|— Borough of New York City —|
Location of Queens shown in yellow. Airports in medium blue are also in Queens.
|City||New York City|
|- Type||Borough (New York City)|
|- Borough President||Helen Marshall (D)|
|- District Attorney||Richard Brown|
|- Total||178.28 sq mi (461.7 km2)|
|- Land||109.24 sq mi (282.9 km2)|
|- Water||69.04 sq mi (178.8 km2)|
|- Density||20,991/sq mi (8,104.7/km2)|
|ZIP Code prefixes||110--, 111--, 113--, 114--, 116--|
|Area code(s)||718, 347|
|Website||Official Website of the Queens Borough President|
Queens is the largest in area, the second largest in population, and the easternmost of the five boroughs of New York City. The borough is coextensive with Queens County, an administrative division of New York state, in the United States.
Located on the western portion of Long Island, Queens is home to two of the three major New York City area airports, JFK International Airport and LaGuardia Airport. It is also the location of the New York Mets baseball team, the US Open tennis tournament, Flushing Meadows Park, the famed Rock Church, Kaufman Astoria Studios, and Silvercup Studios.
As of the 2005 American Community Survey, immigrants comprise 47.6% of Queens residents. With a population of 2.3 million it is the second most populous borough in New York City (behind Brooklyn) and the tenth most populous county in the United States. It is also the nation's fourth-most-densely populated county (after the counties covering Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx). The 2.3 million figure is the highest historical population for the borough. Were each borough an independent city, Brooklyn and Queens would be the third and fourth largest cities after Los Angeles and Chicago.
New York's Five Boroughs at a Glance
|Borough of||County of||estimate for
1 July 2008
|Source: United States Census Bureau|
Queens was established in 1683 as one of the original 12 counties of New York and was supposedly named for the Queen consort, Catherine of Braganza (1638-1705), the Portuguese princess who married King Charles II of England in 1662.
The borough is often considered one of the more suburban boroughs (in comparison to Manhattan standards) of New York City. Neighborhoods in central Queens (except those situated along Queens Boulevard and the neighborhoods of Flushing and Jamaica), southern Queens, and eastern Queens have a look and feel similar to the bordering suburbs of western Nassau County. In its northwestern section, however, Queens is home to many urban neighborhoods and several central business districts. Long Island City, on the Queens' waterfront across from Manhattan, is the site of the Citicorp Building, the tallest skyscraper in New York City outside of Manhattan, and the tallest building on geographic Long Island.
European colonization brought both Dutch and English settlers, as a part of the New Netherlands colony. First settlements occurred in 1635, with colonization at Maspeth in 1642, and Vlissingen (now Flushing) in 1643. Other early settlements included Newtown (now Elmhurst) and Jamaica. However, these towns were mostly inhabited by English settlers from New England via eastern Long Island (Suffolk County) subject to Dutch law. After the capture of the colony by the English and its renaming as New York in 1664, the area (and all of Long Island) became known as Yorkshire.
The Flushing Remonstrance signed by colonists in 1657 is considered a precursor to the United States Constitution's provision on freedom of religion in the Bill of Rights. The signers protested the Dutch colonial authorities’ persecution of Quakers in what is today the borough of Queens.
Originally, Queens County included the adjacent area now comprising Nassau County. It was an original county of New York State, one of twelve created on November 1, 1683. On October 7, 1691, all counties in the Colony of New York were redefined. Queens gained North Brother Island, South Brother Island, and Huletts Island (today known as Rikers Island). On December 3, 1768, Queens gained other islands in Long Island Sound that were not already assigned to a county but that did not abut on Westchester County (today’s Bronx County).
Queens played a minor role in the American Revolution, as compared to Brooklyn where the Battle of Long Island was largely fought. Queens, like the rest of Long Island, remained under British occupation after the Battle of Long Island in 1776 and was occupied throughout most of the rest of the war. Under the Quartering Act, British soldiers used, as barracks, the public inns and uninhabited buildings belonging to Queens residents. Even though many local people were against unannounced quartering, sentiment throughout the county remained (albeit fairly passively) in favor of the British crown. The quartering of soldiers in private homes, except in times of war, was banned by the Third Amendment to the United States Constitution. Nathan Hale was captured by the British on the shore of Flushing Bay in Queens before being executed by hanging in Manhattan for gathering intelligence.
