This trek, updated and revised, is now called Walk in NYC # 18, the best of Flushing and Corona, and it’s on New York Walks, the new site of Urban Trekking New York.

The NYC-Queens trek, Flushing & Corona, is a 5 miles self-guided tour to explore the new Chinatown in Flushing and what remains of the 1964-65 World Expo site in Corona.

If this trek seems too long, it can be divided into 2 parts of about 3 miles each: the first one, in Flushing and focusing on temples and a botanical garden, will leave the metro station of Main St. and will return there. The second, at Corona and focusing on Flushing Meadows Park, two museums and a zoo, will leave from the Mets-Willets Point station and will end at 111 St. This will avoid a rather desolate passage between the two quarters.

The complete tour description below shows how it can be divided. (details and photos under the map).

Highlights: Part 1: New World Mall, Free Synagogue of Flushing, Shu Shirdi Sai Baba Temple, Chen’s Buddha Associates, Queens Botanical Garden, The Hindu Temple Society of North America. Part 2: Flushing Meadows Corona Park, The Fountain of the Planets, The Unisphere, The Queens Museum, The NYC Panorama, The New York State Pavilion, The Queens Zoo, The New York Hall of Science.

Map of Flushing & Corona trek, NYC

Start of the full tour and tour 1

A: They start at Main St. Station on Line 7.

Once on Roosevelt Ave, you’ll know right away why the place is called the new Chinatown: if the Asian characters are not all the same, they’re still incomprehensible unless you know the language they refer to.

The New World Mall, almost in front of you, has a basement filled with dozens of fast-food with menus that are also indecipherable. On the 1st floor, shops, also local. A little further, a large market of fresh but often unusual products. You are far from Manhattan.

On Main St. that you will then take on your left, the impressions of being in an Asian capital is getting stronger. Crowds and signs take you to another continent.

B: Continue on Kissena Blvd on your left; you will soon be in front of the Free Synagogue of Flushing buildings; to find the synagogue entrance, turn right a bit further, on Sanford Ave.; then enter the Colonial house on your right; someone will surely be available for you. If you want to be sure, call ahead and make an appointment.

The interior is impressive, renovated thanks to the sale of the school in front of which you have just passed; the guide knows a lot about its history and the history of Flushing in general.

You will learn that the inhabitants of Flushing did not want to become Protestants even though that what the Dutch wanted in the 17th century. They passed an ordinance authorizing all religions, hence the abundance of churches and temples in the city. For a long time, the neighborhood was predominantly Jewish.

Once out of the synogogue, take Sanford Ave on the left to Bowne St. on the right.

C: You are now in quiet streets; in the vicinity of the Hindu Temple Society of North America, you’ll begin to see many Indians. You won’t miss the temple on your left, imposing and somewhat incongruous.

Its main entrance with columns and deities is on Holly Ave, but to visit it, the entrance is on Bowne St. You’ll have to leave shoes, bags and cameras there, but if you have never been to India, this is probably the best experience of the country you can have in New York.

In the basement. you’ll find a cafeteria with excellent vegetarian food.

D: Once full of culture and / or food, take Holly Ave on the right; then Robinson St on the left.

The Shri Shirdi Sai Baba Temple is much smaller but just as interesting. You can sit there and let the songs soothe you. The atmosphere is very collected and reverential, the welcome warm.

E: Once out, continue on Robinson St to Laburnum Ave; turn right then right again on Kissena Blvd. The Chen Buddha Associate Temple is very different from the Hindu temples: in the form of a pagoda, with the statue of the Buddha inside, the incense replaces the coconuts. This will be yet another experience.

You could keep going in that fashion for a while as there are many other temples and churches in Flushing, but your destination is now the Botanical Garden.

End of tour 1, 1st option:

If you don’t want to visit it, though, stay on Kissena Blvd, its many shops and restaurants; your starting point is at the end of the Blvd, and it will also be the end of the tour 1.

End of tour 1, 2nd option:

F: If you want to visit it or do the full tour, stay on Kissena Blvd but at Elder Ave, turn left.

The entrance to the garden will be practically opposite you on the other side of Main St.

To end the tour 1 once you have visited the garden, take Main St on your left when you go out; you’ll reach your starting point after a while.

Opened on the occasion of the 1939 World Fair and enlarged during that of 1964-65, the Botanical Garden offers themed spaces, an art gallery and beautiful photo opportunities.

Continuation of the full tour:

At its end, find the bridge over College Point Blvd; cross the football field; go under Van Wyck Expwy; enter the Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

This is not the most enjoyable part of the tour; the map is not very accurate here because it takes you out of Crommelin St .; in fact, if you do not want to go through the Botanical Garden, go through Dahlia Ave then Crommelin St then Blossom Ave (the map is more accurate); cross the football field then Van Wyck Expwy to Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Start of tour 2 or continution of full tour:

G: Your destination is the Unisphère, a giant world map built for the 1964-65 World Fair. You will reach it by going along the Fountain of Planets then the reflecting pools.

If you have decided to do the Tour 2 only, from Mets-Willets Point Station, take the pedestrian bridge that passes over the metro trains. At the roundabout, follow the (pedestrian) Avenue of the Americas.

In any case, you are on the site of the 1939 and 1964-65 World Fairs.

In front of the Unisphère, the Queens Museum. Inside, art galleries and the New York Panorama, a reconstruction of the city to scale: all buildings and bridges are represented until 1992.

H: A little further, on your right once you leave the museum, the New York State Pavilion and its futuristic structures. If you’ve seen the movie “Men in Black”, this is where it ends. It is also the occasion of original photos.

I: To reach the Queens Zoo, take the pedestrian bridge on your left between the State Pavilion and the museum. The zoo will be on your right.

Next to the path that runs along the zoo, you’ll see the farm animals on your left; further on, what you’ll easily guess as being the New York Hall of Science with its unique architecture and its children’s aerial trail.

To visit it, go to 111th St and turn right.

It will also be the way to reach the end of the full tour or the tour 2, the 111 St. metro station.

On your way, you will see two rockets that are part of the Hall of Science; near the metro station, there are many restaurants and shops, yet this time they will be from Latin America!

Good to know: There are toilets in the mall, temples, botanical garden, zoo and museums. To eat, the beginning or the end of the tour will be your best options, in addition to the Asian restaurants of Kissena Blvd. You will be able to sit in temples, parks and museums.

Metro: Main St. or Mets on line 7 (start), Main St. or 111 St. on line 7 (end).

Tips for the guide: they are welcome, see suggestions at the bottom of the page. Thanks in advance for your contribution!

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