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A pseudo hipster moving to Jackson Heights

l
luckiestduck Nov 20, 2011 08:48 PM

I'm considering moving in with a friend in Jackson Heights. The apartment is nice and not too expensive, and if you have to have a roommate, it might as well be a friend. But I admit to being more of a Brooklyny pseudo hipster. I like to be able to go and write in a cool cafe, get the occasional glass of wine or cocktail at a bar. Not fancy, but not a sports bar. I fear that JH has no such thing as a cafe. Can any convince me that this is a good place to live? I know the neighborhood has great Indian food... what else does it have? Thank you!

  1. a
    AubWah Dec 30, 2011 03:16 PM

    one of the best food neighborhoods in nyc.... a lot more than indian...go for it

    1. l
      luckiestduck Nov 27, 2011 08:02 AM

      Made a trip out, and, wow! What an amazing neighborhood! I found Espresso 77 and that's plenty good enough for a little writing cafe. It'll probably take some adjusting to live there, but I had such a warm bustling feeling from the neighborhood. And, goodness, all that amazing food. Thanks for all of your tips, everyone!

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      Espresso 77
      3557 77th St, Queens, NY 11372

      4 Replies
      1. re: luckiestduck
        q
        quentinC Nov 30, 2011 11:22 AM

        I have now lived in Jackson Heights 2 of my 20 plus years in NY-- still lots to discover --- walk up 37th avenue into the upper 80's you'll find some really nice columbian, paraguayan and other mid/south american bakery/cafes that are actually quite nice to sit in with a cafe con leche and do some work-- these are the real deal, and certainly won't break the bank. No wifi I am sure, but like the rest of Jackson Heights, very open (tho a little spanish goes a long way) to any and all...

        1. re: quentinC
          c
          chasamark Nov 30, 2011 12:41 PM

          For 25 years I lived in Manhattan and did not think I would be happy anywhere else... after discovering how far my real estate $$ went I moved to Jax Hts and live close to the 82nd 7 train stop.,. It is wonderful, the neighborhood is bustling and active, the young people abound and the food is totally fabulous .... and who needs another Starbucks when there are all these other bakeries and places to try .. yea and I am glad that I speak Spanish

          1. re: chasamark
            Jeffsayyes Dec 1, 2011 12:19 PM

            would you guys keep it down? I'm thinking of buying here.

            1. re: chasamark
              JH Jill Dec 30, 2011 12:14 PM

              It's hard to believe that I've been in JH for over 20 years now. When I moved from SoCal to NYC, I naturally felt that Manhattan was the only place to be, but after 2-3 years in gentrifying Yorkville, literally watching the tenements come down and be replaced by high rises as I sat at the counter of the old Ideal German restaurant on 86th and every interesting shop and café turning into a dry cleaners or yuppie bar, I gladly fled to Little Colombia. Since I'm a Spanish translator, it's perfect for me, but even if you're not a Spanish speaker, I would recommend La Nueva bakery on 37th Ave between 86th and 87th Aves. It has a great selection of breads, pastries, sandwiches, empanadas and other Uruguayan and Argentinian products as well as enough space on weekdays that you can hang out as long as you like.

              My only caveats are that the tables are very small and round, and the coffee tends to be weak. Ask for it strong and they'll put less milk. Though it's owned by Uruguayans, it caters to Colombians as well. It's bizarre that all of the Colombian restaurants serve awful weak coffee, mostly milk and water. I've been told it's because Colombians drink it all day long. A shot of espresso at La Nueva is still espresso though.

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              La Nueva Bakery
              86-10 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

        2. l
          luckiestduck Nov 23, 2011 09:02 AM

          Thanks everyone, and thanks Glendale Is Hungry, for clarifying. You pretty much nailed it. It sounds like the options are few, but I'll check them out. I'm heading over on Friday and will try to get the lay of the land. The cafe situation doesn't seem that promising, BUT, the food looks great. I'm looking forward to exploring and discovering what's out there.