From 1683 until 1784, Queens County consisted of five towns: Flushing, Hempstead, Jamaica, Newtown, and Oyster Bay. On April 6, 1784, a sixth town, the Town of North Hempstead, was formed through secession by the northern portions of the Town of Hempstead.
The seat of the county government was located first in Jamaica, but the courthouse was torn down by the British during the American Revolution in order to use the materials to build barracks. After the war, various buildings in Jamaica temporarily served as courthouse and jail until a new building was erected about 1787 (and later completed) in an area near Mineola (now in Nassau County) known then as Clowesville. The 1850 census was the first in which the population of the three western towns exceeded that of the three eastern towns that are now part of Nassau County. Concerns were raised about the condition and distance of the old courthouse, and several sites were in contention for the construction of a new one. In 1870, Long Island City split from the Town of Newton, incorporating itself as a city, consisting of what had been the Village of Astoria and some unincorporated areas within the Town of Newtown. Around 1874, the seat of county government was moved to Long Island City from Mineola.
On March 1, 1860, the eastern border between Queens County (later Nassau County) and Suffolk County was redefined with no discernible change. On June 8, 1881, North Brother Island was transferred to New York County. On May 8, 1884, Rikers Island was transferred to New York County. In 1885, Lloyd Neck, which was part of the Town of Oyster Bay and was earlier known as Queens Village, seceded from Queens and became part of the Town of Huntington in Suffolk County. On April 16, 1964, South Brother Island was transferred to Bronx County.
The New York City Borough of Queens was authorized on May 4, 1897, by a vote of the New York State Legislature after an 1894 referendum on consolidation. The eastern 280 square miles of Queens that became Nassau County was partitioned on January 1, 1899.
Queens Borough was established on Jan 1, 1898. Long Island City, the towns of Newtown, Flushing, and Jamaica, and the Rockaway Peninsula portion of the Town of Hempstead were merged to form the new borough, dissolving all former municipal governments (Long Island City, the county government, all towns, and all villages) within the new borough. The areas of Queens County that were not part of the consolidation plan, consisting of the towns of North Hempstead and Oyster Bay, and the major remaining portion of the Town of Hempstead, remained part of Queens County until they seceded to form the new Nassau County on January 1, 1899, whereupon the boundaries of Queens County and the Borough of Queens became coterminous. With consolidation, Jamaica once again became the county seat, though county offices now extend to nearby Kew Gardens also.
From 1905 to 1908 the Long Island Rail Road in Queens was electrified. Transportation to and from Manhattan, previously by ferry or via bridges in Brooklyn, opened up when the Queensboro Bridge was finished in 1909, and with railway tunnels under the East River in 1910. From 1915 onward, much of Queens was connected to the New York City subway system. With the 1915 construction of the Steinway Tunnel carrying the IRT Flushing Line between Queens and Manhattan, and the emergent expansion of the use of the automobile, the population of Queens more than doubled in the 1920s, from 469,042 in 1920 to 1,079,129 in 1930. Queens was the site of the 1939 New York World's Fair and the 1964 New York World's Fair. LaGuardia Airport, in northern Queens, opened in 1939. Idlewild Airport, in southern Queens and now called JFK Airport, opened in 1948.
Queens County is in the western part of Long Island and includes a few smaller islands, most of which are in Jamaica Bay and form part of Gateway National Recreation Area, which is in turn one of the National Parks of New York Harbor. The Rockaway Peninsula sits between Jamaica Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The western and northern edge of the borough is defined a watery continuum made up of Newtown Creek which flows into the tidal estuary known as the East River, which includes the associated Flushing Bay and Flushing River. The East River opens into Long Island Sound. The mid-section of Queens is crossed by the Long Island straddling terminal moraine created by the Wisconsin Glacier. This feature evolved into a land use pun due to the siting of many cemeteries.
