This was absolutely my favorite tour of the six. South America and Southeast Asia meet in Jackson Heights, as is common with many cultures converging in New York City. Tibet, Ecuador, Sri Lanka, Colombia, India — WELCOME to Queens.
Jackson Heights is, according to the book Gastropolis ‘..united by language, colonialism, immigration, and exceptionally flavored food’
What I found interesting is that nothing specified a particular cuisine — or categorized a dish by country, and if not by region/continent then sometimes never at all — hinting at the potency of transnational dishes as markers of being ‘latino’.
In Jackson Heights, marketing is loud + proud — hinting at nationalism and gastronomic iconography.
After a mass-migration to Queens since the 1970s, in 2016 Jackson Heights is gentrifying faster than ever, from within the Latino community.
Here, you’ll find street food, often coined to be the best in NYC, always on the hub of the different subway stations.
Here, you can have tamales for breakfast, plantain-based like the ones from Oaxaca where the patrons hail from.
Here, you’ll find the supermarket, Trade Fair, which only has about 15% of the same ingredients across its supermarkets, since they change their products to fit the ethnic communities in which they settle
What that means is providing 5+ different types of corn-based tamales, varying for the use of Mexicans or Argentines and everyone in between the continent.
And, as if they weren’t the same thing, Colombian fresh cheese and Dominican fresh cheese because #nationalism.
And my grandma’s favorite coffee — the Colombian coffee, Cafe Bustelo.
82nd Street is where the divide is between all that is Asian and Latino. It is here where I saw a dog wearing a kimono. And no, I’m not exaggerating. The sad part is that the pup ran away too quickly before I could grab a pic.
74th Street in Jackson heights is little India. Need a sari or a specific Indian spice? Come here.
And let’s not forget about this handsome man who wanted me to take a picture of him and include him in my blog #wish #granted.
Places of Interest:
Take #6 to Grand Central, then #7 to Junction Blvd.
Roosevelt Avenue and Junction Blvd
1. Street food – best in New York
2. Confiteria Buenos Aires 90-09 Roosevelt Avenue – Argentinian bakery with sweets and pastries; good for breakfast
3. Assorted Botanica stores along Roosevelt Avenue – poignant of the influence of voodoo and other religious representations in South America; symbols of religious and physical relief
4. Tierras Salvadorenas (94-16 37th Avenue, 718-672-0853) – Salvadorean establishment
5. La Risaralda – (91-02 37th Avenue) — meat market
6. Carnicera Hispanoamericana 89-22 37th Avenue – meat market
7. La Gata Golosa Bakery 89-01 37th Avenue – Colombian Bakery
8. Pique al Paso Bakery 88-22 37th Avenue – CLOSED
9. La Nueva Bakery 86-10A 37th Avenue – great empanadas and “dulce de leche” desserts
10. Don Francisco 2000 85-17 37th Avenue – meat market, CLOSED
11. Café Bakery ice cream 83-03 37th Avenue – Colombian Bakery
12. Aqui Colombia 81-08 37th Avenue – Colombian Bakery
13. Patel Brothers Market 37-24 74th Avenue – For Indian Spices and teas
14. Delhi Palace Sweets 37-33 74th Avenue – CLOSED
15. Subzi Mandi Market 72-30 37th Avenue – incredible Southeast Asian supermarket
16. Rajbhog Sweets 72-27 37th Avenue – have an online store!