Astoria Heights, Queens
|Neighborhoods of New York City|
|Nickname(s): Upper Ditmars|
|Named for||John Jacob Astor|
|Area code(s)||718, 347, 917|
Astoria Heights more commonly referred to as "Upper Ditmars" is a district in New York City borough of Queens. It is bounded by Hazen Street and Astoria to the West, La Guardia Airport to the East, Bowery Bay to the North, and Astoria Boulevard and the Grand Central Parkway to the South. It is mostly a quiet middle class neighborhood of 1 and 2 family private homes.
The Riker-Lent Homestead is near the north end of Astoria Heights at 78-03 19th Road. Built around 1655 by Abraham Riker under a patent from Nieuw Nederland's last governor, Peter Stuyvesant, it is believed to be the oldest remaining dwelling in New York City still used as a residence. There is an adjacent family cemetery. The Smiths, who bought the house in 1975, have been restoring it for many years. The annual public tour was given usually in mid-September by the owners for the benefit of a local historical society, but has since ceased to occur.
Before Prohibition, there were dance halls, picnic areas and amusement park rides at North Beach.
The Rikers Island Bridge to New York City's main prison, Rikers Island, runs from the north end of Hazen Street. Technically, Rikers Island is in the Bronx since New York City took it over from Long Island City in 1884, after it had annexed the South Bronx but before it consolidated Queens. However, like Astoria Heights, Rikers Island gets its mail from the East Elmhurst (Zip code 11370) station of the Flushing Post Office.
If you walk or drive from Astoria along Ditmars Boulevard or 21st Avenue, you will notice that the street numbers suddenly jump 25 or so blocks. This is because the streets in Astoria within the former city of Long Island City lean east of north whereas Astoria Heights streets, in the former town of Newtown, lean west of north.