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At the 165th Street Mall in Jamaica, Queens, stores selling clothes, sneakers, jewelry, wigs and tattoos line both sides of the outdoor shopping

There's More than You Think to the County Seat of Queens

Most New Yorkers only set foot in Jamaica if they catch the Air Train to JFK or serve jury duty at Queens County Court. Besides being a transportation hub, the Queens county seat has quiet oak-lined streets, top-notch Caribbean restaurants, and one of the best college basketball teams in the country.

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At a Glance

  • Famous faces: Rappers Nicki Minaj and 50 Cent both hail from South Jamaica.
  • Namesake: The name Jamaica most likely came from Jameco, the word for beaver in the language of the Yamecah, the Indians who first inhabited the area.
  • Shop talk: America's first supermarket, King Kullen, opened in Jamaica in 1930.

Nearby Neighborhoods

About Jamaica

One of the oldest settlements in Queens, Jamaica has been around for over three hundred years, and is currently home to a diverse mix of African-Americans, Caribbean Islanders, South Americans and South Asians. Known for its role as both the county seat and as a transportation hub connecting commuters to Long Island and travelers to John F. Kennedy Airport, Jamaica's downtown area has been undergoing a slow revitalization. Dominican and Latin American food is available within blocks of the Read More [+]

LIVING in Queens

Score a deal on rent (photo: iStockphoto)

9 Ways to Score a Rent Deal

New York City is one of the most expensive cities in the United States, if not the world, in which to live. It’s not unusual for even studio apartments to go for $2,000 a month. Given that most landlords want your annual income to be at least Read More »

Tunnel at the Brooklyn Children's Museum

The Best Museums for Kids

Visiting New York City with kids can be a daunting affair. As parents, you want to keep them entertained but also make sure they get something out of the experience. Museums are an obvious choice, but how do you know which ones are worth the time and money? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Read More »


ethnic eats

Ethnic Eats: Best Places to Shop and Snack

New York City has been known as the “Great Melting Pot” since the early 1900s, and all those years of cultural diversity have had quite a positive impact on its food.Wandering from borough to borough and neighborhood to neighborhood, nomadic Read More »

Edgar Allen Poe Greenwich Village Tour

12 Tours Even Locals Will Love

New Yorkers have a reputation for rolling their eyes when it comes to tours of the city. After all, when you live here, why pay money to walk around your own backyard? As it turns out, there are fascinating, information-packed tours out there even skeptical NYC locals are sure to love. Read More »

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