The tallest tree in the New York metropolitan area, called the Queens Giant, is also the oldest living thing in the New York metro area. It is located in northeastern Queens, and is 450 years old and 132 feet (40 m) tall as of 2005.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 178.3 square miles (462 km2); 109.2 square miles (283 km2) of this is land and 38.7% is water.
Queens is full of historical landmarks. The Unisphere, shown often during the U.S. Open, sits adjacent to the Queens Museum of Art. The Watersedge restaurant is also well known. This fancy restaurant in Long Island City has an unimpeded view of the Manhattan skyline. P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center is a museum devoted to contemporary art. Housed in a former public high school, P.S.1 has managed to keep cutting the cutting edge even as it has matured as an institution. This is one of the best major art spaces in NYC. The former Elmwood theater, now known as the Rock Church, is the largest theater in Queens and second largest in New York City. With seating of 3,000, it is one of the city's biggest community centers. The Rock Church sits across the Queens Center Malls, two of the most spacious malls in America. Both are next to each other on Queens Boulevard.
|Long Island Sound|
|New York County
|Queens County, New York|
(Brooklyn) and Richmond County (Staten Island)
The United States Postal Service divides the borough into five "towns" based roughly on those in existence at the time of the consolidation of the five boroughs into New York City: Long Island City, Jamaica, Flushing, Far Rockaway, and Floral Park. These ZIP codes do not necessarily reflect actual neighborhood names and boundaries; "East Elmhurst", for example, was largely coined by the USPS and is not an official community. Most neighborhoods have no solid boundaries. The Forest Hills and Rego Park neighborhoods, for instance, overlap.
Residents of Queens often closely identify with their neighborhood rather than with the borough or city as a whole. Unlike the situation in other boroughs, postal addresses are usually written with the neighborhood, state, and then zip code rather than the borough or city. The borough is a patchwork of dozens of unique neighborhoods, each with its own distinct identity:
Together, these neighborhoods comprise the most diverse county in the United States. Several of these neighborhoods are home to a diverse mix of many different ethnicities.
Since New York City's consolidation in 1898, Queens has been governed by the New York City Charter that provides for a strong mayor-council system. The centralized New York City government is responsible for public education, correctional institutions, libraries, public safety, recreational facilities, sanitation, water supply, and welfare services in Queens.
The office of Borough President was created in the consolidation of 1898 to balance centralization with local authority. Each borough president had a powerful administrative role derived from having a vote on the New York City Board of Estimate, which was responsible for creating and approving the city's budget and proposals for land use. In 1989 the Supreme Court of the United States declared the Board of Estimate unconstitutional on the grounds that Brooklyn, the most populous borough, had no greater effective representation on the Board than Staten Island, the least populous borough, a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause pursuant to the high court's 1964 "one man, one vote" decision.
Since 1990 the Borough President has acted as an advocate for the borough at the mayoral agencies, the City Council, the New York state government, and corporations. Queens' Borough President is Helen Marshall, elected as a Democrat in 2001 and re-elected in 2005. Queens Borough Hall is the seat of government and is located in Kew Gardens.
The Democratic Party holds the majority of public offices. Sixty-three percent of registered Queens voters are Democrats. Local party platforms center on affordable housing, education and economic development. Controversial political issues in Queens include development, noise, and the cost of housing.
