Here’s a little homage to the unfortunate middle child, Queens. Not as forgotten, unfamiliar or unaccessible as The Bronx and Staten Island, but often eclipsed by Brooklyn and Manhattan.
“I don’t do Queens,” a Manhattanite told me the other day.
Remember old New York, where immigrants strived, cultures collided, grit outshined glamour and ethnic restaurants were filled with ethnic crowds, not Instagramming foodies? Before Manhattan commerce was diluted with H&M and Starbucks, and Brooklyn became half hipster playground, half suburb substitute? That city lives on in Queens, where the forces of gentrification have barely nipped at the edges of the city’s most expansive borough, home to 2.2 million people, from (it seems) 2.2 million backgrounds.
If it were to secede from New York City would become the fourth most-populous city in America and almost certainly its most diverse.
Quotations from 2 New York Times articles on Queens.