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Middle Village

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          Middle Village is a densely populated middle-class neighborhood located in central Queens. It is surrounded by the bordering towns of Elmhurst, Ridgewood, Glendale, and Rego Park. Middle Village is mostly made up of single and multi-family homes, attached houses, and small apartment complexes.  However, condominiums are rare. Middle Village was named due to its midpoint location between Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Jamaica, Queens on the Williamsburgh-Jamaica Turnpike, which was completed in the 1814. Back in the day, this was a toll road which many famers took to transport and trade their goods via wagons between the boroughs.  In 1873, the Williamsburgh-Jamaica Turnpike became what is now Metropolitan Avenue. In 1847, a law was passed banning future cemeteries being constructed in Manhattan. That is one of the main reasons why Queens has so many. Middle Village is in the epicenter of Queens’ “cemetery belt.” One such cemetery is St. John’s Cemetery which is the final resting places of some the most infamous mobsters and other acclaimed New Yorkers. However in the 1920s more housing was being built on the streets on either side of Metropolitan Avenue and Cooper Avenue. Additional attached houses were built as well that stretched out to join those of Glendale, Maspeth, and Forest Hills.

            Middle Village is still a very lively place despite the cemeteries. Middle Village has its own shopping center, The Metro Mall located on Metropolitan Avenue. Small locally-owned stores and restaurants can be found along Metropolitan Avenue also. The Metro Mall is not quite as big as some other malls within Queens but it’s an enjoyable quaint place to spend time with your family, and parking is free. At The Metro Mall there is a large indoor play area called Funtopia USA for children where you can take your kids to play and stay active when the months get too cold for them to play outside. It has bumper cars, bowling, laser tag, arcade, a food court, a three level play area, a designated area just for toddlers, and much more. For when the months are warm enough, you can head over to Juniper Valley Park. Juniper Valley Park used to be Juniper Valley Swamp filled with thick forest of juniper and cedar trees. Interestingly, Juniper Valley Swamp was one of the areas where Washington’s army hid from the British during the Battle of Long Island in 1776.  The swamp was filled in 1915 and was improved to be used for recreational purposes. Juniper Valley Park is 55 acres of track fields, sports fields and courts, and playgrounds. It is a great area to exercise, walk your dog, or go sledding during the winter months.

            Public transportation is scarce, but it is a very convenient location for people to commute via car. The M train and the buses Q29, Q38, Q47, Q53, and the Q67 run locally through Middle Village. The Long Island Expressway and the Jackie Robinson Parkway are close by making Laguardia and JFK Airports only a 20 minute drive. Middle Village is part of the NYC Geographic District #24. District #24 has over 60 schools in the area.

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