|2008||24.4% 145,898||74.9% 447,906|
|2004||27.4% 165,954||71.7% 433,835|
|2000||22.0% 122,052||75.0% 416,967|
|1996||21.1% 107,650||72.9% 372,925|
|1992||28.3% 157,561||62.9% 349,520|
|1988||39.7% 217,049||59.5% 325,147|
|1984||46.4% 285,477||53.3% 328,379|
|1980||44.8% 251,333||48.0% 269,147|
|1976||38.9% 244,396||60.5% 379,907|
|1972||56.3% 426,015||43.4% 328,316|
|1968||40.0% 306,620||53.6% 410,546|
|1964||33.6% 274,351||66.3% 541,418|
|1960||45.1% 367,688||54.7% 446,348|
|1956||59.9% 471,223||40.1% 315,898|
There are currently six Democrats representing Queens in the U.S. Congress:
Each of the city's five counties has its own criminal court system and District Attorney, the chief public prosecutor who is directly elected by popular vote. Richard A. Brown, a Democrat, has been the District Attorney of Queens County since 1991. Queens has 12 seats on the New York City Council, the second largest number among the five boroughs. It also has 14 administrative districts, each served by a local Community Board. Community Boards are representative bodies that field complaints and serve as advocates for local residents.
Although it is heavily Democratic, Queens is considered a swing county in New York politics. Republican political candidates who do well in Queens usually win citywide or statewide elections. Republicans such as former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and current Mayor Michael Bloomberg won majorities in Queens. Republican State Senator Serphin Maltese represented a district in central and southern Queens for twenty years until his defeat in 2008 by Democratic City Councilman Joseph Addabbo. In 2002, Queens voted against incumbent Republican Governor of New York George Pataki in favor of his Democratic opponent, Carl McCall by a slim margin.
Queens has not voted for a Republican candidate in a presidential election since 1972, when Queens voters chose Richard Nixon over George McGovern. Since the 1996 presidential election, Democratic presidential candidates have received over 70% of the popular vote in Queens.
The economy of Queens is based on tourism, industry, and trade. Because the New York metropolitan area has three major airports, the airspace overhead is among the busiest and most regulated in the world. John F. Kennedy International Airport, alongside Jamaica Bay, is the country's busiest airport in terms of international travelers. La Guardia Airport, on the East River, mostly serves eastern North America. Queens has witnessed the rebirth of film production — the return of an industry that had departed decades earlier — notably the Kaufman Studios in Astoria and the Silvercup Studios in Long Island City, where a number of notable television shows are made, including Sesame Street.
The Queens Museum of Art and the New York Hall of Science are further east, in Flushing Meadows Park — site of both the 1939 New York World's Fair, the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair and the annual US Open tennis tournament at the USTA National Tennis Center. Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets baseball team, is located north of the USTA National Tennis Center. The park is the third largest in New York City at 1,255 acres (5 km2), making it 412 acres (1.7 km2) larger than Central Park in Manhattan.
Several large companies have their headquarters in Queens, including watchmaker Bulova, based in East Elmhurst; internationally renowned piano manufacturer Steinway & Sons in Long Island City; Glacéau, the makers of Vitamin Water, headquartered in Whitestone; and JetBlue Airways, the low-cost airline based in John F. Kennedy Airport, is located in the neighborhood of Forest Hills.
Long Island City is a major manufacturing and back office center. Flushing is a major commercial hub for Chinese American and Korean American businesses, while Jamaica is the major civic and transportation hub for the borough
|2000 Census||Queens||NY City||NY State|
|Median household income
|Per capita income||$19,222||$22,402||$23,389|
|Bachelor's degree or higher||23%||27%||24%|
|Hispanic (any race)||26%||27%||14%|
According to the 2005-2007 American Community Survey Estimates, the borough's population was 45.8% White (31.0% non-Hispanic White alone), 20.3% Black or African American (18.4% non-Hispanic Black or African American alone), 0.8% American Indian and Alaska Native, 21.7% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 13.4% from some other race and 1.9% from two or more races. 26.2% of the total population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
48.3% of the population were foreign born (another 1.9% were born in Puerto Rico, U.S. Island areas, or abroad to American parents), 54.5% spoke a language other than English at home and 28.0% had a Bachelor's degree or higher. As of the census of 2000, there were 2,229,379 people, 782,664 households, and 537,690 families residing in the county. The population density was 7,879.6/km² (20,409.0/sq mi). There were 817,250 housing units at an average density of 2,888.5/km² (7,481.6/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 44.08% White, 20.01% Black or African American, 0.50% Native American, 17.56% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 11.68% from other races, and 6.11% from two or more races. 24.97% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
According to a Census Bureau estimate, the population increased to 2,293,007 in 2008.
