Twenty minutes from midtown via subway, relatively affordable Astoria has become an enclave of fresh, youthful energy happily co-existing with a strong Greek community. As recent graduates and young professionals have been priced out of Williamsburg, the relaxed vibe of the many new and older local hangouts has welcomed them to this corner of Queens.
A Sense of Place
Residential streets lined with 2-3 story brick and wood frame multifamily townhouses cover much of the area, while commercial hubs cluster around the main thoroughfares: 36th Ave., Broadway, 30th Ave., Ditmars Blvd., and Steinway St. The section surrounding Ditmars Ave., which has a more tranquil feel compared to the bustle of Broadway, has become especially popular with young professionals, prompting the steady increase in cafes, restaurants, bars, gyms, and shops. At the western end of Ditmars Ave, along the East River, Astoria Park offers views of Upper Manhattan and the Hell Gate and Triborough Bridges. It also contributes the city’s largest outdoor pool, tennis and basketball courts, a bandstand, a butterfly garden, a bocce court, multiple trails, and playgrounds.
A Cultural Melting Pot
Greek restaurants are ubiquitous throughout the neighborhood, and have been joined by cuisines from many other cultures as Brazilians, Bangladeshis, Columbians, Eastern Europeans, and Egyptians have discovered, and put their mark, on this convenient and pleasant part of the city. Bohemian Hall is a true European style biergarten and popular outdoor gathering spot. Just next door, Astoria Market features local artisans and craftspeople. The lauded Museum of the Moving Image screens silent films with live music, restored prints from leading archives around the world, and top films from the international festival circuit.
In With the Old, In With the New
While most of the housing stock consists of multi-family semi-detached row houses and townhouses with a few small walk-ups, tax abatements have spurred the development of newer, tall condos.