Hillcrest is the closest thing Queens has to a “college town.”
A small, lower middle class neighborhood, a large portion of Hillcrest is taken up by the St. John’s University main campus and the Queens Hospital Cancer Center complex. The residential part of the community isn’t dwarfed by either institution, but it goes without saying that living in a college neighborhood has its quirks. It is located between Kew Gardens Hills and Pomonok to the east, Kissena Park to the north, Fresh Meadows to the west, and Jamaica to the south.
Hillcrest doesn’t have a long and extensive history - it’s one of many more recent 20th century neighborhoods that only developed out of a need for more housing. Like nearly all of the communities in the “Park Horseshoe”, Hillcrest enjoys proximity to a number of parks, recreational centers, sports complexes, and golf courses between Flushing Meadows Corona Park (which includes Shea Stadium and the USTA National Tennis Center), Kissena Park (and the Queens Botanical Garden), Kissena Corridor Park, and Cunningham Park. Hillcrest itself is a fairly quiet eastern Queens neighborhood with a number of one-family rowhouses laid out on a grid. Union Turnpike is the main thoroughfare and commercial strip. Popular restaurants include Kyoto Sushi, Acquista Trattoria, Lulu’s Italian-American Bakery, and Iguanas Mexican Grill & Cantina.
Each year Hillcrest hosts an annual flea market and street fair, and St. John’s sporting events are popular draws year-round. Nearby schools include Queens College, York College, Townsend Harris High School (a magnet high school famous for humanities), and Hillcrest High.
Transportation near Hillcrest is available via the Q17, Q26, Q30, Q31, Q46, Q88, QM1, QM5, QM6, QM7, and QM8 express buses to Midtown Manhattan. Major roads for commuters include Union Tpke, 73rd Ave, 164th St., Utopia Pkwy, and Grand Central Pkwy on the south side of the neighborhood.
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