The ‘Asian Zone’ in NY… With American Style (Part 1)

Main Street-Flushing is a terminal of the Line 7 of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York.

Main Street-Flushing is a terminal of the Line 7 of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York.

Chinatown and Koreatown are internationally known neighborhoods in Manhattan, but if you want to know the ‘Asian New York’, you have to take the 7 Line of the subway to Main Street-Flushing.

When you glimpse the CitiField Stadium, home of the Mets, you are already in Flushing, neighborhood located in the County of Queens.

Leaving the subway terminal, although you will find some advertisements in Japanese, but the majority is in Chinese and Korean. It feels like an Asian city even if you have not been in any, but no, it is New York.

In this area, belongs to District 6, represented by Grace Meng Congress, are living 291.745 Asian New Yorkers, according to the Census Bureau United States. No other district has so many people from those cultures.

The neighborhood is located in the District 6
of the US Congress, represented by Grace Meng.

In 1645, the village was founded by the Dutch. In 1683, when Queens was established, the area was named Flushing. In the seventies of the 20th century, the small town began to be increasingly populated by people of Chinese origin.

iglesiaFlushing is not formed by a couple of streets such as Koreatown in Manhattan, where it occupies the 31st and 32nd streets between fifth and Sixth avenues. Not even like Chinatown with its nearly 10 streets between Broadway and East Broadway. Those cannot compete with Flushing.

Northern Boulevard, Main Street, Roosevelt Street, Union Street, Kiseena Boulevard and Parsons Boulevard are lined with shops of clothes, accessories, hair salons, supermarkets, pharmacies, dentists, clinics, libraries and, of course, oriental restaurants.

The Korean and Chinese businesses are predominant; although you can find small shops or “delis” specialized in Latin American, Indian and Middle Eastern products.

On the streets it is common to hear people speaking English, Spanish or Hindu, but in so many parts are the Korean and Chinese being the most common languages.

The new generations of Koreans have no qualms for showing their taste for fashion star style K-Pop or characters in ‘doramas’ (Korean soap operas).  The adults are more discreet.

“K-Pop Style”, you can read in the marquees of the hair salons which are common business, just like the back and foot massage and Pedicure places.

Flushing is considered a multicultural area,
but stand out the presence of Asian cultures.

During the weekends, mostly, the young ladies love to dress well and to go to the subway carrying their bags Louis Vuitton and Michael Kors, which look like of original quality.

In the small supermarkets is easy find any kind of Asian products.

In the small supermarkets is easy find any kind of Asian products.

In the spring and the summer the people wear shorts and sandals, because the heat can exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit, but at same time it is common to find tourist and residents with taro drinks, which is prepared with milk, some tea and tapioca pearls, also known as bubbles, of various flavors.

But in the fall and winter the scenario is different, because the coffee shops as Paris Baguette or Cocohodo look totally full. There the people can taste the delicious Korean bakery, which, among other things, includes sweet potatoes or sweet beans as ingredients.

If you decide go to a market, you will have to be patient, because it can be frustrating when trying to ask someone from the employees and not getting a correct answer; because most of them only speak Korean or Chinese, while some of them barely speak English… but with a little patience you can find what you are looking for.

Owing to the high population in that area, many medical services are provided, which are easy to find being well identified. This zone is considered with a high rate of migration, for that reason many doctors are authorized by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to deliver medical certificates to people who are seeking a legal status.

The busiest place in the area is the intersection of Roosevelt Boulevard and Main Street. That is where the entrances and exits of the subway are. At the same point you can find the Q13, Q16 and Q28 busses lines to go to Queensboro Plaza, Manhattan or to the suburbs of Flushing.

It’s exactly that point where dozens of people walk at the same time. The intersection could well compete with Times Square, because sometimes it is simply impossible to cross easily.

The advertising in chinese, korean or japanese make to feel to the visitors in an Asian city.

The advertising in chinese, korean or japanese make to feel to the visitors in an Asian city.

The other problem is that people also treat the streets as garbage dumps, because they prefer to throw their trash on the street, in spite of the fact that in every corner there are containers for recyclable and non-recyclable products.

Besides, the dirt can be annoying, as some sidewalks look like it had never been cleaned before. For that, maybe you will feel step by step, in your shoes, the stickiness of multiple ingredients, such as grease, remains of soda or coffee, even garbage juice.

However, Flushing has its magic, and the restaurants are a true invitation to taste Thai, Korean, Chinese and Japanese food. There are temptations everywhere, with all the food advertised through displaying a variety of soups, meats and bread, which makes it extremely difficult to choose.

My suggestion is: wherever you see many people eating in a place, then maybe the food is delicious and well-priced.

The restaurants offer multiple options of food,
so sometimes is complicated choose where eat.

Although the locals and magazines that create lists of the best places to eat and have fun they say that 28’s Corner on Main Street, is succulent; also Little Pepper, on College Point Boulevard; Cantee Ganesh Temple on Bowne Street, and White Bear at Roosevelt Avenue.

Do you prefer something more American? Then burgers from McDonalds and Burger King are the option, but after coming to this neighborhood why not to try a wonton soup prepared in the traditional way or roast duck; maybe an orange sour chicken; beef with vegetables or a good Korean food buffet, where the meats are cooked at your table.

During the evening, the area may seem dangerous, but statistics of the New York City Police Department and crime mapping as HomeFacts association consider Flushing as a safe area. The robbery on housing, car theft and passer are common, for that it is better that you take care of your wallet or purse.

A map at the corner of Union Street and Northern Boulevard explains a basic tour around the area.

A map at the corner of Union Street and Northern Boulevard explains a basic tour around the area.

Despite the growth of the Asian population in this neighborhood, white people still dominate; with more than 320,000. The Latinos are around 140,000. The most interesting is that there is a multicultural setting because of the presence of Arabs, Indians, Canadians, Germans, Hungarians, Irish, Russians, Slovaks, Ukrainians, Swiss, Portuguese and Italians.

Flusing has a plenty of life, and still growing, because the housing developers are putting eye on this New Yorker settlement that is well connected to Manhattan.

The Wall Street Journal reported last October that the area is an attraction for mixed-use projects: skyscrapers housing and shops with luxury brands such as Target, Nordstrom Rack, Nike and Uniqlo clothing –Japanese brand.

While the noisy commercial area is growing in Flushing, the suburbs look different … with a more discreet Asian touch.

Go to the Second Part

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