2004-12-16 / Editorials

Queens Neighborhoods Bring Holidays Home

  • A new shopping-residential development opened recently in an upscale suburb of an American city. Prominent features are tree-lined streets, capacious sidewalks sporting park benches at regular intervals, and small stores with apartments on the second and third floors. It was hailed as a totally new experience in urban living, especially since cars are mostly absent from this in-city demi-paradise.
  • We hope the good people walking through and shopping in this wonder of the modern age won’t be too upset when we tell them we have the same thing right here in Queens—and have had, for years. It’s called a neighborhood, and it’s one of the elements in our civic landscape that make living and working here a delight, especially at this time of year, when shopping areas throughout the borough put on their holiday dress.

    Aside from being able to walk from one conveniently located store to the next, any and every shopping area in Queens has another enormous advantage over the homogenized, cookie cutter shopping venue loaded with chain stores—the diversity found in every corner of the borough. At least 144 different languages are spoken here by people who come from some 120 countries. If the shops catering to one particular culture don’t meet your needs or those of the people on our gift list, walk a few blocks. It’s possible to travel the world without leaving this borough.

    The international flavor of the borough carries over into its eateries. Cuisines from Afghanistan to--well, just about everywhere else--are to be found here. What’s more, many restaurants offer gift certificates. We can think of few better holiday gifts than a meal at a restaurant specializing in the cuisine of a culture or country of which someone is particularly fond.

    Every neighborhood in Queens is a little bit different from those adjoining it, and all of them make up the wonderful patchwork quilt that connects all the parts of this borough. Especially during the holiday season we come to appreciate the diversity and unity of Queens. All those who come here to share their traditions, be they traditions of attire, cuisine or culture, make this one of the best possible locations to find the perfect gift for that special someone. If you can’t find it in Queens, it probably doesn’t exist anywhere. Be assured, though, anything you decide on as a substitute for something you couldn’t find is sure to be welcome. Trust your taste and your instincts and don’t hesitate to visit the special and wonderful neighborhoods of Queens to find everything for everyone on your gift list. You can travel the world in just a few blocks, and you’ll savor every step of the journey.

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