Some main European ancestries in Queens, 2000:
In Queens, 48.5% of the population are foreign-born. Of that, 49.5% were born in Latin America, 33.5% in Asia, 14.8% in Europe, 1.8% in Africa and 0.4% in North America. The Hispanic or Latino population increased 61% between 1990-2006, now accounting for 26.5% of the borough’s total population, for a total of 597,773.
Queens is home to 49.6% of NYC's Asian population. Among the five boroughs, Queens has the largest population of Chinese-, Asian Indian-, Korean-, Filipino-, Bangladeshi- and Pakistani-Americans. Queens has the largest Asian American population-by-county outside of the Western United States: According to the 2006 American Community Survey, Queens ranks 5th among US counties with 477,772 (21.18%) Asian Americans, behind Los Angeles County, California, Honolulu County, Hawaii, Santa Clara County, California, and Orange County, California. The 2000 census showed that the borough is home to the largest concentration of Indian-Americans in the nation, with a total population of 129,715 (5.79% of the borough population), as well as Pakistani-Americans, who number 15,604. Queens has the second largest Sikh population in the nation after California.
There were 782,664 households out of which 31.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.9% were married couples living together, 16.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.3% were non-families. 25.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.81 and the average family size was 3.39.
In the county the population was spread out with 22.8% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 33.1% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 12.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 92.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.6 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $37,439, and the median income for a family was $42,608. Males had a median income of $30,576 versus $26,628 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,222. About 16.9% of families and 21.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.8% of those under age 18 and 13.0% of those age 65 or over. In Queens the black population earns more than whites on average. Many of these African-Americans live in quiet middle class suburban neighborhoods near the Nassau County border, such as Laurelton and Cambria Heights which have large black populations whose family income is higher than average. Those areas are known for their well kept homes, suburban feel and low crime rate. The migration of whites from parts of Queens has been long ongoing with departures from Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Bellerose, Floral Park, and Flushing. etc (most of the outgoing population has been replaced with Asian Americans). Neighborhoods such as Whitestone, College Point, North Flushing, Auburndale, Bayside, Middle Village, Little Neck, and Douglaston have not had a substantial exodus of white residents, but have seen an increase of Asian population (mostly South Korean). Queens has recently experienced a real estate boom making most of its neighborhoods very desirable for people who want to reside near Manhattan in a less urban setting. According to a 2001 Claritas study, Queens is the most diverse county in the United States among counties of 100,000+ population. There are 138 languages spoken in the borough. The top languages include:
Queens was an epicenter of jazz in the 1940s. Such jazz greats as Louis Armstrong, Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald found refuge from segregation in the mixed communities of the borough, while a younger generation — Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, and others — were developing bebop in the clubs of Harlem. Queens is also one of the epicenters of rap and hip-hop with artists such ranging from Run-D.M.C., A Tribe Called Quest and LL Cool J to Nas and Mobb Deep. Lastly in Queens was where the majority of punk rock band The Ramones were raised.
Western Queens is becoming an artistic hub, including SculptureCenter, the Flux Factory, the Noguchi Museum, Socrates Sculpture Park, Fisher Landau Center, Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs , and the Museum of the Moving Image. The P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center in the neighborhood of Long Island City is one of the largest and oldest institutions in the United States dedicated solely to contemporary art. In addition to its renowned exhibitions, the institution also organizes the prestigious International and National Projects series, the Warm Up summer music series, and the Young Architects Program with The Museum of Modern Art. The current poet laureate of Queens is Ishle Yi Park.
Queens is home to many other cultural institutions, including among others:
Queens was the setting for path breaking 1970s sitcom, All in the Family. It is featured in the Spider-Man comics and films as the home of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. On Ugly Betty it is also home to Betty and her family. TV shows shot in Queens include Sesame Street (at Kaufman Astoria Studios) and 30 Rock (at Silvercup Studios, although the show's fictional setting is across the East River in Manhattan). The two studios have also served as the site for many movies, music videos and commercials.
