Enjoy The Rest Of Summer In Queens
It’s that time of year again. We are now entering the unofficial final month of summer 2011 and as usual, we find ourselves wondering where this all-too-brief season has gone. Now is the time to catch up on all the things we somehow let slip by during the previous 60 days. Fortunately, the list of interesting, mind-expanding, pleasure providing, free or low-cost things to do in the borough of Queens during August is even longer and more exciting than last year.
From Long Island City to Little Neck and from Bayside to the Rockaways, Queens has something to offer everyone. Visit the Tourism Council Web site at www.discoverqueens.info for a listing of organizations that offer a vast array of summer activities or just read the Calendar page of this newspaper. The list of things to do and places to go is almost endless. Many of the places where all these activities are going on can be reached by public transportation. The bus and subway are fast and convenient, and have the added attraction of eliminating concerns about parking.
Nearly all parks in Queens, including Alley Pond Environmental Center and Gateway National Park, are easily reached by subway or bus. Perhaps one of the most easily accessible, Flushing Meadows- Corona Park, holds much more than the US Tennis Center. The Queens Museum holds among other treasures the New York City Panorama, a scale model of New York City that has fascinated visitors for decades. Queens Theater In the Park has a schedule of performances to suit every taste. The Queens Zoo offers visitors a rare opportunity to view animals in their native habitats. Besides, as former Borough President Claire Shulman noted, you can see it all in one afternoon, making it far easier on feet and temper than many larger wildlife conservation centers.
Queens abounds in the performing arts and the borough is rife with concert and drama performance venues. This newspaper’s Calendar listings hold a goodly number of such endeavors. They’re all lowcost or free and well worth a look. The visual arts are also well represented here. Socrates Sculpture Park, at the foot of Broadway at the East River, as just one example, is a great place to look at some of the latest and best offerings of contemporary sculpture, and a great place for a picnic lunch from one of the many delicatessens or restaurants in the area. Movie buffs and anyone else curious about how a film reaches the silver screen will find an afternoon at the American Museum of the Moving Image on 35th Avenue time well spent.
The rest of the borough has as much, if not more, to offer. The Queens County Farm Museum, the only working farm remaining in what was once the vegetable garden for Manhattan, lets visitors spend a day in the country without leaving the city. Historic King Manor and the Quaker Meeting House offer glimpses into America’s past and insights into the principles on which the country was founded. The Queens Botanical Garden shows why the borough can lay claim to being one of the cradles of American horticulture.
Adding to the delight of the wide variety of summer activities is the fact that most of them are low-cost, if not free of charge altogether. It’s possible to enjoy world-class musical performances, cutting edge works of art and the beauties of nature without maxing out a credit card or exhausting one’s bank account. Concerts, exhibitions and nature walks and other outdoor activities are inexpensive or free. There are low-cost delights for the taste buds, as well. Every neighborhood in Queens has eateries that feature specific ethnic cuisines. You can travel gastronomically all over the world without leaving the borough.
Queens truly has something for everyone, no matter your age and your tastes. The month of August presents us with a lot of the summer still to come and all sorts of ways to enjoy it. Tour Queens and see the world without really leaving home. Nowhere else can you find a deal like that.