Kew Gardens is a quaint middle class neighborhood located in central Queens. It is surrounded by the neighboring towns of Forest Hills, Richmond Hill, Kew Garden Hills, Briarwood, Jamaica, and Forest Park to the southwest. Real estate consists of mostly apartment buildings around the perimeter of the neighborhood, co-ops, and single and multi-family homes, most of which are in the Colonial and Tudor style. Kew Gardens was a completely planned out community. Designers and developers, Albon Platt Man and Alrick Hubbell Man, built up the community as a garden community in the late 1800s, only one of seven in the borough. They incorporated the neighborhood into a combination of winding streets and an alphabetic street grid giving Kew Gardens a small-town feeling that still remains today making the town a rare gem within New York City. This village-like feeling that Kew Gardens attains attracted many families to the small town decades ago and is still one of the main characteristics that attract people until today. At first they named the area just Kew but then later changed the name to Kew Gardens after the famous Royal Botanical Gardens in England.
Kew Gardens serves as the home of Queens Borough Hall which is located on the north side of Queens Boulevard and is bounded by Union Turnpike, 126th Street, and 82nd Avenue. It houses the Office of the Queens Borough President and other city offices and courts. Nestled outside of Queens Borough Hall sits a retired R33 Redbird NYC subway car; it’s been there since its retirement in 2001. Local streets such as Austin Street, Metropolitan Avenue, Kew Gardens Road, Queens and Lefferts Boulevards are hotspots for local shopping, eateries, groceries, and pharmacies. Kew Gardens Cinemas is located on Lefferts Boulevard as well. Kew Gardens is also a short drive from Atlas Park Mall located in nearby Glendale. Locals can also enjoy visiting the nearby Forest Hills greenmarket where fresh farm-grown produce can be purchased. Lastly in neighboring South Ozone Park lies the famous Aqueduct Race Track where horse races are prominent throughout the months of November through April.
Kew Gardens is also near parks Forest Park and Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Forest Park is 544 acres and is famous for their 110 acre public golf course, horse riding trails, sports fields and courts, outside theater, hiking trails, and barbecue areas. Forest Park also houses the largest Oak tree forest in all of Queens. Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is the fourth largest park in the whole New York City area. The park includes the Queens Theater, the Queens Zoo, and the Queens Museum of Art, a gigantic ice rink, a golf course, and a skate park. Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is also home to Citi Field Stadium where the MLB baseball team The Mets competes. Additionally, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is where the US Open Tennis Championships are held annually every summer. The park also has a 93-acre man-made lake that has boating and fishing. It is a wonderful park to be enjoyed throughout every season of the year.
Kew Gardens is served by the E and F subway lines and the Long Island Railroad. The Grand Central, Vany Wyck, and Jackie-Robinson Parkways are also close at hand making transportation easily accessible. LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy Aiports are both a short drive away or accessible via the subway. Kew Gardens is also nicknamed “Crew Gardens” due to the large number of pilots and flight attendants that have secondary apartments/homes in the area and many of them often make short stops in the neighborhood between their work. They can be often found at night in the local bars.
Kew Gardens is part of the NYC Geographic District #28. District #28 has 50 schools within the area. St. John’s University’s main campus is located in the neighboring town of Jamaica. A former famous resident is television host Jerry Springer who immigrated with his family to Kew Gardens. He attended PS 99 in Kew Gardens as well. Famous American composer and pianist George Gershwin also had a home in Kew Gardens as well as the famous American actor and comedian Charlie Chaplin who lived in Kew Gardens at 105 Mowbray Drive in 1919 through 1922.