Want to see it? There are lots of subway lines radiating out from Midtown Manhattan into western Queens, but only one is a National Millennium Trail. Hop aboard the "International Express," or #7 Flushing Local, to get a flavorful taste of this diverse borough in one afternoon.
The subway's got its nickname by serving a span of interconnected neighborhoods bustling with immigrants and new Americans from across the globe -- literally everywhere -- from Pakistan to Ireland, from Ecuador to China. It has been a corridor of immigration for almost a hundred years since the subway opened in 1913.
The nationalities represented may have changed (and expanded), but a ride on the 7 train is a great journey into the American experience of immigration, past and present. This is why the #7 was honored by the White House as a National Millennium Trail, right up there with the Appalachian Trail and the Iditarod.
So, why visit? The food -- the honest ethnic eats -- is the number one reason by far. The art and jazz museums and the area's history are all worth it, too.
Start your journey on the 7 in Grand Central Station. What follows are the neighborhood highlights as the train rolls through western Queens. Can you do it all in a day? I wouldn't. Choose a couple areas to visit that sound interesting and plan to spend a few hours.