Hollis is a middle class neighborhood within the southeastern section of the New York City borough of Queens. A predominantly African American community, the boundaries are considered to be the Far Rockaway Branch of the Long Island Rail Road to the west, Hillside Avenue to the north, Francis Lewis Boulevard to the east (although parts of Queens Village are addressed as Hollis on Jamaica water bills) and Murdock Avenue to the south. Much of this area is considered to be within the St. Albans postal district. Hollis is close to Jamaica and Queens Village, Queens. The neighborhood is part of Queens Community Board 12. Hollis is patrolled by the NYPD's 113th Precinct.
The first European settlers were Dutch homesteaders in the 17th century. A century later, early in the American Revolutionary War, it was the site of part of the Battle of Long Island, a battle in which the rebel Brigadier General Nathaniel Woodhull was captured at a tavern on what is now Jamaica Avenue. Woodhull Avenue in Hollis is named after him.
The area remained rural until 1885, when developers turned 136 acres (55 ha) into houses, and the area is still developed primarily with single-family houses. In 1898, it became a part of New York City with the rest of the borough of Queens. Since the end of the Korean War, the neighborhood has been settled primarily by African-American families. In recent years, the area has seen a large influx of South Asians and West Indians. The area has a majority of working parents with many early childhood schools in Hollis. Hollis is mainly within zip code 11423.
Long Island Rail Road service is available at the Hollis station, located at 193rd Street and Woodhull Avenue. The station is served exclusively by Hempstead Branch trains. The Q2 and Q110 bus pass from Jamaica into Hollis and out to Queens Village.
The New York City Department of Education operates public schools.
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Since the rise of hip-hop, the neighborhood has been a hotbed of rap talent, sparked primarily by the fact that hip-hop producer and icon Russell Simmons is from this community, as is his brother Joseph, who along with two other neighborhood residents, formed the rap group Run-D.M.C. (who had a hit with the seasonal song "Christmas in Hollis"). Young MC (winner of the second and final Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance), Ja Rule and DJ Hurricane are also from Hollis. LL Cool J was from nearby St. Albans.
Other notable residents include:
- Brian Hardgroove, bass player, Public Enemy (group)
- Byron Brown (1958-), mayor of Buffalo, New York
- Art Buchwald (1925–2007), political humorist
- Lani Guinier (1950-), civil rights legal scholar
- Ja Rule (b. 1976), rapper
- Daymond John (b. 1969), founder and CEO of FUBU
- Run DMC, Hip-Hop group
- Rev. Al Sharpton (b. 1954), civil rights activist
- Stephen A. Smith (b. 1967), ESPN sports personality
- Jaki Byard (1922–1999), Jazz musician
- Lee Q. O'Denat, founder of World Star Hip Hop
- Royal Ivey, NBA Basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers
- LL Cool J (b. 1968), Rapper
- Black, Rock and Ron
Gregory Weldon Meeks (1953- ) U.S. Representative for New York's 6th congressional district
Gloster B. Current,(1913-1997) former deputy executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People also the National Director of Branches and Field Administration of the N.A.A.C.P. during the Civil Rights Movement