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Welcome to Astoria, a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens. Located just across the East River from Upper East Side, Astoria is bounded by the neighborhoods of Woodside to the east, Sunnyside to the southeast, Long Island City to the southwest, and Ditmars Steinway to the north. Originally a large plot of land owned by William Hallet, who settled here in 1652, Astoria was once known as Hallet’s Cove. A remote getaway for Manhattan’s affluent citizens, Hallet’s Cove was incorporated in 1839 and later renamed Astoria after German-American businessman John Jacob Astor to get him to invest in the neighborhood. While Astor never actually set foot in Astoria, the name stuck. First settled by the Dutch and English, Astoria’s economic growth in the second half of the 19th century led to many German and Irish immigrants settling here. One of the more business savvy settlers of that time was German piano maker Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg who founded Steinway & Sons, a piano company that still exists today. In the 1920s, Astoria emerged as a prominent location for film-making in the United States. Over 100 silent films were produced at Astoria Studios, which operates today as Kaufman Astoria Studios.
Due to its diverse population from years of immigration, Astoria is known for its ethnic eateries and international cuisines. Some of the best Greek and Middle Eastern food in New York City can be found in Astoria. This area is also home to numerous Italian restaurants and sandwich shops, as well as Jewish delis and bakeries. Herald as one of New York City’s coolest neighborhoods, Astoria offers a little bit of something for everyone. Beautiful waterfront views of Manhattan from across the East River and access to scenic public parks make Astoria one of the best places to live in Queens. Astoria’s numerous entertainment and nightlife options are particularly appealing to college students that attend one of the nearby universities. Its affordable housing prices and proximity to Midtown Manhattan attract professionals that don’t mind the short commute across the Queensboro Bridge for work. Served by eight New York City Subway stations, Astoria is an easily accessible neighborhood with tree-lined, walkable streets.
Budget-friendly bars and restaurants in Astoria will not break your wallet when you go out. But if you are looking for cheap thrills, be sure to check out Astoria Park, a 60-acre urban green space offering tennis courts, a skate park, a running track, and spectacular views of both the Hell Gate and the Robert F. Kennedy bridges. Get a history lesson on New York City’s film industry at the Museum of the Moving Image and then do some barhopping along Steinway Street, one of the busiest commercial thoroughfares in Astoria.