Briarwood, Long Island
Briarwood is a neighborhood located in the borough of Queens, Long Island, New York. It is part of Queens Community Board 8. Some people called the area as the "hidden gem" of Queens because it has retained a low profile, despite its many positive features. Briarwood is surrounded by Union Turnpike, VanWyck Expressway, Hillside Avenue and Parsons Boulevard.
Briarwood has excellent connections on the public transport network. It is served by the IND Queens Boulevard Line of the New York City Subway at the Van Wyck Boulevard station. The Post Office considers Briarwood's zip code (11435) part of Jamaica, but the neighborhood is different from downtown Jamaica, which is south of Hillside Avenue.
In 1905, the Briarwood Land Company which headed by Herbert O'Brien named the neighborhood and built a housing there. Unluckily, the company quickly went bankrupt and the area was largely empty until the 1920s. The New York Life Insurance Company and the United Nations constructed housing in the 1940s. Today, Briarwood is mainly a residential neighborhood. A once primarily a way station for Jewish families on their way to the suburbs, Briarwood is now a very diverse community with many Jewish, Greek, Hispanic, African American, Albanian, and South American residents. It now has a distinguishable and fast-growing Asian-American community as well.
Notable current and former residents of Briarwood include Steve Hofstetter (comedian), Hanna Rosin (U.S. journalist), Steven Weber (actor), and John Kervin (talk show host). Briarwood is part of New York City School District 28. Everything from Kindergarten to High School is available right here in Briarwood. The Joyce Keld Briarwood School teaches kindergarten through 6th grade, and is at 85-15 143 Street. Also located in Briarwood is Robert Van Wyck School, a middle school of 1,300 students in grades 6-8 which was established in 1955. The Queens Gateway to Health Sciences Secondary School and the Archbishop Molloy High School, have particularly reassuring academic records. Paintings by alumni of the Archbishop Molloy High School which entitled "Beautifying Briarwood" includes David Caruso, adorn the walls of one of the local subway stations. Briarwood boasts a small library that poles over the Van Wyck at Queens Boulevard and Main Street. The library has a collection of English books including Russian, Chinese, Spanish, and other languages. Although the neighborhood is lack of major landmarks, many tourists still want to spend their vacation there. Individual homes for single families are most valued in Briarwood, but people have choices of larger homes where large families can live together, and apartment blocks for those without time and inclination to look after yards. Other economic activity in Briarwood is mostly confined to small restaurants, delis, markets, and other small businesses.