Queens was the home of Shea Stadium, the former home of New York Mets of Major League Baseball and the New York Jets of the National Football League, as well as the temporary home of the New York Yankees and the New York Football Giants. Citi Field, the Mets' current home, is located adjacent to where Shea once stood. The US Open tennis tournament is played at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, located just south of Citi Field in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The US Open was formerly played at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills. Queens is also the home of Aqueduct Racetrack, located in Ozone Park. Just over the Queens line (in Nassau County) is Belmont Park Race Track, the home of the Belmont Stakes. In the past, Extreme Championship Wrestling has been held at an Elks lodge in Elmhurst.
Queens is home to restaurants from all cultures. A wide variety of foods from all different cultures, particularly Chinese, Colombian, Ecuadorian, Filipino, Indian, Haitian, Korean, Mexican restaurants, along Roosevelt Avenue; Dominican food in Corona and African-American cuisine in Jamaica. Other cultures, such as Greek, Arab, Latin American, and Southeast Asian, have very prominent standings in Astoria. There are several Bukharian restaurants that serve Central Asian food all around Forest Hills and Rego Park.
Queens has crucial importance in international and interstate air traffic. Two of the New York metropolitan area's three major airports are located there; LaGuardia Airport is in northern Queens, while John F. Kennedy International Airport is to the south on the shores of Jamaica Bay. AirTrain JFK provides a rail link between JFK and local rail lines.
A commuter train system, the Long Island Rail Road, operates 20 stations in Queens with service to Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island. Jamaica Station is a hub station where all the lines in the system but one (the Port Washington Branch) converge. It is the busiest commuter rail hub in the United States. Sunnyside Yard is used as a staging area by Amtrak and New Jersey Transit for intercity and commuter trains from Penn Station in Manhattan.
Twelve New York City Subway routes traverse Queens, serving 81 stations on seven main lines. The A, G, J, and M routes connect Queens to Brooklyn without going through Manhattan first. The F, N, and R trains connect Queens and Brooklyn via Manhattan, while the E, V, W, and 7 connect Queens to Manhattan only.
Queens is traversed by three trunk east-west highways. The Long Island Expressway (Interstate 495) runs from the Queens Midtown Tunnel on the west through the borough to Nassau County on the east. The Grand Central Parkway, whose western terminus is the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, extends east to the Queens/Nassau border, where its name changes to the Northern State Parkway. The Belt Parkway begins at the Gowanus Expressway in Brooklyn, and extends east into Queens, past Aqueduct Racetrack and JFK Airport. On its eastern end at the Queens/Nassau border, it splits into the Southern State Parkway which continues east, and the Cross Island Parkway which turns north.
There are also several major north-south highways in Queens, including the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (Interstate 278), the Van Wyck Expressway (Interstate 678), the Clearview Expressway (Interstate 295), and the Cross Island Parkway.
The streets of Queens are laid out in a semi-grid system, with a numerical system of street names (similar to Manhattan and the Bronx). Nearly all roadways oriented north-south are "Streets", while east-west roadways are "Avenues", beginning with the number 1 in the west for Streets and in the north for Avenues. In some parts of the borough, several consecutive streets may share numbers (for instance, 72nd Street followed by 72nd Place, or 52nd Avenue followed by 52nd Road, 52nd Drive, and 52nd Court), often causing confusion for non-residents. In addition, incongruous alignments of street grids, unusual street paths due to geography, or other circumstances often lead to the skipping of numbers (for instance, on Ditmars Boulevard, 70th Street is followed by Hazen Street which is followed by 49th Street).
This confusion stems from the fact that many of the village street grids of Queens had only worded names, some were numbered according to local numbering schemes, and some had a mix of words and numbers. In the early 1920s a "Philadelphia Plan" was instituted to overlay one numbered system upon the whole borough. Train stations were only partly renamed, thus now share dual names after the original street names. On the number 7 line in Sunnyside, there are 40th-Lowery St., 46th-Bliss St., 52nd St.-Lincoln Ave. and so forth. Numbered roads tend to be residential, although numbered commercial streets are not rare.
