Jackson Heights (Queens) tour
The most interesting neighborhood in Queens: enormous ethnic mix (Indian, Nepalese, Colombian, Mexican), a planned community of garden apartments, bustling (and more) shopping streets.
This tour is a work in progress. Please stay tuned for more info.
Jackson Heights is a cousin of sorts to Sunnyside: both were planned communities in western Queens, though the latter stressed individual houses, while Jackson Heights contains stunning garden apartments.
Jackson Heights is much larger and contains multitudes, including the center of Queens' LGBT life. Parts of it are gentrifying/gentrified, while others are not. The neighborhood was memorialized in Frederick Wiseman's fascinating 2017 documentary, Jackson Heights, which highlighted "one of the world's most diverse communities."
It's also the home of the annual Queens "Momo Crawl," in which attendees can taste--and rate--momos (dumplings) from a variety of Tibetan, Nepalese, and Indian restaurants, food stalls, and food trucks. Yes, Jackson Heights has dueling momo food trucks.
There are some excellent tours available that focus on food in Jackson Heights, given the diverse opportunities. And occasionally there's a tour that focuses on the neighborhood's history and architecture. My tour attempts to bridge the two, including optional food stops, aiming to give visitors a deeper understanding of a large and complex neighborhood. (I don't count myself as a food expert, and don't offer food tours per se, but you can't ignore food--snacks or baked goods, at least--in Jackson Heights.)
Distance from Midtown Manhattan: 15-20 minutes via subway
Basic tour length: 2.5 hours (see fees)
Starting place: 74th Street/Broadway (E/F/R/M/7)
Ending place: Varies, possible 82nd Street on 7 train
Highlights: History, architecture, parks, public institutions, ethnic diversity, food
Before/after/during tour: Eat!
Potential tour extensions with me: Sunnyside or Long Island City, both relatively nearby on the 7 train.