Living in Rego Park

Forest Hills

Located 40 minutes out of midtown Manhattan by train and close to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park and the Queens Center Mall, Rego Park is popular for those raising a family.

Centrally located in the heart of Queens, Rego Park is a thriving community with homes ranging from well kept detached houses to pre-war and luxury apartment buildings. Its vibrant commercial centers along Queens Blvd. provide a shopping destination for residents throughout the borough.

The area was first settled by Dutch, English and German families who farmed the land, once known as Hempstead Swamp, for markets in Manhattan. By the beginning of the 20th century these farms had been bought by Chinese immigrants, who sold their produce to residents of Manhattan’s Chinatown.

In 1909 the Queensboro Bridge was completed and a new avenue, appropriately named Queens Blvd., was opened. Enterprising investors began to buy land that was once used as farm land, for residential development. In 1925, with WW1 in the rear view mirror, the REal GOod Construction Company, renamed the area Rego Park, and began to build both one family homes and apartment buildings along Queens Blvd. Confirming the wisdom of their projections as to the value of the area for residential development, was the opening of the IND Subway line along Queens Blvd.

Today, the varied community of Rego Park is a reflection of the population of NYC and the surrounding neighborhoods of Queens. which is home to one of the most diverse populations in the United States. The flavors of this cultural assortment are apparent in its many ethnic shops, restaurants and houses of worship. The art deco style Rego Park Jewish Center, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1939. Carved into its façade are Old Testament scenes and symbols retelling the story of Jewish history. Immigrant populations from Albania, Israel, Romania, Iran, Colombia, South Asia, China, Bulgaria, Peru, and South Korea are also represented in the neighborhood, provided their varied flavors to many of the restaurants and stores in the community.

The Community House

Today, the varied community of Rego Park is a reflection of the population of NYC and the surrounding neighborhoods of Queens. which is home to one of the most diverse populations in the United States. The flavors of this cultural assortment are apparent in its many ethnic shops, restaurants and houses of worship. The art deco style Rego Park Jewish Center, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1939. Carved into its façade are Old Testament scenes and symbols retelling the story of Jewish history. Immigrant populations from Albania, Israel, Romania, Iran, Colombia, South Asia, China, Bulgaria, Peru, and South Korea are also represented in the neighborhood, provided their varied flavors to many of the restaurants and stores in the community.

Notable Areas of Rego Park

  • The Crescents is an area of one family homes with streets laid out in a crescent pattern. Street names, including Asquith, Boelsen, Cromwell, Dieterle, Elwell and Fitchett were chosen when the Real Good Construction Company developed the area in the 1920s.
  • 63rd Road and Drive is the downtown shopping area of Rego Park. Originally it was called Remsen’s Lane, named after the Remsen family who lived along the road.
  • Queens Boulevard is the main thoroughfare running from the base of the Queensboro Bridge to Jamaica. Onc e a dirt road used to carry produce to market, it now is composed of 12 lanes running through Rego Park along which large apartment buildings and shopping centers are located.

Notable Community Organizations

  • Rego Park Green Alliance - active in the community planting flowers and trees, arranging the installation of new garbage cans, pushing for the repair of sidewalks and creating a large mural celebrating the neighborhood under the LIRR overpass on 63rd Drive
  • Friends of the Queensway is another area organization. Its goal is to convert the abandoned Rockaway Beach rail line in Rego Park into a park, similar to the High Line in Manhattan, that would create parkland as well as a safe space for bikers, runners and leisure time walkers.

Public Schools - Rego Park's public elementary schools, include:

P.S. 139

P.S. 139

  • P.S. 139 (Rego Park School, grades K-5)
  • P.S. 174 (William Sidney Mount School, grades K-6)
  • P.S. 175 (the Lynn Gross Discovery School, grades preK-5
  • P.S. 206 (the Horace Harding School, grades K-5)
  • P.S. 220 (Edward Mandel School, grades preK-5)

All areas in Rego Park are zoned for J.H.S. 157 (Stephen A. Halsey School, grades 6-9) or J.H.S.190 (Russell Sage School, grades 7-9) in Forest Hills. Students can apply to high schools throughout New York City including nearby Forest Hills High School.

Other Interesting Facts about Rego Park

Green Book map

Green Book map

Rego Park in TV and Film

  • Rego Park was the setting of the 1980s sitcom Dear John, which centered around the fictional "Rego Park Community Center."
  • The CBS sitcom The King of Queens is set in Rego Park, and sometimes shows clips of the area.
  • What Happened to Anna K.: A Novel by Irina Reyn is set in Rego Park. Most of the characters are Bukharan Jews who have emigrated from the Soviet Union.
  • Brooklyn's Finest, a 2010 release, was filmed in part in Rego Park.
  • A substantial part of Art Spiegelman's graphic novel Maus, a biographical account of his father, a Holocaust survivor, is set in Rego Park.
  • The 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street was filmed in part in Rego Park, at the Shalimar Diner.
  • In an episode of General Hospital originally aired on May 26, 2015, Denise, an emerging character, claims that she's from Rego Park.

The Shops at Atlas Park" located just southwest of Forest Hills at the intersection of Cooper Avenue and 80th Street, feature a variety of high end shops, speciality food merchants, restaurants and programmed activities, concerts and festivities set within a park environment. Convenient parking makes this an unbeatable shopping destination and center for entertainment for all ages. Also located within a short drive or by subway or bus is the newly expanded Queens Center Mall that provides a full array of shopping experience.

Notable current and former residents of Rego Park

  • Sid Caesar (1922-2014), actor, comedian
  • Eddie Egan (1930-1995), New York City Police Department detective
  • Vera-Ellen (1921-1981), actress and dancer
  • Rosco Gordon (1928-2002), blues singer and songwriter
  • June Havoc (1912-2010), actress
  • Aram Haigaz (1900-1986), Armenian writer
  • Steve Hofstetter (born 1979), comedian, radio personality
  • August Howard (1910-1988), founder of the American Polar Society in 1934
  • Malika Kalontarova (born 1950), Central Asian dancer known as the "Queen of Eastern Dance" (People's Artist of USSR)
  • Fatima Kuinova, Central Asian singer, one of the leading singers in the Soviet Union (Merited Artist of USSR)
  • Gypsy Rose Lee, American burlesque entertainer
  • Robert Lipsyte, sports journalist
  • Tommy Ramone, drummer of The Ramones
  • Dave Rubinstein, singer of Reagan Youth
  • Bobby Schayer, former drummer of Bad Religion
  • Fred Silverman, television producer
  • Tommy Ramone, drummer of The Ramones
  • Art Spiegelman, Pulitzer Prize–winning artist who made Rego Park the setting for significant scenes in Maus, his graphic novel about the Holocaust.

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