Close-Up on Glendale, Queens


Portions of this article have been updated.

Glendale contains more headstones than living, breathing residents. Creepy? Sobering? Maybe, but that statistic lends a serene aestheticism to the neighborhood’s bustling businesses, providing the pizzerias and boutiques with a floral-cemetery backdrop. “It’s kind of cool,” says 16-year-old Toni-Ann, discussing the community’s backyard burial grounds, among which are Machpelah Cemetery, Mount Carmel Cemetery, and Mt. Lebanon, the city’s “first indoor Jewish-community mausoleum for aboveground burials,” according to its keepers. Courtyards and gardens smell lemony-fresh, with ample space for running, card-playing, and freestyle skateboarding—though, as 15-year-old Renée reports, “You can’t get away with nothing around here. Everybody knows each other; it all gets back to your family.” Final resting place for some, first-stop walking tour for others, this multiethnic area offers plenty of panoramic views and is merely 30 minutes from Union Square. German, eastern European, Chinese, and Dominican families await your visit. Let the line-dancing begin.

Boundaries: Long Island Rail Road tracks to the north, Woodhaven Boulevard to the east, cemeteries to the south, and Fresh Pond Road to the west.

Transportation: From Manhattan, take the L train to Myrtle Avenue and transfer to the Q55 until you see funeral parlors and cemeteries. From Carroll Gardens, take the M train to Myrtle Avenue and transfer similarly. Motorists can weave through Jackie Robinson Expressway traffic to exit 4, which leads you to Forest Park Drive.

Main Drags: Myrtle Avenue attracts street ballers, stroller-pushers, and sketchpad artists of all ages, with banks and bagel shops dotting the sidewalks. Austin Street answers late-night calls for food and fun, with its smattering of delis and bars.

Average Price to Rent: One-bedrooms: $900 to $1100 ($800 to $1000); two-bedrooms: $1200 to $1400 ($1000 to $1300); three-bedrooms: $1200 to $1600 ($1300 to $1500).

Average Price to Buy: Two-bedroom houses range in price from $300,000 to $450,000 ($300,000 to $400,000); three-bedrooms from $650,000 to $900,000 ($400,000 to $500,000). Sleek, ultramodern castle-like homes are also available.

Green Space: Patchy foliage lines residential streets, but the ominous Forest Park dominates, featuring tennis courts, golf courses, and plenty of space for sun-bathers.

Local Landmarks: Though technically in Forest Hills, Eddies Sweet Shop (105-29 Metropolitan Avenue) deserves award, award, and award for its authentically churned ice cream that Eddie has reportedly been making in his
basement for over 50 years. The Q54 bus will take you there. A landmark like no other.

Best Restaurants: Glendale Diner (71-08 Myrtle Avenue), located on an unassuming street corner with easy parking, heats up on weekends, when teenagers’ table-manners turn to mush but french fries remain crisp. Belmont Steaks (79-11 Myrtle Avenue), a costlier, fourtysomething divorcée-magnet with long tables and dimmer decor, serves pork chops dressed in applejack gravy for $14.95. Sal’s Sweet Shop (65-47 Myrtle Avenue) offers a viscous vanilla egg cream, and let’s not skip over Glendale Pizza (68-27 Myrtle Avenue), which serves a scrumptious upside-down Sicilian slice (cheese on bottom, sauce on top) for the price of a subway token.

Best Bars: Dan Folley’s (81-01 Myrtle Avenue), an “upscale Irish pub,” according to a host there, offers private booths for wining and dining in the lap of luxury. Clientele seems chiller at Eagle’s Pub (65-52 Myrtle Ave.), which looks and feels like a post-game crash pad by contrast, but serves similarly satiating drinks.

Politicians: Councilman Dennis P. Gallagher, Republican; Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio, Democrat; State Senator Serphin R. Maltese, Republican; and Congresspeople Joseph Crowley, Nydia M. Velazquez, and Anthony D. Weiner, all Democrats.

Happenings: St. Pancras School (69-20 Myrtle Avenue) offers recreational sports, word has it, but Forest Park is the place to scour for summertime concerts, circuses, and carousel rides. Chess players and glassblowers can
meet through Christ the King’s continuing education classes (718-366-7400 ext. 270); previous experience is not required.

Crime Stats: The 104th Precinct serves Glendale, Ridgewood, Middle Village, and Maspeth. As of November 22, 2005, it reported 2 murders, 209 rapes, 157 robberies, 431 felony assaults, and 477 burglaries. (As of September 14, it reported one murder, down one from last year; 10 rapes, down four; 279 robberies, up 10; 159 felonious assaults, up two; and 540 burglaries, down 10.)