The borough of Queens is the most diverse borough of all New York and Filipino Americans have made a home in Woodside, Queens. Just walking down, the strip of Roosevelt Avenue between 61st and 70th Streets are dedicated to the Filipino community with its restaurants, bakeries, and other establishments.
“Woodside is home away from home” said Luis Mendoza 54, a retired construction worker. 38,000 Filipinos reside in Queens the 2010 Census reported. Not only Filipinos are living at Woodside, but Irish, Indian, and Ecuadorian. A melting pot of diversity.
The No. 7 train is the main mode of transportation for woodside locals. The neighborhood’s two stops at Woodside 61st and and 69th Street are within walking distance for the entire neighborhood and get straphangers into Manhattan in half an hour on the local or less on the express.
According to Woodside resident Geraldine Torres, 34, “If you want authentic Filipino meal you must go to Kristal Cafe.” Krystal Café is Filipino restaurant known for its modern of classic dishes and bake goods. The Flan is most popular pastry, but they also sell different pastries like Coconut cakes and Ensamanda ,
Filipino fast food chains, Jollibee and Red Ribbon are only in Woodside. Jollibee, the fried chicken fast food chain in Philippines has 1,800 stores worldwide, “Forget about KFC, sells delicious Fried Chicken” said Javier Ocampo, 34, Woodside Resident.
Interview with Glen Aiagasi
Lately the residents of Woodside, are in fear of gentrification. Neighboring Long Island City and Sunnyside have already seen their fair share of gentrification. The average rent is $1,500 to $2,000. Some Filipinos business are nervous their stores can be priced out by high real estate. Glen Aiagasi the owner of Sari- Sari Deli, is seeing some changes, “If you go to Woodside Avenue, some new condo buildings are being built, but I have faith the culture will remain” said Aiagasi.