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Kew Gardens is an upper middle-class neighborhood in Queens that is also one of its newest developments.Read more about Kew Garden Hills
Originally conceived as an extension of nearby Kew Gardens, Kew Gardens Hills is situated at the southwestern corner of the Town of Flushing, and includes 4 different area codes. In other words, Kew Gardens Hills is an in-between kind of neighborhood that looks and feels a bit like different places around it. It borders Forest Hills to the west, Hillcrest to the east, and Queensboro Hill to the north.
Way back in the day (in colonial times), Kew Gardens Hills was little more than a farm on the Francis Lewis estate, Francis Lewis being the New York signee of the Declaration of Independence. The farm changed hands several times in the 18th century until it eventually became the office of the Cedar Grove Cemetery, the first notable landmark in the area. In the 19th century the land was little more than a swamp, with a nearby horse racing track (now the location of the Jamaica Train Yard). In 1917, however, development began on a new residential community in order to accommodate the increasing population of Kew Gardens.
Early residents in Kew Gardens Hills were mostly German, Irish, and Italian. The name “Key Gardens Hills” was used mainly to attract new residents based on the draw of by-then established and upscale Kew Gardens. Now Kew Gardens is an upper middle class residential neighborhood with a large Orthodox Jewish population, reflected in the large Jewish Center of Torath Elmath. Notable locations include Freedom Square, The Opal, and the Queens County Savings Bank. Commercial areas include Main Street, Union Turnpike, Parsons Blvd, and Kissena Blvd. Fran Drescher reputedly worked at Main Street Cinemas way back in the day. Other popular eats on Main Street include Kabul Kabab House (Afghan), Grill Point (Middle Eastern), Zen Fusion, and Valentino’s Pizza.
Kew Gardens Hills is, oddly enough, famous for its high volume of schools and playgrounds. There are 7 Jewish schools in the neighborhood and 20 public schools, including 8 elementary schools, 6 middle schools, and 6 high schools. There are also two universities in Kew Gardens Hills: Queens College (CUNY) and the Lander College campus of Touro College. There are also 10 playgrounds and parks, including Flushing Meadows Park.
Kew Gardens Hills is in a part of eastern Queens without easy access to the subway, but to compensate the neighborhood is serviced by the Q17, Q20, Q25, Q34, Q44, Q46, Q64, Q65, and Q88 trains in Queens as well as the QM1, QM4, QM5, QM6, QM7, and QM8 buses to Manhattan. Major thoroughfares include Main Street which connects to Flushing, Kissena Blvd, Parsons Blvd, Union Turnpike, and the Horace Harding Expressway.