Jamaica Estates, Queens
Jamaica Estates is an upper middle class and wealthy neighborhood located in the New York City borough of Queens. Within Queens Community District 8, Jamaica Estates is served by Queens Community Board 81 It is bounded by Union Turnpike to the north, Hillside Avenue to the south, Utopia Parkway and Homelawn Street to the west and 188th Street to the east. The portion of Jamaica Estates located north of the Grand Central Parkway is more properly termed Holliswood.
Jamaica Estates was created at the turn of the century by the Jamaica Estates Company, which developed the hilly terminal moraine's 503 acres (2.04 km2), while preserving many of the trees that had occupied the site.2 Jamaica Estates now has significant Modern Orthodox Jewish American3 and South Asian American populations.4 The latter has been particularly affected by the wave of mortgage foreclosures that began in 2008.5 The only apartments and multi-family housing lie near the southern border within a few blocks from and along Hillside Avenue. The shopping corridors are along Hillside Avenue and Union Turnpike.
The Jamaica Estates Association, founded in 1929, continues as an active, vital civic organization representing the community. An Historical Plaque was unveiled April 23, 2010, on the Midland Mall by The Aquinas Honor Society of the Immaculate Conception School and by the sponsor of the plaque, Senator Frank Padavan.7
The neighborhood is served by two public elementary schools. Residents in the eastern part of Jamaica Estates are served by The Holliswood School (PS 178) on Radnor Road at 189th Street in School District 26, and residents in the western part of the neighborhood are served by The Abigail Adams School (PS 131) in Jamaica Hills (School District 29). The Mary Louis Academy, the all-girls Catholic college-prep school, is located on the corner of Edgerton Boulevard and Wexford Terrace. Immaculate Conception School is also located in this neighborhood, on the corner of Midland Parkway and Dalny Road. The Yeshiva University High School for Girls is just east of the Estates in Holliswood.
The Queens Campus of the United Nations International School, for students in grades K-8, is located on Croydon Road. It is run by the United Nations, and has its main location on the East Side of Manhattan. The school was intended for the children of UN diplomats and employees but enrollment is now open to everyone.8 The school first opened in Lake Success, but relocated in 1950 to Parkway Village, a garden apartment complex originally built for UN employees.9
The New York City Department of Education operates public schools.
The northern terminus of the New York City Subway's IND Queens Boulevard Line (F), 179th Street station, is located at the entrance of Jamaica Estates at Midland Parkway and Hillside Avenue, with the 169th Street F Station located on the corner of Hillside Avenue and Homelawn Street. The neighborhood is also served by the Q1, Q2, Q3, Q17, Q30, Q31, Q36, and Q46 bus lines. Numerous express buses (QM1, QM5, QM6, QM7, QM8, x68) to Manhattan also stop on Union Turnpike. The commute to Midtown Manhattan takes 30 to 45 minutes.
In contrast to much of Queens, most streets in Jamaica Estates do not conform to the rectangular street grid and follow topographic lines, the most notable example being Midland Parkway. Many of the named streets have etymologies originating from Languages of the United Kingdom, such as Aberdeen, Avon, Hovenden, Barrington, Chelsea, and Chevy Chase Street. However, unlike Forest Hills Gardens, which is a similarly wealthy Queens neighborhood with an atypical Queens street layout, the street numbering system does conform to the rest of Queens, employing the "dash" found in the Philadelphia grid street numbering system familiar throughout all other parts of the borough.
- Margaret Bergmann Lambert, German high jump champion of the 1930s (as Gretel Bergmann), later United States champion in high jump (1937 & 38) and shotput (1938).
- Joseph "Run" Simmons, the "Run" of Run-D.M.C., lived in the area for some time before moving to New Jersey.
- Bob Saffer was a songwriter who wrote the campaign songs for presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. He composed songs sung by Nat King Cole, Gene Autry, Frankie Lymon, and other renowned artists, but he was most proud of "Stand Up for the Flag of America," written at the time of the Iran hostage crisis in 1979.12
- Lennie Tristano, the blind bebop pianist and teacher, lived at 86-67 Palo Alto Street, Holliswood. He has been credited as the first to record "free jazz."13
- Donald Trump grew up in the neighborhood, on Midland Parkway.14
- In the film Coming to America, the fictitious address of 24-32 Derby Avenue was the home of Cleo McDowell. Even if this street were to exist, the address would have to be numbered at least 169 or higher; this would correspond to 169th Street, the westernmost numbered street bordering the neighborhood.
- Queens Community Boards, New York City. Accessed September 3, 2007.
- Shaman, Diana. "If You're Thinking of Living In/Jamaica Estates, Queens; An Enclave That Treasures Its Trees", The New York Times, September 21, 1997. Accessed November 11, 2007.
- Berger, Joseph (2002-09-27). "Judaism Takes Different Turns; In Places, Blocks of Orthodoxy". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-08-17.
- Claudia Gryvatz Copquin. "Jamaica". The Neighborhood of Queens. Retrieved 2009-08-17.
- "Fifty percent of homes in pre-foreclosure are owned by South Asian immigrants in sections of New York City". Chhaya CDC. 2009-01-12. Retrieved 2009-08-17.
- "JEA Newsletter Volume 72 No. 5". Jamaica Estates Association. August 2007. Retrieved 2010-07-07.
- "Jamaica Estates Historical Plaque Dedication". 2010-06-12. Retrieved 2010-07-07.
- Welcome to UNIS Queens, United Nations International School. Accessed December 4, 2007.
- Elsa B. Endrst (December 1991). "The United Nations International School: a model of diversity". UN Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-08-17.
- Kulers, Brian G. "QUEENS NEIGHBORHOODS QUEENS CLOSEUP East Meets West in School For Japanese in America." Newsday. November 12, 1986. News, Start Page 31. Retrieved on January 9, 2012.
- Buckley, Tom. "Pride and Pleasure Evident Beneath Usual Restraint; Japanese Here Prepare for Imperial Visit." The New York Times. September 23, 1975. Page 39. Retrieved on January 9, 2012. "Students from the Japanese School of New York in Jamaica Estates[...]"
- Carl Ballenas, Aquinas Honor Society of the Immaculate Conception School (2010). Jamaica Estates. Images of America. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-7255-0. |page = 118
- Lennie Tristano at AllMusic. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
- Ojito, Mirta. "CAMPAIGNING FOR CITY HALL: THE BATTLEGROUND; Gauging the Vote of the Satisfied", The New York Times, September 8, 2001. Accessed November 11, 2007.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jamaica, Queens.|
- Jamaica Estates Association Webpage
- Images of America Jamaica Estates, Arcadia Publishing, ISBN 0-252-06921-8
- Immaculate Conception School Jamaica Estates
- If You're Thinking of Living In/Jamaica Estates, Queens; An Enclave That Treasures Its Trees, The New York Times, September 21, 1997
- Real Estate Information Website For All of Jamaica Estates, Queens NY