Rego Park, Queens, New York City
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Rego Park is a neighborhood in the central portion of the New York City borough of Queens. It is bordered to the north by Elmhurst and Corona, the east and south by Forest Hills and the west by Middle Village.
A swath of farmland until the early 20th century, the area that came to be called Rego Park was once populated by Dutch & German farmers who sold their produce in Manhattan. The name "Rego Park" came from the REal GOod Construction Company, which began development of the area in the mid 1920's, starting with 525 eight-room houses costing $8,000 each, stores were built in 1926 on Queens Boulevard and 63rd Drive and apartment buildings were built in 1927-28.
Like its neighbor, Forest Hills, Rego Park has long had a significant Jewish population, with a number of synagogues and kosher restaurants. Cartoonist Art Spiegelman grew up in Rego Park and made it the setting for significant scenes involving his aged father in Maus, his graphic novel about the Holocaust. Even as many Jews have departed for further-flung suburbs over the years, they have been replaced by Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union, especially from Central Asia. Though these immigrants largely trace their ethnic roots back to Bukharian Jewish culture, the effect of life in the Soviet Union on the population has lead Rego Park to have a Russian feel with many signs in Russian Cyrillic. Most of the Bukharian Jewish immigrants in the neighborhood come from what is now Uzbekistan, and it is possible to find excellent, authentic Uzbek food in many Rego Park restaurants. Immigrant populations from Albania,Israel, Romania, Iran, India, Colombia and South Korea are also well-represented.
Many houses in Rego Park are in the colonial and Tudor style with slate roofs. This is especially so in an area called the Crescents, so named because of the neighborhood's semicircular shaped streets emanating in a concentric pattern from Alderton Street. Real estate values are also high due to easy access to Manhattan via the 63rd Drive subway stop, served by the R, G, and V lines.
The CBS sitcom The King of Queens is set in Rego Park, and sometimes shows clips of the area.
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