Jamaica, NY

Overview

A cultural melting pot in the borough of Queens, Jamaica exists as a city recognized for its large and diverse population. Jamaica houses the historic Queens Village, and serves as home to a number of important government buildings such as the Queens Civil Court and the Joseph P. Addabbo Federal Building. Gentrification throughout the past few years has given birth to a new wave of both residential and commercial development, with the incorporation of several new stores and restaurants of South American and Caribbean culture. A variety of ethnic groups reside throughout Jamaica, with a pleasant cross culture influence throughout the city. Jamaica lies approximately 6 miles from the center of Queens.

Restaurants & Nightlife

The restaurant district of Jamaica displays a lavish spread of international establishments and independently owned bistros. Residents of the city enjoy access to a sundry palette of unique cultural cuisines, and near-endless choices for dining options. Although there is not a central restaurant location, the majority of restaurants throughout the area tend to branch off of the major roads of Liberty Avenue, Jamaica Avenue and Guy Brewer Boulevard. At A-Churrasqueira on Sutphin Boulevard, customers enjoy a rich spread of Portuguese-style dishes complemented by a refined and homey atmosphere. The restaurant works diligently to present its customers with a warming and enjoyable experience, and hosts live entertainment throughout the week. A-Churrasqueria offers a wide variety of dishes and drinks for both lunch and dinner, and serves as a top choice for Portuguese cultural food in the area. Be sure to try the seafood pot, a seafood lover's paradise consisting of a savory blend of fresh lobster, clams, shrimp and scallops. Sagar Restaurant on Hillside Avenue specializes in crafting full-bodied Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani food. With an attentive and efficient staff, the restaurant holds a reputation in the community for having excellent customer service. The restaurant is highly regarded within the community for providing what are considered some of the most authentic Bangladeshi dishes in the area. Serving up only the freshest food in the heartiest portions, Sagar Restaurant holds a special place in the hearts of Jamaica residents. Be sure to try the Chicken Biryani, a plate of tender and savory chicken cooked in basmasti rice drenched in flavors of saffron. Nightlife in Jamaica dominantly consists of a combination of bars and lounges, with a light spread of dance clubs in the area. From sports bars, to hookah lounges and family-owned pubs, Jamaica has it all. Many establishments sit along both Hillside and Jamaica Avenues, with a few locations nestled in nearby side streets. The Irish Hillside Inn on Hillside Avenue, offers a laid-back, inviting atmosphere where customers can relax after a hard day of work, or enjoy a night out with a group of friends. The fully stocked bar, nightly weekday drink specials and classic jukebox assist in creating a cozy, simple atmosphere that customers love. Stop by before 12 a.m. on weekdays to enjoy a diverse selection of drinks during happy hour. Just a few minutes from Jamaica in the town of Woodhaven lies Tavern Lounge, a heavily frequented combination dance club and sports lounge. Guests enjoy a lively, positive environment complemented by trendy decor, stylish lighting and live genre-bending musical entertainment provided by local DJs. Tavern Lounge serves as a must-visit location for anyone looking for good music and good times.

History & Culture

Originally established under Dutch rule as the town of Rustdorp, Jamaica serves a prominent role in the history of Queens and Long Island. In 1683, the town first received its status as the Town of Jamaica while under British rule. Over a century later, Jamaica made history as the first village incorporated into Long Island. From 1850 to 1869, the former Kings Highway (currently Jamaica Ave) served as major road of commerce and was among one of the first roads in the area to incorporate horse car rails, and the first in the state to implement electrical lines. From the 1900s on, numerous staple locations were constructed throughout the area, including Jamaica Station, Valencia Theatre and Roxanne Building. History buffs can enjoy a trip to the King Manor Museum, an official location in the National Register of Historic Places. The museum provides tours throughout the homestead, in addition to live concerts and events.

Transportation

Jamaica Center serves as the major hub for transportation-related affairs, providing access to numerous bus routes and train lines. Due to Jamaica's extensive public transit coverage, residents can easily travel throughout Queens, New York City, and Long Island. The neighborhood provides a fair selection of taxi services, in addition to Uber service, adding a few extra means of travel for residents. Public parking within the area consists of a mixture of privately owned lots/garages, municipal parking lots and metered parking. Due to the abundance of NYC DOT-sponsored parking lots throughout the borough, finding and paying for parking is a pretty simple process, with rates starting at as little as $1 per hour. Major roads include the Van Wyck Expressway, Union Turnpike and Grand Central Parkway, with Jamaica Avenue serving as one of the most heavily traveled thoroughfares within the community. Residents of Jamaica often travel throughout the neighborhood by foot, while some prefer to travel via bike. A moderately dense spread of bike routes runs throughout the area and Queens, making the neighborhood safe for cyclist.

Cost

Residents of Jamaica enjoy a cost of living approximately seven percent lower than the city average. Traveling to the center of town remains fairly affordable with the base fare for subway and local bus travel at $2.50. You can grab a quick pint of beer at a local pub for about $7. One bedroom apartments within the area rent for a median rent of $1,500, with more extravagant or simpler options available throughout Jamaica. Gas prices stand at around 14 percent higher than the national average.

