It’s in Queens
#MonthlyPicks | September ’17 by Nikkia Burke
Local residents chime in on their favorite places to eat, learn, walk, and have fun. This month’s picks are by Nikkia Burke.
New York City holds the title as the melting pot of the world, and it’s home to some of the best comfort food you will find anywhere. Peking duck buns at the Peking Duck Sandwich Stall (137-28 40th Road) in Flushing are heaven on a bun! The smoky and savory flavors of duck and sweet and fluffy flavor of bao will literally change your life; you’ll find that you cannot leave Flushing without making the trip. And get this, they are only $1. YUM!!! What’s not to like about Queens? We have it all…
New York City has inspired the world, but there’s no better place to see where greatness has converged than Addisleigh Park. In today’s climate, it is not hard to understand why this beautiful subsection of my native St. Albans was a segregated community before the 1930s. After the 1930s, however, the neighborhood’s story changed. Prominent African-Americans like Lena Horne, Jackie Robinson, James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, John Coltrane, and countless other Jazz legends reclaimed this enclave and secured its place in history as an upscale historic landmark. Picturesque Tudor and Colonial style homes with sprawling lawns, huge back yards, and impressive square footage have secured the spot’s place as one of the borough’s best kept secrets.
As a Queens native, I know firsthand about the many hidden gems that flank many of our tree-lined streets. Michelin-rated Trattoria L’Incontro (21-76 31st Street) in Astoria stands out because of its staff’s impeccable ability to make you feel as though you are a guest in their home, and of course, the food is to die for! (Author’s note: get a reservation and thank me later.) The chef will personally venture out to the floor, sit at your table, shoot the breeze with you, and once he moves on, you’ll realize it was the perfect cap to the most awesome meal you have had in a while. Words of advice: ask what is on the chef’s special menu, it’s worth it!
Speaking of homes, a stroll up Midland Parkway from Hillside Avenue to 188th Street in Jamaica Estates during the spring and fall is not to be missed. Beautiful sprawling mansions with ever present construction crews make you appreciate everything that Queens has to offer. Start from Hillside, get a quick bite at Roti Corner (18018 Hillside Avenue, Jamaica) and then walk with a friend and take in the sights. You’ll be scrutinized by Jamaica Estate’s security patrol, but it’s a small price to pay to be able to see where southeast Queens becomes northern Queens and all the nuances in between.
Nikkia Burke is a proud St. Albans resident who loves cooking and exploring neighborhoods on foot or bicycle. She is a Senior Account Manager with ImpactFlow, an online event-ticketing and management platform.