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The Many Moods of Corona, Queens

Corona Queens was originally called West Flushing and was renamed Corona either after the local Crown Construction Company or by a local Postmaster who thought that Corona was the "crown jewel of Queens County. Corona's population of approximately 100,000 is on par with cities such as Boca Raton, Florida, Santa Monica California and Flint, Michigan. Originally farmland, the railroad opened in the 1850's and once the Queensboro Bridge (now the Edward I. Koch Bridge) opened in 1909 and the #7 subway arrived in 1917, Corona and surrounding neighborhoods were destined for dense urbanization.

Originally inhabited by Irish, German and Italian Immigrants, along with Jewish people, over the past 50 years Corona has taken on a pan-Latin flavor with numerous restaurants and street vendors offering up Mexican, Columbian, Dominican, El Salvadoran and Chilean food.

While Corona is not one of NYC's more aesthetically appealing neighborhoods, there are a number of attractions and landmarks: An array of 19th century churches; a historic synagogue where cosmetics queen Estee Lauder and her family were members; delectable street food (including one food wagon offering ceviche); the famed Lemon Ice King of Corona; some quaint older homes; and remnants of the Italian Immigrant community. Worth a special trip is the 100-year old 3rd generation family business Leo's Latticini, offering home-made mozzerella, salamis, pastas, olives and much more. Mama's, the companion bakery/deli a few doors down, has a backyard garden and delectable pastries.

Pictured above left is the entrance to the Tiffany School, a public elementary school (2014) built on the site of the Stourbridge Glass Factory, created by Louis Comfort Tiffany in the 1890's. Handmade (fevrile glass) production lasted at this factory until the early 1930's when the depression hit hard. In addition to the Tiffany lamps on display at the nearby Queens Museum, the New York Historical Society on Central Park West has an extensive Tiffany collection, and numerous houses of worship are adorned with Tiffany stained glass windows.

Corona also includes Flushing Meadow Corona Park, one of the city's largest, that includes The NY Hall of Science, the Queens Zoo and the Queens Museum. The park was first created for the 1939 World's Fair. The building housing the museum was originally the New York City Pavilion and subsequently the first headquarters of the UN General Assembly while the main UN campus was being constructed on the East Side of Manhattan. There are also remnants of the 1964 World's Fair, including the Unisphere (pictured above right). The Unisphere, a huge globe of earth, has become a symbol of Queens, which is considered the most diverse county in the world.

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