Shopping

A spread dominantly consisting of small neighborhood shops and independently owned specialty boutiques define the shopping experience in Jamaica. The majority of stores within Jamaica are smaller privately owned businesses, each with a particular niche focus in product selection and/or service. A large concentration of stores can be found along Jamaica Ave and neighboring side streets. Deals services Jamaica as a prime small-scale department store, offering a full selection of products ranging from basic groceries to kitchenware and school supplies. The locations acts as a one stop spot for residents of the neighborhood, providing a central location for customers to purchase all of their household needs. Customers enjoy the affordable pricing and convenient layout of the store, and with its speedy and efficient service the location has become a favorite within the community. Cyclists in the area rejoice for the convenience that is Bellitte Bicycles. This small family owned shop presents an expansive selection of bicycles and biking accessories and offers professional repair services. A professional and highly experienced sales team stands readily available to assist customers with extensive knowledge and expert advice. Originally founded in 1918, Belittle Bicycles has built its reputation within the community as a premium choice for cycling merchandise,and services numerous customers throughout the metropolitan area. Tony's Jamaica Market and C-Town Supermarkets serve as the neighborhood's main grocery stores. Both locations offer affordable and competitive pricing on their full inventory of produce, meats and other groceries with Jamaica Market offering a specialty service for fresh sandwiches and salads. Additionally, residents can visit Jamaica Farmers' Market on 160th Street, consisting of a small collection of vendors offering an assortment of the freshest locally grown fruits and vegetables.

Parks

Jamaica presents a small selection of parks that provide a surprisingly high number of recreational commodities and activities for visitors. Rufus King Park and Roy Wilkins Park are among the most heavily frequented parks in the area. Clean and well maintained landscapes provide a multitude of outdoor opportunities for residents. Although on opposing ends of the neighborhood, both parks provide some similar features including basketball courts, soccer fields and playground areas. Roy Wilkins Park can, however, be considered more of an exercise-centric park with the range of facilities provided including handball courts, indoor pools, running tracks and tennis courts to name a few. Park goers can also catch concerts at the park's Black Spectrum Theatre, or enjoy one of the many carnivals held throughout the year. Be sure to catch the annual Hands on History: Deck The Halls special holiday tour at the King Manor museum, which features an array of interactive activities in a winter wonderland setting.

8 Neighborhoods in Jamaica, NY

  • Briarwood

    The Briarwood neighborhood sits directly in the center of the New York City borough of Queens. The mostly residential neighborhood remains quite small and tucked away. Its close proximity to several major highways and roadways make it a convenient location for professionals to live who work in Manhattan or elsewhere in New York City.

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  • Holliswood

    With its tree-lined streets, good schools, and safe neighborhoods, why wouldn't you want to move to an apartment in Holliswood? This little piece of suburbia in Queens is unique, and it starts with the streets. Instead of traditional sidewalks, the roads run circular. These large lots make for big homes and even more spacious yards. Friendly people and the ability to commute make this the ideal Jamaica, New York location.

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  • Jamaica Estates

    Manhattan has the skyscrapers, the Bronx has large housing projects, and Brooklyn features brownstones. What does Queens have? There are more residential homes in Queens than in all other boroughs. None of the homes are quite as posh as those in Jamaica Estates.

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  • Jamaica Hills

    A richly diverse neighborhood with a mix of detached homes and apartment complexes, Jamaica Hills sits between Grand Central Parkway to the north and Hillside Avenue to the south. The neighborhood wraps around its heart, Captain Tilly Park. St. John's University is located on the northeast side of the neighborhood, and York College is about one block south of Hillside Avenue. Situated in the center of Queens, apartments in Jamaica Hills will put you roughly 16 miles from Manhattan. The subway's F train will take you there quickly and easily.

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  • Richmond Hill

    Richmond Hill, a middle class neighborhood in the southeast section of Queens, has a mix of both a commercial and residential areas. Many people throughout the New York metropolitan area refer to Richmond Hill as "Little Guyana" due to its large Guyanese immigrant population, and as "Little Punjab" for its large Punjabi immigrant population.

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  • South Jamaica

    Just over an hour trip via bus and subway or Long Island Railroad to Manhattan, South Jamaica’s houses for rent offer you an easy commute to work or play in New York City and a restful place to call home.

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  • South Ozone Park

    South Ozone Park is a neighborhood in the Jamaica section of southern Queens. It offers residents convenient access to JFK airport, the Belt parkway, and the Jamaica public transportation hub. Residents of this area enjoy easy access to Hamilton Beach and New York City. Renting an apartment in this area keeps you close to the action of big city life without living in downtown.

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  • St Albans

    Southeastern Queens' St. Albans neighborhood, former home to such talent as Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, and Count Basie, lies just two miles from JFK airport. Locals enjoy easy airport access and close proximity to the Jamaica subway and bus platforms. The neighborhood offers a smorgasbord of culinary choices. Living in St. Albans, you'll soon be dining on platters of jerk chicken and genuine Jamaican dishes at B and R Spice or noshing on authentic Pakistani and Middle Eastern delights at the B.B.Q. Village Palace.

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