Nestled in the New York borough of Queens, the neighbourhood of Flushing is mostly residential and is home to a diverse community of ethnic groups. Though quiet, this little neighbourhood has lots to offer if you know where to go. From reliving the life of Louis Armstrong to wandering the bustling streets of Chinatown, here are some of the best attractions you should not miss when you visit Flushing.
1. Voelker Orth Museum
At first glance, one might think the Voelker Orth Museum Bird Sanctuary and Victorian Garden is just another middle-class home. The property, built all the way back in 1891, was purchased in 1899 by a German immigrant, named Conrad Voelker (1861-1930). Voelker’s granddaughter, Elisabetha Orth, willed the property with the wishes that it be turned into a museum.
The museum preserves and adapts the cultural and horticultural heritage of Flushing, Queens, and works to engage their ever-changing population by exploring connections from the past to the lives of New Yorkers in Flushing, today. With exhibitions, house tours, performances, talks and workshops, visitors can gain insights about the Volcker Family and life in Flushing, from the past to the present.
Many of the family’s furnishings are preserved here, including a 1930 Sohmer piano, that was made in Queens. Leisure time activities, such as the Wardian plant cases, a library, and garden are reflected in the setting. House tours are available on Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Voelker Orth Museum
Address: The Voelker Orth Museum, 149-19 38th Avenue, Flushing, NY 11354
Opening Hours: 1pm - 4pm (Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday). Closed on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Website: Voelcker Orth Museum
2. Louis Armstrong Museum
In 1943, jazz powerhouse Louis Armstrong purchased a simple house with his wife, Lucille, and lived there until his death in 1971. It has since been transformed into a museum, to preserve his legacy.
The museum offers a sneak peek into the life of the late Louis Armstrong. Visitors can expect to be wowed by Armstrong’s living room, which is adorned with souvenirs from his international travel and his mirrored bathroom with gold fixtures.
Armstrong fans will absolutely adore Louis and Lucille Armstrong’s personal collection, which is comprised of 1,600 recordings, 650 home recorded reel-to-reel tapes in hand-decorated boxes, 86 scrapbooks, 5,000 photographs, 270 sets of band parts, 12 linear feet of papers, letters and manuscripts, five trumpets, 14 mouthpieces, 120 awards and plaques, and much more.
Louis Armstrong House Museum
Address: 34-56 107th Street, Corona, NY 11368
Website: Louis Armstrong House Museum
3. Flushing Meadows Corona Park
The largest park in Queens boasts six playgrounds, a zoo, museum, a botanical garden and a baseball stadium. Visitors can also admire the state of the art Unisphere, a stainless steel structure which represents the Earth. If you get tired of the sun, seek shade at the Queens Museum, where you’ll be treated to a breathtaking view of the city, through the Panorama of the City of New York exhibit, a 9,335 square foot (867.2 square meter) scaled model of the five boroughs.
The Queens Zoo, also located within the park, is not to be missed. A family-friendly attraction, it offers animal trails and conservation quests, which educates participants about conservation methods and the importance of conservation through fun-filled activities and interactive exhibits. Amongst all the other animals, the Andean bears and sea lions are a big hit. Sea lion feeding shows are scheduled at 11.15 am, 2.00 pm and 4.00 pm, daily.
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Address: Grand Central Pkwy., Whitestone Exwy. bet. 111 St. and College Point Blvd., Park Drive E.
Website: Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Address: New York City Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, NY 11368
Website: Queens Museum
Address: 53-51 111th Street, Corona, New York 11368
Website: Queens Zoo
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4. Flushing Chinatown
Colorful lights and bright neon signs adorn the bustling streets of Flushing’s very own Chinatown. Often referred to as the “other” Chinatown of New York, Flushing is home to several Chinese restaurants that are sure to satisfy your cravings for authentic dishes.
