10 Best Under-The-Radar Neighborhoods To Stay In NYC
By SANJAY SURANA
Connected to the city by subway, and one of the closest neighborhoods to LaGuardia Airport, Astoria is located in Queens and is considered a Greek stronghold.
Astoria
There are Greek supermarkets, restaurants, and other businesses. You’ll see Greek flags flying in front of houses and even a sculpture park named after Socrates.
Greek isn’t the only ethnic powerhouse; there’s a section of Steinway Street known as Little Egypt that’s filled with Arab restaurants, cafes, and hookah lounges.
Astoria Park, a section of waterfront greenery between the Robert F. Kennedy and Hell Gate Bridges, has tennis courts, an outdoor pool, and playgrounds.
Astoria is also home to the Museum of the Moving Image, where interactive exhibits and collections travelerblog the art of making content for the cinema, television, and media.
Called Bed-Stuy by the locals, this Brooklyn neighborhood was where Spike Lee’s 1989 movie, “Do The Right Thing,” was filmed and where rapper Jay-Z was born.
Bedford-Stuyvesant
It's undergone recent gentrification, with people moving from the bustling Big Apple to the neighborhood's pretty, quiet tree-lined streets and gorgeous period houses.
Traditionally an African, West Indian, and African-American area, it is now more diverse and has gourmet supermarkets, hip coffee shops, and cool clothing boutiques.
Ali's Roti Shop on Fulton Street still churns out Trinidadian delights, and the Bedford Stuyvesant Museum of African Art continues celebrating Africa's artistic traditions.
Located in Brooklyn, Carroll Gardens is one of the locations in the film “Moonstruck” and has a deep Italian-American heritage that is still prominent today.
Carroll Gardens
There are flags outside homes, Italian bakeries, funeral homes run by Italian families, and arguably the best pizza restaurant in the city.
Good food is easy to find throughout the neighborhood at places like Lucali, where devoted customers will wait over an hour for their sumptuous, silky Neapolitan pies.
The neighborhood, with its main commercial strips of Smith Street and Court Street, is mostly low-rise with pretty brownstones. The Brooklyn Heights promenade is an easy walk away.
Once a wildly eclectic place, the East Village has transformed rapidly. Sleek apartment buildings, a new demographic, and mass retail have taken over.
East Village
One constant is the dominant age group, which is people under 30. You’ll likely find NYU students looking for chic cafes and Instagram-worthy aesthetics roaming the streets.
Not surprisingly, there is great nightlife here, from bars that proudly embody the area's low-key, no-frills, bare-bones past to polished venues with pricey cocktails and wines.
The Queens neighborhood has no forests or hills but does boast classic Tudor homes, high-pitched tiled roofs, and beautifully landscaped front lawns.
Forest Hills
At Halloween, Forest Hills residents go all out with extravagant displays. With the leaves turning at that time of year, the scenery is given a cinematic quality.
The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and train station, a commuter rail built in the early 1900s, connect Forest Hills to Manhattan, adding to the neighborhood's yesteryear look.
Other parts of Forest Hills contrast this image with old-style candy and pizza stores, but some are mainstream commercial, especially on Queens Boulevard and Austin Street.