently, the Queens North Task Force of the New York City Police Department uses this building. In 2005, the Fitzgerald-Ginsberg Mansion on Bayside Avenue and in 2007, the Voelker Orth Museum, Bird Sanctuary and Victorian Garden were designated as landmarks. In addition, the Broadway-Flushing Historic District, Free Synagogue of Flushing, and Main Street Subway Station (Dual System IRT) are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Several attractions were originally developed for the World's Fairs in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. There is a stone marker for the two 5,000-year Westinghouse Time Capsules made of special alloys buried in the park, chronicling 20th-century life in the United States, dedicated both in 1938 and 1965. Also in the park are the Queens Museum of Art which features a scale model of the City of New York, the largest architectural model ever built; Queens Theatre in the Park; the New York Hall of Science and the Queens Zoo. The New York State Pavilion was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.
The Queens Botanical Garden on Main Street has been in operation continuously since its opening as an exhibit at the 1939 New York World's Fair. The Botanical Garden carries on Flushing's nearly three centuries-long horticultural tradition, dating back to its once famed tree nurseries and seed farms.
All the public parks and playgrounds in Flushing are supervised by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. For Queens County, the Department of Parks and Recreation is headquartered at The Overlook in Forest Park located in Kew Gardens.
Public schools in Flushing are supervised by the New York City Department of Education through Administrative District 25. There are numerous public Elementary and Junior High Schools in Flushing and students generally attend a school based on the location of their residence.
Public elementary and middle schools include: John Bowne Elementary P.S. 20, P.S. 107, P.S. 21 Edward Hart Elementary School, Thomas Jefferson Elementary P.S. 22, Andrew Jackson Elementary P.S. 24, Cadwallader Colden Elementary P.S. 214, P.S. 32, Adrien Block Intermediate I.S. 25, Daniel Carter Beard Junior High School 189, and Edward Bleeker JHS 185.
The six public high schools in Flushing are:
I.S. 237, an arts-oriented magnet school also known as Rachel Carson Intermediate School 237, is also located in Flushing, at 46-21 Colden Street. This school consists of grades 6, 7, and 8. The school was named after scientist Rachel Carson, the writer of Silent Spring which inspired people to name the school after her; it opened in 1971. Each year in June for the 8th graders they have a senior trip to the Poconos. In 1999 the school took ownership of a park called Rachel Carson Playground, which is right across from the school. Judith Friedman is the principal of the school, which has over 1200 students. Since 2006 the school made room for a new school to use the space up on the 4th floor for the East-West School of International Studies.
The East-West School of International Studies (Public School Q281) was established in 2006 in I.S. 237; the school serves students in grades 6-12 with an emphasis on Asian studies. It opened in September 2006 with 6th through 12th grade classes. Operated by the New York City Department of Education, it is led by principal Ben Sherman, has an average class size of 25 students, and has a student-teacher ratio of 14.9:1 in 2006-07, As it shares space with I.S. 237, the education department is looking at sites for the East-West School to occupy, including a nearby Home Depot.
Student groups and activities include erhu club, anime club, art, STEP team, dance team calligraphy, chess club, dance, film-making, MOUSE Squad (student computer maintenance), mentoring, Model United Nations, music, newspaper, peer tutoring, step club, Korean Traditional Painting, Korean dancing and singing, and student government. Athletic clubs and teams include basketball, yoga, martial arts, soccer, t'ai chi, judo, and table tennis.
The private high schools include:
On December 22, 1980,The Japanese School of New York moved from Jamaica Estates, Queens into Fresh Meadows, Queens, near Flushing. In 1991, the school moved to Yonkers in Westchester County, New York, before moving to Greenwich, Connecticut in 1992.
Queens College, founded in 1937, is a senior college of the City University of New York (CUNY), and is commonly misconstrued to be within Flushing neighborhood limits due to its Flushing mailing address. It is actually located in the nearby neighborhood of Kew Gardens Hills on Kissena Boulevard near the Long Island Expressway. The City University of New York School of Law was founded in 1983 adjacent to the Queens College campus, and was located at 65-21 Main Street in Kew Gardens Hills until 2012. It moved to Long Island City for the Fall 2012 Semester. The Law School operates Main Street Legal Services Corp., a legal services clinic.
In 1858, the first library in Queens County was founded in Flushing. Today, there are eight branches of the Queens Borough Public Library with Flushing addresses. The largest of the Flushing branches is located at the intersection of Kissena Boulevard and Main Street in Flushing's central business district and is the busiest branch of the highest circulation system in the country. This library has and houses an auditorium for public events. The current building, designed by Polshek Partnership Architects, is the third to be built on the site--the first was a gift of Andrew Carnegie.
New York Hospital Queens (formerly known as Booth Memorial Hospital), a member of the New York-Presbyterian Healthcare System, is a major medical center providing Flushing as well as surrounding communities with comprehensive medical care services. Numerous tertiary medical clinics also serve the residents of Flushing.
Flushing Hospital Medical Center serves the area as well.
The New York City Subway operates the IRT Flushing Line ( and trains). The Flushing-Main Street station, located at the intersection of Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue, is currently the eastern terminus of the line. Until the Flushing line made its way to the intersection of Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue in 1928, the center of Flushing was considered to be at the intersection of Northern Boulevard and Main Street.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority operates the Long Island Rail Road's Port Washington Branch that has five rail road stations in Flushing. The Flushing-Main Street is located one block away from the subway station that bears the same name. The other stations in the neighborhood are Mets - Willets Point, Murray Hill, Broadway and Auburndale. The Long Island Rail Road provides a direct rail link to Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan.
Major highways that serve the area include the Van Wyck Expressway, Whitestone Expressway, Grand Central Parkway, and Long Island Expressway. Northern Boulevard extends from the Queensboro Bridge in Long Island City through Flushing into Nassau County.
There are also many buses run by Metropolitan Transportation Authority affiliate New York City Bus (routes Q12, Q13, Q15, Q15A, Q16, Q17, Q20A, Q20B, Q26, Q27, Q28, Q44 SBS, Q48, Q58) and subsidiary MTA Bus Company (routes Q19, Q25, Q34, Q50, Q65, Q66). The n20G Nassau Inter-County Express bus route terminates in Flushing.
The political stature of Flushing appears to be increasing significantly, with many Chinese from Flushing becoming New York City Council members. Taiwan-born John Liu, former New York City Council member representing District 20, which includes Flushing and other northern Queens neighborhoods, was elected to his current position of New York City Comptroller in November 2009. Concomitantly, Shanghai-born Peter Koo was elected to succeed Liu to assume this council membership seat. Additionally, in 2012 Flushing resident Grace Meng, a State Assembly Member, was elected to Congress as the first Asian-American member of that chamber east of the Mississippi.
Today, the largest branch library in New York City is the Flushing Library, situated on the site of one of the branch libraries built with Mr. Carnegie's money.
But they meant the world to this intensely shy artist, who lived on sweets, worshiped forgotten divas and made portable shrines to them -- his version of spiritual art -- in the basement of the small house he shared with his mother and disabled brother in Flushing, Queens.