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Queens
  • $1150   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $2059   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $3018   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)
  • (the rest of the  northeast US)

99% live within a 10-minute walk of a park. 4
Most errands can be accomplished on foot. 5
geographic confusion
public transit, commutable to more expensive city 6

SO, roomiematch.com's Queens roommate rundown:

Queens is the largest of NYC's five boroughs by area, but not population (that'd be Brooklyn).

And some say there's so much diversity going on, Queens is better understood as a collection of neighborhoods. About 45% of Queensites were born in another country. Now with over 120 languages spoken, it's overwhelmingly one of the most ethnically diverse areas in the country.

And Queens is a collection of famous neighborhoods like Jackson Heights, Jamaica, Long Island City, Astoria, Ozone Park, and The Rockaways. But this collection is occasionally confusing as unlike the rest of NYC, the address includes the neighborhood (like Jackson Heights) instead of the borough (like Queens or Brooklyn).

(So your address in Queens probably doesn't include the word Queens . . . but you'll still get mail at your postbox if it is in Queens, don't worry.)

Others say Queens was invented as a collection of neighborhoods by and for those who want to live near the rest of NYC for some important reason, but without the "attitude" more common to those who never leave Manhattan or Brooklyn?

Yet even others argue Queens still has plenty of NYC attitude all the same, but Queens tunes differently, in the key of diversity and an almost aggressive authenticity over "snobby" plus "trendy?"

Queens is also a lot more diverse in terms of density, with the area closer to Manhattan full of urban clusters, even including skyscrapers, but as you move farther away to the east, a bit more suburban. Much of Queens is more spread out than other boroughs in this way, so while many bridges and neighborhoods are friendly to pedestrians and bicycles, be prepared for some longer walks.

Meaning, a little more elbow room for some. But more elbow room is sometimes not expensive or trendy!

(And whether you regard that as good or bad probably explains a lot of YOUR "NYC attitude" . . . right?)

All this diversity plus authenticity means Queens is determined to offer everyone a lot of bargain casual dining that's the "real ethnic deal."

Affordable sit-down or dine-in food that's cheaper and better than the rest of the country, including most of the rest of more expensive NYC. Anything you might expect from a Manhattan food truck and more, every single variety of cuisine plus some you've not yet heard of are always available.

But here you could have it sitting down at a diner.

Or a bar, pizza parlor, lounge, dim sum counter, casual cafe, community picnic, or local market . . . or sure, hamburger joints and diners again . . .

. . . all hardly ever hipster, but usually more affordable than the rest of NYC.

The rest of the Queens roommate lowdown:

  • crescent-shaped, with a tail, along the north to south of Long Island
  • easternmost of the five boroughs of New York City, second most populous (about 2.4 million), includes a few small islands
  • high temperatures in summer with frequent freezes in winter
  • two of New York metro's airports are located here, LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International Airport, airline industry is huge
  • a lot of local buses around Queens, and express buses to other boroughs and the airports
  • the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) operates 22 stations here with service to other boroughs and Long Island, also the JFK AirTrain
  • too many bridges and tunnels to list . . . to the other four boroughs and everywhere else
  • home to the New York Mets (MLB)
  • hosts the U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
  • home to a number of colleges including LaGuardia Community College, Queens College, Queensborough Community College, York College, and the Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology
  • Just like Manhattan and Brooklyn, some of Queens previously sported a dangerous reputation, but that's almost entirely in the past. Most of Queens is really safe now, and hardly ever depopulated. You should still always be aware who is around you on the street, and beware of pickpockets or purse snatchers, particularly if your purse looks expensive. Keep any purse closed and in front of you at all times. Keep an eye on your electronics, and store your valuables in interior or securely closed pockets.



After you're settled down, you and your roommates should experience Queens':

  • Queens Museum: Lots of visiting exhibitions and ongoing projects, but the permanent collection includes a scaled-down panorama of all of NYC, a relief map of the NYC water supply, and Tiffany glass. You and your roommates could even take experimental courses on art plus technology.
  • Queens Borough Public Library: One of the largest public library systems in the US, separate from New York Public Library, over 60 branches and over 16.5 million items in circulation on its own!
  • Isamu Noguchi Sculpture Museum: It's a garden with stone and light sculptures in Long Island City. You and your roommates can visit for free, but the Museum hours are only Wednesday-Sunday.
  • Rockaway Beach: A cleaner stretch of beach and boardwalk along a peninsula connected to Queens which seems more bucolic than the rest of NYC.
  • Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden: While there are a huge number places to drink beer, this is true, this one's a whole city block walled with trees that bills itself as the oldest and largest outdoor drinking venue in NYC. Serves Czech and Slovak food and hosts many community events. Since 1910!
  • New York Hall of Science: NYC's only "hands on" biology, chemistry, and physics center. You and your roommates could take part in The Big Bubble Experiment.
  • Louis Armstrong House Museum: All newly renovated and curated, several collections with tens of thousands of items and recordings and collections and memoirs. Meet Satchmo all over again.
  • Afrikan Poetry Theater: 447-year-old cultural arts non-profit institution serving Southeast Queens. Programs include workshops and classes and celebrations including: acting, African music, book writing, dance, drama, drum and piano, film making, hip hop, jazz, martial arts, poetry reading, and Indy film screenings for Black History Month and Kwanzaa.


Here's the Queens Calendar for constituents, which you and your roommates may want to check out? It includes municipal meetings as well as celebrations and other cultural events.





Notes

1.   The non-traditional roommate rent average for this city we've experienced over the last 3 years. We can't predict future rental availability, because we're neither in control of any rental market nor psychic, sorry!

But in most cities most of the time, the recent and relatively recent past are the best predictors.


2.   This idea came from smartasset.com's ranking of what a roommate saves you in 50 cities. They ranked where roommates will save you the most money, based on the average cost of a 1BR as opposed to a 2BR ÷ 2. Unsurprisingly, the more expensive the city, the more you can save, but the savings are significant in all larger metros. So we got the data for the rest of our cities from Zumper too.

This is really the minimum you could save, as you could live with more than one roommate, split more services, share food or other supplies, etc. More sharing tends to lead to more savings too, as per our roommate roadmap.

As per the rest of the description at the top of this page, we're calling this "traditional" roommate rent.


3.   From zumper.com.


4.   Directly quoted from the Trust for Public Land's parkland rating system.

"The ParkScore index awards each city up to 100 points for acreage based on the average of two equally weighted measures: median park size and parkland as a percentage of city area. Factoring park acreage into each city’s ParkScore rating helps account for the importance of larger “destination parks” that serve many users who live farther than ten minutes’ walking distance."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual ParkScore, nature lovers might like to see all roommate cities ranked for parkland.


5.   Directly quoted from Walk Score's Cities and Neighborhoods Ranking. They've ranked "more than 2,800 cities and over 10,000 neighborhoods so you can find a walkable home or apartment."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual Walk Score, dedicated pedestrians might like to see all roommate cities ranked for walkability.


6.   From various lists here on our own best roommate cities.