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Yes, everyone you know suddenly became a diehard Mets fan this year, but are all your friends really, truly, about to start fleeing their respective boroughs for Queens? According to AM New York that exodus has already happened, and StreetEasy made the rather bold prediction that Jamaica will be next year's hottest neighborhood. Even Bushwick Daily now has an entire section of the site devoted to happenings in nearby Ridgewood, where new cocktail bars and restaurants are sprouting up like weeds.
More tangibly, if the latest round of market reports are to be believed, prices are now rising faster in Queens than in Manhattan or Brooklyn. Of course, developers rushing to build (and fill) new developments in areas like Long Island City and Flushing have a vested interest in a general perception that the borough is the city's next hip destination.
But more to the point, people seem to be figuring out that Queens still offers a relatively affordable alternative to most parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan, has its own cultural and culinary attractions (for my money, it's got Brooklyn beat when it comes to food), and perhaps most enticingly, is far less crowded with tourists and would-be scenesters.
That seems to be the surprisingly frank takeaway from a travel piece on Queens in The Independent this week (you know the hype has gotten serious when it's coming from all the way across the pond), in which writer Mark C O'Flaherty enumerates the various attractions of Long Island City and Astoria, and very correctly concludes, "It's a happening place, but there's nothing irritating about it. Go now. In five years things will be dramatically different."
And honestly, "there's nothing irritating about it" might be the most enticing siren song we've ever heard to lure us to a new neighborhood (or borough). See you all on the 7 train next year?