Woodside pulls off a series of often-difficult balancing acts: it’s an attractive place to live, but neither pretentious nor snooty; it’s diverse but still has its own strong identity; and it’s urban but with open spaces and room to breathe. The area is to the east of Astoria and Sunnyside, with Queens Boulevard and I-278 acting as unofficial borders.
Public transportation is great, with both local and express stops for the #7 line into Manhattan, plus several stops for the E, F, M and R lines, with onwards connections to JFK. Woodside has its own station on the Long Island Rail Road, while several buses can get you direct to other locations including LaGuardia.
The 89,000 citizens are mainly working age adults, though there are plenty of families in the area. Historically Woodside was a predominately Irish-American area, something that’s still reflected in the neighborhood’s bar scene, but today there’s a diverse population split roughly evenly between white, Hispanic and Asian people, with around 13,000 of Filipino extraction, many living in an area known as ‘Little Manila.’
The area is well-served by public schools covering all ages, many of which have test performance that compares favorably to New York State as a whole. Woodside’s public parks such as Doughboy Plaza and Lawrence Virgilio aren’t huge, but they are well-equipped, with the latter including a running track and outdoor pool. You’ll find a good mix of smaller stores, national chain superstores and diverse restaurants.
Most Woodside apartments are in comparatively small blocks, with only a few giant towers, allowing the area to offer a good choice of rental properties without the neighborhood feeling claustrophobic. Many of the apartments in Woodside are side by side with streets of private homes, so there’s a good community vibe that can sometimes almost feel like suburbs despite being so close to Manhattan.