I have the perfect day planned for you if you’re looking for unique things to do and see in NYC in Queens! Things to see in Flushing, Queens to be exact! I love traveling, shocker, I know. But I love being a tourist in New York City where I live. No matter how many places I visit, I could go somewhere new every weekend and never run out of things to do. This weekend we decided to make a visit to the Queens Museum, the Canteen at Ganeshe Temple (widely regarded as the best Indian in New York) and the Lemon Ice King of Corona.
We started the day out at the Ganesh Temple Canteen. This ain’t your typical luxury restaurant, I warn you. But this is a travel blog about the best that the world has to offer, so for good food, I’ll go pretty much anywhere. So, on the quest to try what Eater calls one of New York’s quintessential 38 restaurants to try, we came to the Ganesh Temple Canteen. It’s a cafeteria in the basement of a Hindu temple in Flushing, Queens. If you can imagine, it is about as no-frills as dining gets. Paper and Styrofoam plates, plastic utensils on trays and tables you bus yourself. But the service at the counter was friendly as can be. The woman who helped us gave us great recommendations and was very welcoming (we were clearly outsiders).
The Ganesh Temple Canteen did not disappoint and definitely lived up to its reputation as one of the best and most authentic South Indian restaurants. Oh and it’s super cheap! Get a Dosa for sure–it’s a delicious crepe made from rice and lentil dough. Oh and it’s all vegetarian. Totally worth the trip to Queens alone.
After lunch we headed over to the Queens Museum, which has been on my bucket list of things to see and do in NYC forever! The museum is housed in a building that from 1946-1950 served as the home of the General Assembly of the United Nations. This is where UNICEF was established and also where the partitions were made for Korea and Palestine! It’s also the former site of the 1964/65 World’s Fair.
The Queens Museum has plenty of amazing exhibits in its permanent collection (many consist of items from the World’s Fair. There are also though pieces by Dali and Daily News Archived photos that are interesting. There is also a great exhibit on Tiffany Glass. You may not realize (as I did not) but Tiffany used to have a glass house in Corona, Queens where it employed chemists to experiment with new glass recipes to make the bright colors! The experimentation that took place here was a fiercely guarded secret. Queens at the time was pretty rural so Tiffany was pleased it was away from prying eyes. The exhibit features several objects and lamps.
The most famous permanent exhibit though is definitely The Panorama of the City of New York. This is the crown jewel of the Queens Museum if you ask me. It took more than 100 people almost 3 years to build this work of art. It’s an exact scaled replica of what New York City was like at the time! 1 inch is equivalent to 100 feet. The lighting even replicates teh day going from dawn to dusk! And there are real tiny moving airplanes that land at LaGuardia every minute. Oh and if you look at two islands in Jamaica Bay two workers left their names spelled in shrubbery! Look for Bill and Ed! haha.
Before you leave the Queens Museum, you have to check out the Unisphere! It’s breathtaking and just so iconic. One of the most famous symbols of the World’s Fair. You may recognize it from various movies, TV shows, etc. It was in the video ‘Mo Money, Mo Problems (featuring Puff Daddy, Mase and Notorious BIG), the movies Captain America, Men in Black and Iron Man just to name a few!
And before you head back to wherever it is you’re from. Don’t forget to try the Lemon Ice King of Corona! The Benfaremo family have been making Italian ices for over 60 years. The “King,” Peter Benfaremo turned Italian ices into art. They use real fruit and there is no way to describe the unique texture. A must try!
FYI I paid for everything we did in this post 🙂 But as always you can’t buy the love here anyway!