Infused with a suburban spirit but with the comforts of city living, Middle Village, Queens, doesn't have much of a revolving door. Residents stick around for a long time.
“You have such roots you can't leave—it's home,” said Robert Holden, 60 years old, who grew up in the neighborhood and whose grandfather owned a farm in the area in 1910.
“They don't retire to Florida from here, they stay in Middle Village,” according to Mr. Holden, who is also the president of the Juniper Park Civic Association, which represents Middle Village and Maspeth.
The neighborhood covering roughly two square miles was named in 1816 by the English, who gave the area midway between Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and Jamaica, Queens, the name of Middle Village.
Bounded roughly by the Long Island Expressway, Cooper Avenue, the Mount Olivet Cemetery and Woodhaven Boulevard, the enclave was once a German stronghold, giving way to Italian immigration at the turn of the 20th century.
Still home to a significant Italian population, along with an Irish and German presence, the area has seen an influx of Polish and Hispanic immigrants in recent years.
The housing stock in the area is an assortment of styles. The 32 one-family homes currently on the market include seven Colonials and 10 townhouses, according to Sal Joseph Crifasi, an agent with Crifasi Real Estate Inc. whose family has been in Middle Village for decades.
And while single-family homes are the norm in Middle Village, the trend in the early and mid-2000s before the housing collapse had been to knock those down and build two- or three-family homes—something favored by new immigrants to accommodate extended families or rental income.
The village's two cemeteries—St. John Cemetery and All Faiths Cemetery, formerly known as the Lutheran Cemetery —also helped put Middle Village on the map.
Transportation: While the M train, which stops at 69th Street and Metropolitan Avenue gets into Manhattan in roughly 40 minutes, locals who live farther from the subway tend to use one of the several local or express bus lines or to drive. The Long Island Expressway and Queens Midtown Expressway are a stone's throw away.
Schools: Public schools in Middle Village are part of District 24, where 50% of the 4,144 third-graders met the state standards in English Language Arts in 2010, compared with 55% statewide. District schools include P.S. 128 Juniper Valley School and P.S. 87 Middle Village School.
Private schools in the neighborhood include Christ the King Regional High School, Our Lady of Hope School and St. Margaret Catholic School.
Parks: Juniper Valley Park is the core of Middle Village, where neighbors mingle, children spend their leisure time and locals connect with old and new friends. The roughly 55-acre park was Juniper Swamp until 1936, when it was filled to become Juniper Valley Park. It features tennis, handball, and basketball courts, along with a shuffleboard court. Bocce courts in the park are a draw for the neighborhood's vibrant Italian community.
Restaurants: Metropolitan Avenue is the heart of the neighborhood's dining scene with several pizza parlors like Rosa's, Fortunata's and Carlo's. Uvarara, a wine bar and restaurant opened in 2007.
Shopping: Locals head to Metropolitan Avenue, which is also lined with a host of mom-and-pop shops, such as Italian specialty shops like Mario's Meat Market, and small chains. Then there is the Metro Mall, which houses a BJ's Wholesale Club, among others.
Entertainment: The Juniper Park Civic Association organizes summer events in Juniper Park that include nights with Italian, Irish and German themes. Local flea markets are held throughout the year. A movie theater at the Atlas Park mall in neighboring Glendale attracts many from Middle Village.