          2 Replies
          1. re: luckiestduck
            Jeffsayyes Nov 23, 2011 10:36 AM

            you really only need one place to be Yours. check out e77, JuJu's, JoJus (if it's close to where you will live). the area might be intimidating at first, it's a whole new world.

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            JoJu
            83-25 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373

            1. re: Jeffsayyes
              l
              luckiestduck Nov 23, 2011 10:59 AM

              Thanks Jeffsayyes... I think you're right about that! I'm excited at the prospect of a new world!

          2. yetta Nov 22, 2011 09:02 PM

            If you're looking for wi-fi in a cafe, you're out of luck except for the Starbucks (maybe espresso 77, not sure) but there are tons of "bakeries" which are the Latin equivalent of cafes. Neighborhood people sit and chat for a long time over South American and Central American pastries and coffee. Lots of them on 35th Avenue. You don't really see anyone sitting there with their laptops, they're sitting there with each other - but there is no reason not to be one of the first, unless, of course, you need to connect to the internet. But the sweets and the coffee is wonderful and the people, friendly.

            1. l
              luckiestduck Nov 22, 2011 09:34 AM

              Thanks everyone. This is helpful. I guess I was a little unclear... I'm more of a South Park Slope/Windsor Terrace type. Not "cool" as in Williamsburg, probably more just young and diverse, as opposed to a place where only one ethnic group goes. What I really value is having a neighborhood cafe where I can get some writing done during the day. I've always gone for neighborhood over space, but even Brooklyn is so expensive now, that I think I need to rethink that position. I'd prefer not to have to get on a train to sit with my coffee and notebook... but it might be time for a change! Thanks for all your input!

              5 Replies
              1. re: luckiestduck
                Jeffsayyes Nov 22, 2011 09:53 AM

                I like JoJu's in elmhurst for writing, accompanied by iced vietnamese coffee. not to be confused with JuJu's as mentioned above.

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                JoJu
                83-25 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373

                1. re: luckiestduck
                  Woodside Al Nov 22, 2011 10:01 AM

                  If by "diverse" you mean ethnically diverse, then this is the place. There's almost certainly no other place on the planet Earth as ethnically diverse as the Jackson Heights/Woodside/Elmhurst area, with as wide a diversity of food on offer. And if that isn't enough, a short ride on the 7 train or the E/F/R trains will take you to nearby areas with other, different, ethnicities and other ethnic culinary delights. And many of these restaurants are better and less expensive than what you would find in Manhattan or Brooklyn (including a significant amount of stuff you'd never find there), and served by very friendly people. I lived in Williamsburg and the south Slope, but when I found those areas becoming both too homogeneous and ridiculously expensive I moved here, and I've never been sorry I did.

                  But be aware these are working class areas mostly populated by people with full time jobs (or 2) or running businesses, and often with large extended families. Other than some small places like Espresso 77, or the occasional Starbucks, cafe culture has never really taken off here. Irish bar culture in Woodside, yes, and Hispanic and Asian drinking culture in JH and Elmhurst, yes, including some cool places like Terraza. But sitting around in cafes writing is simply not something most folks around here would think of doing or would have the time to do.

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                  Espresso 77
                  3557 77th St, Queens, NY 11372

                  Terraza
                  40-19 Gleane St, Queens, NY 11373

                  1. re: luckiestduck
                    g
                    Glendale is hungry Nov 22, 2011 01:23 PM

                    Hi luckiestduck,

                    I'm not that familiar with coffee places in Jackson Heights but reading between the lines I think I know the kind of place you're looking for (and then perhaps another Chowhounder might be able to chime in with a recommendation).

                    You want to be able to get work done (i.e., your writing) so I think you want a place without music that's extremely loud, ditto for other patrons.

                    You also want a place where they aren't shooing you out the door after you've been there for more than ten minutes.

                    You want a place where it's possible to actually sit comfortably—maybe even at a table—and type into a computer or write in a notebook.

                    This plus coffee. Am I correct?