One simply cannot visit Chinatown without trying some dumplings. You’ll want to head to Tianjin Dumpling House to try some. Known to have soft, yet chewy skins, Tianjin Dumpling House serves dumplings in a variety of flavours, but their vegetarian dumplings are a hit. Stuffed with scrambled egg, glass noodles, and garlic chives, this dish is best consumed with their freshly made garlic sauce.
White Bear, a tiny eatery which accommodates about 4-5 tables, is another spot where you can get your dumpling fix. The most popular item is the “dumplings in hot oil”. Sprayed with chilli oil and topped off with roasted ground chillis, the dumplings are flavourful and will leave you wanting more.
Fu Ran, which serves northeastern Dongbei cuisine, is also a must-try. The establishment is known for their lamb chops, braised till the meat is practically falling off the bone. The dish is garnished with cumin, sesame seeds, and ground chilli, to set your taste buds ablaze.
5. Queen's Botanical Garden
Located in the heart of Flushing Meadows Park and sitting on 39 acres (15.8 hectares) of pristine greenery, Queens Botanical Garden is definitely the place for a family-friendly excursion or just a spot for relaxation. It is best to consult the weather forecast before visiting the attraction - clear skies and mild temperatures are optimal.
In the spring, visitors can expect to see the blossoming dogwood, magnolia and cherry trees. The Rose Garden blooms from late May through October, while the Fragrance Walk offers a scenic view of aromatic shrubs, perennials and bulbs.
Queen's Botanical Garden
Address: 43-50 Main Street, Flushing, NY 11355
Website: Queen’s Botanical Garden
6. Flushing Town Hall
The Flushing Town Hall, home to the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts, was constructed in 1862 in the Romanesque Revival style. It boasts an art gallery, classroom and 308-seat theatre, which often hosts classical, jazz and world music concerts, theatre and dance performances, art exhibitions and educational events throughout the year.
Originally a civic building, the town hall became a performance venue in the late 1800s. It then went on to serve as a courthouse, jail and bank during the first half of the 1900s.workshops. Before you visit, check out their website for exciting performances and concerts that might coincide with your trip!
Flushing Town Hall
Address: 137-35 Northern Blvd, 11354 Flushing, New York
Website: Flushing Town Hall
7. Tai Pan Bakery
Tai Pan Bakery offers a wide array of fresh, tantalising baked goods, including small tarts, Swiss roll cakes and buns with appetizing fillings, like red bean, roast pork, taro, cream, and salted egg yolk. Unlike western confections, Tai Pan’s bakes are not too sugary.
The good people of Tai Pan Bakery also believe in serving everything fresh, so whatever you buy is usually warm and just baked. Specializing in both sweet and savoury treats, such as taro cake, pineapple buns and roast pork buns, Tai Pan Bakery definitely will not disappoint.
Tai Pan Bakery
Address: 37-25 Main Street, Flushing, NY 11354
Website: Tai Pan Bakery
8. Queens Archery
Wanna be the next Katniss Everdeen? Try your hand at a new sport, at Queen’s Archery, for 25 USD an hour (assuming you don’t have your own equipment). An instructor will be present to demonstrate and explain how to use the bow and arrow. For safety purposes, each participant will go through a brief lesson, not counted in the hour, after which they can shoot at the target boards, independently.
Address: 170-20 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11358, United States
Website: Queens Archery
9. Citi Field
Baseball fans should drop by Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, since the spring of 2009. Next to the field is the Mets Hall of Fame and Museum, which possesses an extensive collection of team memorabilia on display, including Tom Seaver’s 1967 Rookie of the Year award.
Visitors can even opt to embark on a guided tour of the field, which will give them access to the clubhouse, field, dugout, production area (scoreboard control room), press box, and suite levels, as well as the Mets Hall of Fame & Museum.
Address: 123-01 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11368, USA
Website: Citi Field
Eager to explore the unique neighbourhood of Flushing?
Take a trip to Flushing the next time you visit the big apple. Apart from its many attractions, Flushing is home to various ethnic communities, which will guarantee you a culturally rich travel experience.
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