A Tour of New York City's Most Culturally Diverse Neighborhood

New York is a city of superlatives. A new series of walking tours around the city, led by the New York Times architecture critic, draws out the many examples of the city's exceptionalism.

1 minute read

September 10, 2020, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Jackson Heights, Queens

Diversity Plaza in Jackson Heights, Queens. Pictured in 2012. | quiggyt4 / Shutterstock

Michael Kimmelman is providing a colorful series of articles that share walks around various corners of New York City. They latest walk tours Jackson Heights, a "global town square" that is the most diverse neighborhood in New York, and potentially the world, according to the article. 

The brainchild of commercial real estate developers in the early years of the last century who hoped to entice white, middle-class Manhattanites seeking a suburban lifestyle a short subway ride away, Jackson Heights has become a magnet for Latinos, those who identify as L.G.B.T.Q., South Asians and just about everybody else seeking a foothold in the city and a slice of the American pie.

Suketu Mehta, a New York University professor and the author of Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found and This Land Is Our Land: An Immigrant’s Manifesto, guides Kimmelman on this tour through a rapidly changing neighborhood (even by New York standards, according to Kimmelman). Mehta gives the a corner of the neighborhood called Diversity Plaza exceedingly high praise: "If I were Baudelaire, this is where I would do my flâneur thing."

The interactive article provides incredible detail on the numerous cultural revelations available in the details of photos taken around the neighborhood. The previous installation of the series toured Harlem.

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