Bike To: Flushing, Queens for Dim Sum

Sunday, August 9, 2009
By steven
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Flushing Mall in Queens New York, Saturday Morning (08/08/09)

Did you know you can bike to Flushing’s Chinatown in the same amount of time it takes to bike into Manhattan’s Chinatown? It’s seriously a lot closer than you imagine, and a worthwhile change in scenery.

I had a dim sum date this morning with Y. & R. from Ramen & Friends in Flushing (which I’ve never been to). I’ve actually avoided it because it looked way too deep into Queens to make a trek out there. But comparing the train ride on the (G -> 7).. the bike ride looked more efficient and seemed nicer than being trapped underground on a beautiful day.

The Recommended Route from Lower Manhattan/W’burg bridge or South W’burg:

1. Bike along Grand Ave until it becomes Broadway
(scenic points for the last 1.5 miles of this stretch. Look out for surburbia’s version of cute swedish inspired cottage buildings, and a noticeable rise in elevation to experience NY on a hill!. Also, many local chinese restaurants and food carts at this point and up to Junction Blvd)

2. R on 51st Ave -> veer left on Junction Blvd -> Take right fork on Corona Ave -> R on Roosevelt Ave

3. Roosevelt Ave
(scenic point: biking under the shelter and cool shadow of huge above-ground railway for a 2+ mile stretch. Passes baseball stadium for NY Mets. Watch out on the bridge entering downtown Flushing- it’s a bit tricky with the grating and potholes.)

4. L on College Pt Blvd followed by immediate R on 39th Ave.

5. Arrive at Ocean Jewel Seafood Restaurant 13330 39th Ave (btw College Pt Blvd & Prince St), Flushing, NY‎ – (718) 359-8600

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About: Dim Sum (pronounced deem sum in cantonese) is the Chinese equivalent of tapas and is eaten in lavish banquet halls over the din of conversation. You order from carts that are wheeled by your table or who you wave and call over; your bill is stamped and priced accordingly by dish size (small, medium, large). Menus are also on your table in case you want to order non dim-sum food in the form of large platter lunch dishes.
For more reading: Wikipedia.

What to order: Dim Sum @ Ocean Jewel Seafood Restaurant
The food is great at this restaurant and you should have no problem just speaking English.
(Standard things to order: Shrimp ball (har-gow), Shrimp Rice Noodle Roll (Har-churng), Pan fried Taro Cake (wu-tao-go) and/or Pan fried Turnip Cake (low-bok-go), any bun (bao), Egg custard.. flan in puff pastry crust (don-tot).)
The tea is especially good, we were served two kinds: first a quality Jasmine tea, finishing with a cooling Chrysanthemum tea.

Tip: Arrive at 11am to avoid an extended wait, and be sure to get a number or list your party with the front desk staff.

Avg bill including tip: $12-18 per person

More on the bike ride view:
Wow this has reaffirmed to me that New York is really beautiful. Biking through the vast NY suburbs looked so much like LA that it’s changed my perception of NY from being so Manhattan/Brooklyn big city focused.. to include the perspective of a surburban resident and diversity outside of city center. The long stretch of Grand Ave is much reminiscent of Oxford Avenue in North Berkeley, California with its quiet winding streets, elevated points where the buildings have unobscured views of sky. And the thematic Swedish cottage architecture for some corner buildings.

Total Biking Time: 35 minutes
Total Biking Distance: 7.4 miles

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