1. Local

Ridgewood, NY: Queens Neighborhood Profile

By

100 year-old brick homes

Beautiful Brick Housing in Ridgewood

Photo (c) John Roleke
The urban neighborhood of Ridgewood is known for its brick and stone two-story buildings from the early 20th century, which give it a more Brooklyn than Queens look. Though high-density, Ridgewood is quiet and homey, a working-class neighborhood. Once a German and Italian enclave, its newer immigrants are mostly from Eastern Europe (especially Poland) and Latin America. Less than 45 minutes from Manhattan and close to Williamsburg, Ridgewood could one day contend for hipsters.

Boundaries and Main Streets:

The heart of Ridgewood is along Myrtle Avenue, Fresh Pond Road, and Forest Avenue. Southwest is Bushwick, along mixed-use Cypress and Wyckoff Avenues, though since 1978 when Ridgewood finally got a Queens zip code, the border hasn't seemed fixed for most folks. The western edge is industrial Flushing Avenue. The north is Metropolitan Avenue and Maspeth and Middle Village. The LIRR tracks east of Fresh Pond Road separate Ridgewood from calm Glendale. The southeast is a swarth of cemeteries.

Transportation:

The M line runs elevated through central Ridgewood (Fresh Pond Road, Forest Avenue, and Seneca Avenue stations) and cuts across Brooklyn to lower Manhattan. (The Straphangers Campaign ranks the M a mixed bag.) At Myrtle/Wyckoff, switch to the L train that traverses Williamsburg on its way to Manhattan's Union Square (less than 45 minutes total).

Along the border with Brooklyn is the Jackie Robinson Parkway, which is a short route to the Van Wyck and Grand Central (20+ minutes to JFK or LGA).

Ridewood Apartments and Real Estate - April 2006:

Rentals in Ridgewood Apartments are advertised by number of rooms, which vary widely.

  • One-bedroom: $800 - $1,200
  • Two-bedroom: $1,100 - $1,400
    House Sales in Ridgewood
  • Two-family houses: $500,000+
  • Three-family: $550,000+
No condos or co-ops. Few one-family homes. Ridgewood has not escaped the surge in NYC property values, but remains a bargain for its safety, convenience to Manhattan, and attractive housing stock. Look for 1920s row houses with decorative cornices and lintels and bow windows.

Crime and Safety:

Ridgewood is generally a safe neighborhood, though areas on the Bushwick border and industrial areas on the western side are best avoided at night or when alone. Even the main drags can seem tough on a late night.

For the year-to-date (3/19/06), the 104th Precinct (including most of Ridgewood, plus Glendale, Middle Village, and Maspeth) reported: 1 murder (1 in 2005), 7 rapes (3 in 2005), 76 robberies (59 in 2005), 26 felonious assaults (34 in 2005), 96 burglaries (87 in 2005).

Media:

Since 1908, the Ridgewood Times newspaper (a.k.a. Times Newsweekly) has covered local area events and issues. It's apartment listings are the best for the Ridgewood, Glendale, and Middle Village area. Every summer-time issue includes photos of block parties in Queens, and every issue includes the section "Our Neighborhood, The Way It Was" by "the Old Timer."

Restaurants and Bars:

Bona Polish Restaurant (71-24 Fresh Pond Road) is a great local spot--heavy on the meat and gravy, but so light on the blintzes and wallet.

Myrtle Avenue is infested with cheap, greasy pizzerias. Instead, head over to 66-53 Forest Avenue for Joe's Pizzeria (also try Joe's excellent restaurant at 66-11 Forest).

The Forest Pork Store (66-39 Forest Avenue) is a last German taste in the neighborhood. Also try Bosnian beef and lamb burgers at Bosna-Express (791 Fairview Avenue).

Landmarks and Architecture:

There are more official historic districts in Ridgewood than anywhere else in Queens. A must-see is Stockholm Street, the only brick-paved block in Queens.

The Greater Ridgewood Historical Society is headquarted in the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House, a Dutch colonial farmhouse built in 1709 and one of the oldest structures in Queens. Incongruously, factories and trash surround the farmhouse's acre lot. Unbelievably, it has served as a stable, speakeasy, and factory for the Apollo space program.

Ridgewood's Famous and Dead:

Houdini, the famous contortionist, is buried in nearby Glendale's Machpelah Cemetery (Cypress Hills Street), and well-wishers continue to leave flowers to commemorate his death on Halloween.

Mobster Carmine Galante met his doom by the gun of rival mafioso in the backyard of Joe and Mary's Restaurant on Knickerbocker Avenue on the Bushwick border.

P.S. 71 graduated actor James Cagney and Yankee (and Money Store pitchman) Phil Rizzuto.

Neighborhood Basics:

  • See For Yourself: Photos of the neighborhood.
  • Shopping: Small stores (more Mom and Pop than chains) line Myrtle Avenue and Fresh Pond Road, and corner stores got the neighborhood cornered. Head to the Metro Mall on Metropolitan in Middle Village for BJs and more chains.
  • Library: 20-12 Madison Street, 718-821-4770
  • Parking: Main streets are tight, but it's usually easy to find spots on the side streets.
  • Post Office: 60-60 Myrtle Avenue, and also at 60-80 Woodbine Street
  • Hospital: Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, 374 Stockholm Street, Brooklyn, NY. ER entrance at Stanhope Street and Wyckoff Avenue.
  • Movies: Ridgewood Theater, 55-27 Myrtle Avenue, 718-821-5993. Opened in 1913, it is one of the longest continuously operated theaters in NYC.
  • Police Station: 64-02 Catalpa Avenue, 718-386-3004
  • Ridgewood Savings Bank: 71-02 Forest Avenue (at Myrtle). There are plenty of banks around, but this one is a classic, stone bank headquarters.
  • Community Board 5: 61-23 Myrtle Avenue, Glendale, NY 11385, 718-366-1834
  • Business Organizations: Fresh Pond Road Chamber of Commerce (67-09 Fresh Pond Road, 718-821-2255), Ridgewood Myrtle Avenue BID (59-09 Myrtle Avenue, 718-381-7974), Ridgewood Local Development Corporation (57-14 Myrtle Avenue, 718-366-3806)
  • Health Club: American Physique, 1661 Weirfield Street
  • Schools: NYC Public Schools in 11385 Zip
  • Original Name: South Williamsburgh
  • Zip Code: 11385 (includes part of Glendale)
  • Adjacent Neighborhoods: Middle Village, Maspeth, Glendale, Bushwick
  1. About.com
  2. Local
  3. Queens, NY
  4. Neighborhoods
  5. Ridgewood - Neighborhood Profile of Ridgewood - Queens New York

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.