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Oakland Gardens is a small, woody middle class neighborhood in eastern Queens that is boxed in between the Long Island Expy, the Cross Island Expy, Grand Central Pkwy, and Clearview Expy, making it something of a convenience haven for commuters.Read more about Oakland Gardens
It is outside of the “park horseshoe”, but is still wedged between two parks on its eastern and western borders - Cunningham Park and Alley Pond Park.
The most interesting thing about Oakland Gardens is definitely it’s shape and location. Unlike most Queens neighborhoods, which may be quiet and serene but not insular, Oakland Gardens has pulled off quite the disappearing act. While it isn’t remote - and is surrounded by other neighborhoods, like Bayside to the north, Fresh Meadows to the east, Hollis Hills to the south, and Glen Oaks to the west, there is a border of sorts between Oakland Gardens and each of its neighboring communities, whether in the form of a park or a major thoroughfare. While this doesn’t make it isolated, by any means, it certainly makes the community appealing to anyone looking for commuter-convenience but also an “off-the-beaten-path” feel.
Oakland Gardens started out in 1847, perhaps unsurprisingly, as a lone mansion built by Fredrick Lawrence in between several forested areas. He called his woody estate “The Oaks”, and popular legend is that “Oakland Gardens” pays homage to that older name (although nobody knows for sure). Oakland Gardens is so small and out of the way that many people simply refer to it as “southern Bayside.”
It’s demographics are very similar to Bayside. 60% of the population is white, and 33% is Asian or Asian-American. Popular restaurants in the small community include River Japanese Cuisine, Saigon, Bayside Chicken (Korean), and Osaka. Queensborough Community College (CUNY), Benjamin N. Cardozo High School, and Martin Van Buren High School are all nearby. Two elementary schools and one middle school serve the community as well.
Due to its insular nature, bus service to Oakland Gardens isn’t as readily available to Oakland Gardens as it is in other parts of Queens, but the neighborhood more than makes up for this with its incredibly convenient location between 4 major thoroughfares, including the Cross Island Pkwy, Grand Central Pkwy, Long Island Expy, and I-295. Union Tpke is also on the southern side of the neighborhood, and Northern Blvd is a short drive away.