Queens may still be Manhattan’s scrappy younger sibling when it comes to tourism, but that doesn’t mean the borough can’t hold its own when it comes to museums, cuisine and nature – and it’s high time visitors from throughout the world – and even the borough – recognize that, legislators and other officials said last week.
The Queens Tourism Council recently announced the publication of “Queens in Your Pocket,” a guide to the borough’s cultural, recreational and historical hot spots that is part of a growing push to ensure that people see more than just the borough’s airports or highways when they come to New York City.
The 72-page handbook, which is free and available to the public, features photos of Queens on the cover and, inside, provides detailed descriptions of museums, theaters, sports and entertainment venues, nature and public spaces, and Flushing Meadows-Corona Park – where the borough’s most famous landmark, the Unisphere, makes its home.
“‘Queens in Your Pocket’ is your roadmap to people and places that can help you discover all that our great county has to offer in entertainment, culture, and epicurean delights,” Borough President Helen Marshall said. “It doesn’t take up a lot of room. You can put it in your pocket, but it can unlock a whole new world for longtime residents and first-time visitors alike.”
The guide’s format allows readers to access main features of each venue, as well as its address, website and suggestions for things to do nearby.
Such a document, legislators hope, should help to expand tourism outside of Manhattan, particularly to spots that Queens residents already know and love – but which tourists may never catch a glimpse of during their visits to the city because of a Manhattan-centric approach to advertising, legislators said.
In an attempt to draw tourists from the incessantly flashing lights of Times Square to places across the borough, from the newly renovated Queens Museum of Art in Flushing Meadows Corona Park to the Louis Armstrong Museum in Corona, the guidebook will help to provide easily accessible information for visitors who will soon be able to say “Forest Hills” and “Richmond Hill” with the same ease they can rattle off neighborhoods like Midtown or the Upper East Side.
“Tourism is an important and growing sector of the economy in Queens, providing thousands of jobs and helping to support our many outstanding cultural resources,” said Assemblywoman Marge Markey (D-Maspeth), chair of the Assembly’s Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts, and Sports Development. “The wealth of attractions in Queens is amply reflected in this helpful guide that will be a valuable resource for both residents and visitors to our wonderful borough.”
Queens Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Seth Bornstein too lauded the publication.
“There are so many fun and enriching things to do in Queens, and it’s great to be able to share them with readers,” Bornstein said. “Plus, there’s an authenticity to our home that tourists love, and the borough is booming”
To receive a free copy in the mail, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope with 86 cents in postage to the Queens Tourism Council at 120-55 Queens Blvd., Suite 309, Kew Gardens, NY 11424.
The guidebook is also available at the borough president’s office, the Redbird Tourist Information Center at Queens Boulevard and 82nd Avenue, and various hotels and attractions throughout the borough.
By Anna Gustafson