Flushing is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens in the United States. While much of the neighborhood is residential, Downtown Flushing, centered on the northern end of Main Street in Queens, is a large commercial and retail area and is the fourth largest central business district in New York City.
Flushing’s diversity is reflected by the numerous ethnic groups that reside there, including people of Asian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, European, and African American ancestry. It is part of the Fifth Congressional District, which encompasses the entire northeastern shore of Queens County, and extends into neighboring Nassau County. Flushing is served by five railroad stations on the Long Island Rail Road Port Washington Branch, as well as the New York City Subway‘s IRT Flushing Line (7 <7> trains), which has its terminus at Main Street. The intersection of Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue is the third busiest intersection in New York City, behind Times and Herald Squares.
The neighborhood of Flushing is part of Queens Community Board 7 and the broader district of Flushing in Queens County. The Flushing “neighborhood” is bounded by Flushing Meadows–Corona Park to the west, Kissena Boulevard to the east, the Long Island Expressway to the south, and Willets Point Boulevard to the north.
ZIP codes beginning with 113 are administered from a sectional center at the Post Office. The 113-prefixed area extends northwest from Broadway-Flushing, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights, south into Ridgewood, Forest Hills and Fresh Meadows, and Murray Hill, Bayside and Little Neck to the east.
In the 1970s, a Chinese community established a foothold in the neighborhood , whose demographic constituency had been predominantly non-Hispanic white, interspersed with a small Japanese community. This wave of immigrants from Taiwan were the first to arrive and developed Flushing’s Chinatown. It was known as Little Taipei or Little Taiwan. Along with immigrants from Taiwan at this time, a large South Korean population also called Flushing home.
Before the 1970s, Cantonese immigrants had vastly dominated Chinese immigration to New York City; however during the 1970s, the Taiwanese immigrants were the first wave of Chinese immigrants who spoke Mandarin rather than Cantonese to arrive in New York City. Due to the dominance of Cantonese-speaking immigrants, who were largely working-class in Manhattan’s Chinatown, as well as the language barrier and poor housing conditions there, Taiwanese immigrants, who were more likely to have attained higher educational standards and socioeconomic status, could not relate to Manhattan’s Chinatown, and chose to settle in Flushing instead. As the Taiwanese population grew, a Flushing Chinatown was created with a higher standard of living and better housing conditions.
Over the years, many new non-Cantonese ethnic Chinese immigrants from different regions and provinces of China started to arrive in New York City. This led to the creation of a more Mandarin-speaking Chinatown or Mandarin Town that gradually replaced Little Taipei. This wave of immigrants spoke Mandarin and various regional/provincial dialects. Like the Taiwanese, they faced cultural and communication problems in Manhattan’s Cantonese-speaking Chinatown and settled in Flushing as well as Elmhurst, Queens, which also has a significant Mandarin-speaking population. Flushing’s Chinese population became very diverse over the next few decades as people from different provinces started to arrive, infusing their varied languages and cultures into its Chinatown.
Flushing and its Chinatown abuts the rapidly growing Long Island Koreatown as well. Koreatown originated in Flushing before sprawling eastward along Northern Boulevard and eventually into Nassau County. This Koreatown abuts the rapidly growing Flushing Chinatown as well.