                    As I said, I'm not that familiar with Jackson Heights when it comes to coffee places but I've been to a number of places meeting these requirements in Williamsburg, Greenpoint and, believe or not, Glendale.

                    (To other Chowhounders now) Assuming I'm right about what luckiestduck wants, is there any coffee place in or pretty close to Jackson Heights that fits this description?

                    I hope this helps luckiestduck!

                    Ciao,

                    Glendale is hungry...

                    1. re: Glendale is hungry
                      r
                      ravi_queens Nov 22, 2011 01:42 PM

                      Woodside Al is completely correct. Aside from Espresso 77 and Starbucks, you are not going to find the ideal coffee shop sort of culture that you are looking for.

                      Look into nearby Astoria instead. Housing stock is only a tad bit more expensive, and the amentities seem more up your alley.

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                      Espresso 77
                      3557 77th St, Queens, NY 11372

                      1. re: ravi_queens
                        e
                        ebird Nov 22, 2011 01:48 PM

                        Hey, if what the guy wants is one great cafe to write in, there's no need to tell him to move to Astoria. Come visit the apartment and check out Espresso 77 -- it's an inviting, friendly, sunlit, locally-owned cafe with tasty sandwiches, decent cookies, and (I think) a wifi connection.

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                        Espresso 77
                        3557 77th St, Queens, NY 11372

                  2. Jeffsayyes Nov 22, 2011 07:27 AM

                    JuJu's is the new alternative to espresso 77. people get cocktails at novo, and places on northern, but not really pseudo hipsters. You will probably like terraza, but it's colombian hipster, not american hipster - so not really the same annoying people as you would find in williamsburg.

                    my favorite bar nearby has always be the Quays in astoria. There are also bars in the irish part of woodside that might do you good like cuckoo's nest, saints and sinners, starting gate, sean ogs. but these are from from hipster hangouts. sean ogs turns nepalese at night, I believe.

                    If you move here, you will probably change your social habits and preferences, or spend more time in manhattan.

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                    Saints & Sinners
                    59-21 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                    The Cuckoo's Nest
                    61-04 Woodside Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                    Starting Gate
                    59-10 Woodside Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                    Sean Og's
                    60-02 Woodside Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                    The Quays
                    45-02 30th Ave, Queens, NY 11103

                    Terraza
                    40-19 Gleane St, Queens, NY 11373

                    Juju's Bagel Cafe
                    35-62 76th St, Queens, NY 11372

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Jeffsayyes
                      w
                      Widmark Nov 22, 2011 06:58 PM

                      Also worth mentioning is the recent arrival of Lucid Cafe in Woodside. No, it is not Variety or Guerilla or something, but it's a big improvement over "Cafescape" which was an improvement over "Esparks" which was an improvement over the Hallmark store it used to be. They at least seem to actually like coffee.

                    2. s
                      SarahC Nov 21, 2011 08:02 PM

                      There are a few places you might like in JH, Espresso 77, Table Wine for tastings and Terraza Cafe. It's not Williamsburg, but there are rumblings....

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                      Espresso 77
                      3557 77th St, Queens, NY 11372

                      Table Wine
                      79-14 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

                      Terraza
                      40-19 Gleane St, Queens, NY 11373

                      1. f
                        ForestHillsFresser Nov 21, 2011 02:36 PM

                        JH is definitely not Williamsburg. If by "cool cafe" you mean "trendy" I think you'll be disappointed. JH is very ethnic, but not just Indian. In fact, there are fewer and fewer Indians in JH. Replacing the Indians are Bangladeshis. JH also has great Mexican, Ecuadorean, Colombian and other Latino eats. It's really an international crossroads, and within a few blocks of JH in Woodside you have great Filipino and Thai. There are Korean restaurants and Tibetan restaurants as well.

                        If you want trendy hipster-like cafes, it's a short train ride to Astoria where you can hang out at the Moroccan and Eqyptian hookah bars.

                        Maybe someone will disagree and say JH has "cool cafes" but I'm not aware of any.

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