About Bayside Queens NY

Bayside, Queens, is bordered to the north and the east by the Little Neck Bay (but is separated from the bay by the Cross Island Parkway). Across the Bay to the east is upscale Douglas Manor, with its waterfront homes. The neighborhood of Douglaston is to the east, Auburndale to the west, and Oakland Gardens to the south. The Throgs Neck and Whitestone Bridges (to the Bronx) are very close. Nearby highways include the Grand Central Parkway, LIE, Clearview Expressway, Cross Island Parkway, and Whitestone Expressway.

The Bayside LIRR station whisks commuters to Midtown Manhattan in less than a half hour. (There is also an express bus to Manhattan that leaves from 23rd Avenue and Bell Boulevard.) In the same amount of time (or less) you can drive from Bayside to the shopping areas in Nassau county, to the beaches in Nassau and Queens, and to the bridges that take you to the other boroughs and beyond.

East of Bell Boulevard the neighborhood slopes to Little Neck Bay (off the Long Island Sound). Although the homes are separated from the bay by the Cross Island Parkway, there is footbridge access to a park and running path along the water. Fort Totten, built during the Civil War to protect New York Harbor from a Confederate attack, sits on the Long Island Sound, at the northern tip of Bayside. Bayside also has hundreds of acres of parks with ball fields, golf courses, p
picnic areas, and hiking paths:
Alley Pond Park (Little Neck Bay to Spring Blvd, Union Tpke)
Alley Pond Environmental Center (Northern Blvd just east of the Cross Island Pkwy)
Crocheron Park (33 Ave. to 35 Ave., Little Neck Bay)
Cunningham Park (Horace Harding Expwy to Grand Central Pkwy,
around Francis Lewis Blvd)

Fran Berger of Berger Real Estate points out that Bayside is also a great find because it is a safe area and is in the best community school district not only in Queens and in all of New York City, District 26 (grades K-9), the highest performing school district in New York City. According the district’s website, its 20 elementary schools and 5 middle/junior high schools serve a total of 17,063 students, of which about 9% are English Language Learners (ELL). Bayside’s Benjamin N. Cardozo High School is the top neighborhood high school in New York City. Betsy Pilling of Pilling Real Estate, who grew up in Bayside and still lives there, says, “I never thought I’d put my kids in public school. All three are there.”
Also in Bayside is CUNY’s Queensborough Community College, which has an exceptional art gallery. Read about Queensborough’s Art Gallery housed in the historic Oakland Building.

The shops and restaurants are mainly concentrated on the main thoroughfares of Bell Boulevard, Francis Lewis Boulevard, and Northern Boulevard. Many of the shops along Bell have been in the same families for generations, which is one reason that Pilling says Bayside is a great Queens community where people actually know one another. In northern Bayside on Bell Boulevard is the Bay Terrace Shopping Center with a great Waldbaums and popular stores like Gap and Barnes and Noble. There are many bars on and near Bell Boulevard that draw crowds from neighboring towns.

Famous Residents
In the heyday of nearby Astoria Studios (1920s and 1930s), Bayside lured such stars as W. C. Fields (Sally of the Sawdust was filmed in Bayside), Buster Keaton, John Barrymore, Irving Berlin, Norma Talmadge, and Rudolph Valentino. “Gentleman” Jim Corbett, the world heavyweight champ from 1892 to 1897, retired in Bayside. Later, Paul Newman and all-star pitcher Tom Seaver called Bayside home. Perry Farrell, lead singer of Jane’s Addiction and Porno for Pyros, was from the neighborhood as well.

Historical Bits
Originally inhabited by the Matinecock Indians, Bayside was settled by the English in the late 17th century, soon after Flushing was established. Its name comes from its location on Little Neck Bay. Francis Lewis Boulevard is named after a signer of the Declaration of Independence who lived in Bayside.