If you have ever been to/live in NYC, you have most definitely heard “You want good Arepas? Go to Queens!” Great Feijoada? Tamal? Asado? Queens, Queens and Queens! So why is it that this melting pot of cultures has such a significant Latin American influence? According to 2015 Census figures, more than half the residents of the largest borough of NYC, are of international ethnicities. What this means, is that Queens is home to New York’s largest Peruvian, Brazilian, Cuban, Colombian populations—to name just a few. There are plenty more statistics we could toss around, but we’d rather talk about how this cultural concentration happened!
We go all the way back to 1960s. This is the time when Fidel came to his full power which led to the fleeing of a significant population of upper class Cubans to USA to seek political asylum. A lot of them settled in Miami but there were a handful who began venturing up north to be in NYC - then (& still!) a cultural melting pot that was very open to internationals. This time also coincided with Anglo-Germans & Irish of NYC moving to the suburbs to live the “house with picket fence” life. Their migration to suburbs opened up more space which caused more Cubans to come to NYC. By the end of the 60’s Queens had become a mainly Cuban community.
Word spread of Queen’s growing Spanish community (Yes, Cubans speak Spanish!) which encouraged other Latin America immigrants to begin moving to Queens. Soon, Queens transformed from being a predominantly Cuban community to a pan-American community composed of various Latin American flavors! Of course, Queens today is not a Latin-only neighborhood – there is Flushing where you find mostly Chinese & Koreans; Jackson Heights where you will see mostly South Asians and then there is Corona – a mile and a quarter area in north-central Queens which now houses Cubans, Colombians, Peruvians, Mexicans, Dominicans, Brazilians… whose American experience is like a perfect salad – ingredients lie side by side, mixing but still retaining their look & flavor….
….So hungry for some really good Latin food & music?! Meet Nick – our MYrago NYC Ambassador and the biggest fanatic of Latin Food! In search of unique and the delicious Latin flavors, he will cruise you through Roosevelt Avenue and Northern Boulevard, traverse Broadway from Astoria to Elmhurst, to have the BEST Latin Food you will ever have in NYC! After your bellies are fool, you will head to a local Jazz joint to enjoy some Latin music! Did you know Louis Armstrong lived in Queens till his death? Yup, one of the greats of Jazz is a Queens-native, so you know the music has to be AMAZING! Check out the details of your Queens Latin excursion right here!