A fair number of streets that were country roads in the 18th and 19th centuries (especially major thoroughfares such as Northern Boulevard, Queens Boulevard, Hillside Avenue, and Jamaica Avenue) carry names rather than numbers, typically though not uniformly called "Boulevards" or "Parkways".
The Rockaway Peninsula does not follow the same system as the rest of the borough and has its own numbering system. Streets are numbered in ascending order heading west from near the Nassau County border, and are prefixed with the word "Beach." Streets at the easternmost end, however, are nearly all named. Another deviance from the norm is Broad Channel; it maintains the north-south numbering progression but uses only the suffix "Road," as well as the prefixes "West" and "East," depending on location relative to Cross Bay Boulevard, the neighborhood's major through street.
The other exception is the neighborhood of Ridgewood, which for the most part shares a grid and house numbering system with the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick. The grid runs east-west from the LIRR Bay Ridge Branch right-of-way to Flushing Avenue; and north-south from Forest Avenue in Ridgewood to Bushwick Avenue in Brooklyn before adjusting to meet up correctly with the Bedford-Stuyvesant grid at Broadway. All streets on the grid have names.
Queens is connected to the Bronx by the Bronx Whitestone Bridge, the Throgs Neck Bridge, the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge and the Hell Gate Bridge. Queens is connected to Manhattan by the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, the Queensboro Bridge, and the Queens Midtown Tunnel; and to Roosevelt Island by the Roosevelt Island Bridge.
While most of the Queens/Brooklyn border is on land, the Kosciuszko Bridge crosses the Newtown Creek connecting Maspeth to Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The Pulaski Bridge connects McGuinness Boulevard in Greenpoint to 11th Street, Jackson Avenue, and Hunters Point Avenue in Long Island City. The Greenpoint Avenue Bridge connects Greenpoint and Long Island City avenues of the same name, which, east of Queens Boulevard (NY-25), becomes Roosevelt Avenue. A lesser bridge connect Grand Avenue in Queens to Grand Street in Brooklyn.
The Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge traverses Jamaica Bay to connect the Rockaway Peninsula to the rest of Queens. Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge links the western part of the Peninsula with Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn's longest thoroughfare. Both crossings were built and continue to be operated by what is now known as MTA Bridges and Tunnels. The IND Rockaway Line parallels the Cross Bay, has a mid-bay station at Broad Channel which is just a short walk from the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, now part of Gateway National Recreation Area and a major stop on the Atlantic Flyway.
One year-round scheduled ferry service connects Queens and Manhattan. New York Water Taxi operates service across the East River from Hunters Point in Long Island City to Manhattan at 34th Street and south to Pier 11 at Wall Street. In 2007, limited weekday service was begun between Breezy Point, the westernmost point in the Rockaways, to Pier 11 via the Brooklyn Army Terminal. Summertime weekend service provides service from Lower Manhattan and southwest Brooklyn to the peninsula's Gateway beaches.
Elementary and secondary school education in Queens is provided by a vast number of public and private institutions. Public schools in the borough are managed by the New York City Department of Education, the largest public school system in the United States. Most private schools are affiliated to or identify themselves with the Roman Catholic or Jewish religious communities.
The college hosts the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives.
The Queens Borough Public Library is the public library system for the borough and one of three library systems serving New York City. Dating back to the foundation of the first Queens library in Flushing in 1858, the Queens Borough Public Library is one of the largest public library systems in the United States. Separate from the New York Public Library, it is composed of 63 branches throughout the borough. In fiscal year 2001, the Library achieved a circulation of 16.8 million. First in circulation in New York State since 1985, the Library has maintained the highest circulation of any city library in the country since 1985 and the highest circulation of any library in the nation since 1987. The Library maintains collections in many languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Haitian Creole, Polish, and six Indic languages, as well as smaller collections in 19 other languages.