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Flushing, New York

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Flushing, New York

Flushing, Queens
Neighborhoods of New York City
Country  United States of America
State  New York
County City New York
Founded 1645
Town 1683–1898
Named for Vlissingen, Netherlands
Population (2000)
 • Total 176,026
Ethnicity
 • White 19.7%
 • Black 3.5%
 • Hispanic 18.4%
 • Asian 44.3%
 • Other 4.1%
Economics
 • Median income $39,804
ZIP codes 11351-11390
Area code(s) 718, 347, 917

Flushing, founded in 1645 as one of the first Dutch settlements on Long Island, is a neighborhood in the north-central part of the New York City borough of Queens, in the United States.

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, and the New York City Subway's IRT Flushing Line (Template:NYCS 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 only Times and Herald Squares.[2]

Flushing is part of Queens Community Board 7[3] and is bounded by Flushing Meadows–Corona Park to the west, Francis Lewis Boulevard to the east, Union Turnpike 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 west into Jackson Heights, south into Elmhurst, Queens, Glendale and Forest Hills, and east into Little Neck.

History


Dutch colony

In 1645, Flushing was established by English settlers 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; Flushing is an anglicization of the Dutch name that was then in use.

In its early days, Flushing was inhabited by English colonists, among them a farmer named John Bowne. John Bowne defied a prohibition imposed by New Amsterdam Director-General Peter Stuyvesant on harboring Quakers by allowing Quaker meetings in his home. The Flushing Remonstrance, signed in Flushing on December 27, 1657, protested religious persecution and eventually led to the decision by the Dutch West India Company to allow Quakers and others to worship freely.[4] As such, Flushing is claimed to be a birthplace of religious freedom in the new world.[5]

Landmarks remaining from the Dutch period in Flushing include the John Bowne House on Bowne Street and the Old Quaker Meeting House on Northern Boulevard.

English colonial history

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 comprised the county.[6] 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. 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.

The 1785 Kingsland Homestead, originally the residence of a wealthy Quaker merchant, now serves as the home of the Queens Historical Society.[7] The 1790 United States census recorded that 5,393 people lived in what is present-day Queens County.

Nineteenth century

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. In 1813, the Village of Flushing was incorporated within the Town of Flushing.[8] 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.

Twentieth and twenty-first centuries

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.[9]

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 (Template:NYCS 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. The theater now lies vacant and in disrepair due to an unauthorized real estate development project that took place in the early 1990s.

Demographics

Flushing is among the most religiously diverse communities in America. There are "over 200 places of worship in a small urban neighborhood about 2.5 square miles (6.5 square kilometers)."[10] "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."[11]


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.[5]

Today, Flushing abounds with houses of worship, ranging from the Dutch colonial epoch Quaker Meeting House, 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 Church, Queensboro Hill Community Church, Hindu Temple Society of North America, and the Muslim Center of New York.[12]

The intersection of Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue, the business center for Flushing located at the terminus of the Number 7 subway line 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 second-largest Chinatown outside of Asia. In fact, the Flushing Chinatown may surpass the original Manhattan Chinatown itself within a few years.[13][14][15]

Chinatown, Flushing (法拉盛華埠)

Main article: Chinatown, Flushing

The Flushing Chinatown is one of the largest and fastest growing ethnic Chinese enclaves outside of Asia, as well as within New York City itself. Main Street and the area to its west, particularly along Roosevelt Avenue, have become the primary nexus of Flushing 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.[14] 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.[16] Mandarin Chinese (including Northeastern Mandarin), Fuzhou dialect, Min Nan Fujianese, Wu Chinese, Beijing dialect, Wenzhounese, Shanghainese, Cantonese, Taiwanese, and English are all prevalently spoken in Flushing Chinatown. Even the relatively obscure Dongbei style of cuisine indigenous to Northeast China is now available in Flushing Chinatown.[17] Given its rapidly growing status, the Flushing Chinatown may surpass in size and population the original New York City Chinatown in the borough of Manhattan within a few years, and it is debatable whether this has already happened. 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.[18]

Other communities


The neighborhood of East Flushing, technically within Greater Flushing, houses a substantial Chinese community along with most of Downtown Flushing, but also includes substantial Irish, Greek, Russian, and Italian communities, as well as communities of Indians, Koreans, Sri Lankans, Malaysians, and Hispanics, mostly Colombians and Salvadorans. This neighborhood tends to be more diverse visibly than Flushing Downtown 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" on the East Coast, however the community of South Asians in this neighborhood surrounding S. Main St has declined slightly since the early 2000s since the influx of Chinese to Flushing and their businesses slowly overtaking the mainly South Asian businesses characteristic of the neighborhood.

The Bland Housing Projects, Latimer Gardens housing Projects, Pomonok Housing Projects and Electchester Housing Development all have significantly different ethnic demographics than the rest of Flushing. These housing developments have a majority black population or high black/African-American population within them.

(The Pomonok Housing Projects and Electchester Housing Development are located across the street from each other in South Flushing.)

Landmarks, museums, and cultural institutions


Flushing has many landmark buildings. Flushing Town Hall[24] 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.[25] The building houses a concert hall and cultural center and is one of the sites designated along the Queens Historical Society's Freedom Mile.[26]

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.[27] In 2005, the Fitzgerald-Ginsberg Mansion[28] on Bayside Avenue and in 2007, the Voelker Orth Museum, Bird Sanctuary and Victorian Garden[29] were designated as landmarks.

