Wednesday, December 9, 2009


A busy street in Flushing showing the dominant Asian presence (Grace Park 2009).

Flushing is a neighborhood in Queens, one of the five boroughs of New York City, on Western Long Island. It is about ten miles east from Manhattan and is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in New York City. With a population of around 180,000, the most prevalent ethnic groups are Asian (44%), White, and Hispanic. Flushing is so heavily populated with Asians that it is now the second largest Chinatown. On the intersection of Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue there are a plethora of Chinese and Korean small businesses. When walking down Main and Union street the stores, signs, and conversations are in Chinese, Korean, or Vietnamese. Small businesses flourish, from bubble tea cafes to herbal medicine shops. Flushing is also filled with Protestant and Roman Catholic churches, Hindu temples, synagogues, and mosques. It is a place of religious freedom, which relates back to its history.

In the 1650’s Quakers had begun to arrive in Flushing fleeing persecution in England. From then until the 1970’s, Flushing was mostly an Italian and Greek neighborhood. However the economic turmoil of the 1970’s had caused many people to leave Flushing. Housing prices dropped. Consequently, Korean and Chinese immigrants began to settle in Flushing by the 1970’s. During the twentieth century while New York City was economically flourishing, Flushing’s proximity to Manhattan was critical in its growth. Transportation started to become more and more available. In 1909, the Queensboro Bridge was created which connected Queens County to Midtown Manhattan. This bridge greatly increased vehicular traffic. Also, the introduction of the Long Island Rail road and the 7-subway line had continued the transformation of Flushing into a commuter suburb.

From either Times Square or the Grand Central Station, take the 7 train to the last stop to arrive in Flushing. The streets, shops, restaurants, and cultural institutions immediately represent the diversity and ethnicity of Flushing.

- Lucy Li and Grace Park


Brown, Ronald. A religious history of Flushing, Queens: from the flushing Remonstrance until today: a walking tour. Princeton, NJ: S.I. : Sacred City Books, 2007. Print.

Davis, Wendy. “Koreans, Chinese spur second Flushing boom; Business associations and banks empower entrepreneurs.” Crain’s New York Business. (2008): 15. Print.

Rouiller, G.A. The village of Flushing. New York, NY: John P. Stock, 1987, Print.

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