This 5 miles walk in Flushing and Corona can be divided into 2 parts of about 3 miles each:
- the first one, in Flushing, will focus on the New Chinatown, some temples and a botanical garden; it will leave the metro station of Main St. and will return there.
- the second, at Corona, will focus on Flushing Meadows Park, two museums and a zoo; it will leave from the Mets-Willets Point station and will end at 111 St.
- 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.
- 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.
Metro: Main St. or Mets on line 7 (start), Main St. or 111 St. on line 7 (end).
Bus: use an app like Citymapper to find the best options with bus #, waiting time, list of stops, and where you are in the city once you’ve boarded. You Metrocard will work and will be valid for transfers to the Metro and other buses, up to two hours. Express buses are more expensive, but you can buy your ticket at the stop. The drivers are generally very helpful!
Good to know: there are toilets and places to sit in the mall, the temples, the botanical garden, the zoo and the museums. To eat, the beginning or the end of the tour will be your best options; they are also many Asian restaurants in Kissena Blvd.
Walk in Flushing and Corona: full tour or 1st part
A: Your walk starts 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 alphabets 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 restaurants with menus that are also indecipherable. On the 1st floor, you’ll find shops, also local. A little further, a large market of fresh but often unusual produces.
Once out, take Main St. on your left: the impressions of being in an Asian capital is getting stronger.
B: Continue on Kissena Blvd on your left; you will soon be in front of the Free Synagogue of Flushing; 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; 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 India/Hindu 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.
If you don’t want to visit it but finish your tour here, stay on Kissena Blvd. You’ll find there many shops and restaurants and your starting point, at the end of the Blvd. That will also be the end of the tour 1.
F: Now if you want to visit the botanical garden, 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.
Opened on the occasion of the 1939 World Fair and enlarged during that of 1964-65, it offers themed spaces, an art gallery and beautiful photo opportunities.
Once you have visited it, you can still go back to your starting point if you take Main St on your left when you go out.
Otherwise, 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, a bit desolate, in between highways; the map here is not very accurate as it takes you out of Crommelin St, yet you should be able to easily see where to go once you are on location.
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 here is more accurate); cross the football field then Van Wyck Expwy to enter Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
Walk in Flushing and Corona, full tour or beginning of the 2nd part
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.
G: Your destination is the Unisphère, a giant world map built for the 1964-65 World Fair. If you are doing the full tour, you will reach it by going along the Fountain of Planets then the reflecting pools.
In front of the Unisphère, you’ll see the Queens Museum, once the home of the United Nation General Assembly. It houses art galleries and the New York Panorama, a reconstruction of the city to scale. Built for the 1964 fair, then modified to acknowledge new constructions, it is accurate 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: Then, take the pedestrian bridge on your left between the State Pavilion and the museum. The Queens zoo will be on your right.
If you don’t have time to visit it, you’ll see farm animals on the left of the path running along the zoo. Further on, the New York Hall of Science will appear with its unique architecture and its children’s aerial trails.
To visit it, and/or reach the end of the tour, go to 111th St and turn right.
Your destination will be the 111 St. metro station.
On your way, you’ll see two rockets that are part of the Hall of Science; near the metro station, many restaurants and shops, yet this time from Latin America!
That’s it for this walk in Flushing and Corona!
To see other photos of NYC if you liked the ones illustrating this walk, go to citywalks.space.
Before you go, don’t forget your guide and see at the bottom of the page how to thank him. Then enjoy the rest of your day!