Several attractions were originally developed for the World's Fairs in Queens Zoo.

The Queens Botanical Garden on Main Street has been in operation continuously since its opening as an exhibit at the 1939 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.

Other notable neighborhoods

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. Recently much of the area was rezoned by the City of New York to preserve the low density, residential quality of the area. The neighborhood awaits designation as an Historic District by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Broadway-Flushing is bounded by 29th Avenue to the north, Northern Boulevard and Crocheron Avenue to the south, 155th to the west and 172nd Streets to the east.

The Waldheim neighborhood, an estate subdivision in Flushing constructed primarily between 1875 and 1925, is a small district of high quality "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 the Kissena Park and East Flushing neighborhoods.

The area South of Kissena Park is often referred to as South Flushing.

Parks

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.

  • Kissena Park is a 234-acre (0.95 km2) park with a lake as a centerpiece.
  • Queens Botanical Garden is a 39-acre (0.16 km2) garden which is the upper portion of Flushing Meadows – Corona Park.
  • Kissena Corridor Park is a 100.873-acre (0.40822 km2) park which connects 2 separate Corridors which ties Flushing Meadows-Corona Park to Kissena Park. It contains a baseball field and it has a playground called Rachel Carson Playground.
  • Bowne Park is an 11-acre (45,000 m2) park developed on the former estate of New York City Mayor Walter Bowne.
  • Flushing Fields is a 10-acre (40,000 m2) greenbelt that includes the home athletic field of Flushing High School.

Economy

When New York Air existed, its headquarters were in Hangar 5 at LaGuardia Airport near Flushing.[31]

Education

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 high schools

The six public high schools in Flushing include:

Public elementary and middle schools

John Bowne Elementary P.S. 120, J.H.S. 185 Edward Bleeker Junior High School

I.S.237
File:Is237front.jpg
Location
Flushing, Queens, New York, New York, USA
Information
Type Public
Established 1971
Principal Judith Friedman
Number of students Over 800 (Not Counting East-West)
Athletics None
Nickname 237

I.S.237 is a magnet school also known as Rachel Carson intermediate school 237. This school consists of grades 6, 7, 8. The school was named after scientist Rachel Carson, the writer of Silent Spring which inspired people to name the school after her. In 2011 the school celebrated its 40th anniversary since its opening in 1971. Each year in June for the 8th graders they have a senior trip to The Poconos. 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. In 1999 the school owned a park called Rachel Carson Playground which is right across from the school. On April 10, 2013, Daniel Reilly, an English teacher at this school was arrested for accusations of sexual assault and rape charges after a former student's sister found sexually explicit texts between the teacher and the girl. He is no longer working at the school.[32]

Private schools

The private high schools include:

On December 22, 1980,[33] The Japanese School of New York moved from Jamaica Estates, Queens into Fresh Meadows, Queens,[34] near Flushing. In 1991, the school moved to Yonkers in Westchester County, New York, before moving to Greenwich, Connecticut in 1992.[33]

Higher education

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.[35] It moved to Long Island City for the Fall 2012 Semester. The Law School operates Main Street Legal Services Corp., a legal services clinic.

Libraries

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.[36] The largest of the Flushing branches is located at the intersection of Kissena Boulevard and Main Street[37] in Flushing's Chinatown and is the busiest branch of the highest circulation system[38] in the country.[39] 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.[39]

Transportation

The New York City Subway operates the IRT Flushing Line (Template:NYCS trains), which provides a direct rail link to Times Square in Manhattan. The Flushing – Main Street station, located at the intersection of Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue is 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 the Metropolitan Transit Authority. The Q12, Q13, Q15, Q16, Q19, Q20 A/B, Q25, Q26, Q27, Q28, Q34, Q44, Q65, and Q66.

Popular culture

  • The first series of Charmin toilet paper commercials featuring Mr. Whipple (Dick Wilson) were filmed in Flushing at the Trade Rite supermarket on Bowne Street.
  • The rock band KISS first played at the Coventry Club on Queens Boulevard in 1973, and is said to have derived its name from "Kissena," one of Flushing's major boulevards.[41]
  • Joel Fleischman, the fictional character from the 1990s comedic drama Northern Exposure, was said to have relocated from Flushing. Often, references were made to actual locations around Main Street, Flushing.
  • The eponymous celebration in Taiwanese director LaGuardia East Hotel.
  • Fran Drescher's character "Fran Fine" on the TV show The Nanny, was said to have been raised in Flushing, where her family still lived. Drescher herself was born in Flushing.
  • Flushing was the location of the Stark Industries (later Stark International) munitions plant in Marvel Comics' original Iron Man series. In the movie Iron Man 2, the Stark Expo is located in Flushing.
  • On the Norman Lear-produced TV show All in the Family, in the episode when Edith Bunker was arrested for shop lifting, she mentions the now-defunct Q14 bus, and the names of a few long-gone stores that were in downtown Flushing.
  • The main characters of The Black Stallion series resided in Flushing and many of Flushing's streets and landmarks in the 1940s were mentioned in the first book.
  • In the musical Hair the character Claude Bukowski is from Flushing.

Notable residents

Template:Cleanup section

Buried in Flushing

See also

New York City portal
Template:1911Enc

References

Template:Ethnicity in New York City Template:Former towns of New York City

Coordinates: 40°45′57″N 73°49′59″W / 40.765830°N 73.833084°W / 40.765830; -73.833084

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