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Queens    by Ellen Freudenheim order for
by Ellen Freudenheim
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2006 (2006)

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* * *   Reviewed by Lisa Respers France

In the interest of full disclosure, I'll start off by revealing that I have lived in the New York borough of Queens for more than five years so I may be slightly biased. That being said, this guidebook by Ellen Freudenheim was a wonder to me.

One of the most diverse boroughs in the city (and for booklovers, home of a library system which has one of the largest circulations in the country) Queens is the perfect destination for fans of history, architecture, sports, the arts and bon vivants alike. While much has been made of Brooklyn and its discovery as a happening alternative to Manhattan living, the author quickly demonstrates that Queens is also very up and coming.

Using maps, introductions, little known facts and tips on everything from how to get a free tour to interesting shops, Freudenheim lays out each neighborhood as a cornucopia of activities and destinations for just about everyone. The surprisingly in depth examination of this area makes Queens a worthy destination for those seeking to venture beyond the bright lights of Manhattan.

The descriptions of the restaurants will have foodies flocking to hop the subway to experience the multi-cultural delights of just about every neighborhood's offerings. And getting there couldn't be easier. The book offers impeccable directions, so much so that anyone just in to the airport would be able to make their way around the borough pretty effortlessly.

One of the book's greatest strengths is the plethora of day trip selections which are enticing for tourists as well as residents of both Queens and the neighboring boroughs. There are self guided tours, historical tidbits, itineraries and essays from a few of the folks who know the borough intimately, including a Korean nail salon owner.

A well organized index, broken down by subject and alphabetically, rounds out the guidebook making it impossible to miss out on any of what Queens has to offer. So next time you are in New York City, throw this book in your bag and take a jaunt over to Queens. You'll be glad you did.

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