Founded in large part by German furniture and cabinet makers, this neighborhood in the northwest corner of the borough is the first village of Queens. It was named after the richest man in America at the time, John Jacob Astor who lived across the East River in Yorkville, in an attempt to lure him into investing in the area.  Except for Old Astoria and the streets that defined the first settlement (Newtown Avenue, Astoria Boulevard, etc.) the gridded street pattern dominates. Nevertheless, there is a great variety of housing tracts in the low-to-mid rise range. It is rare to find an original block-long housing tract as would be common in Jackson Heights or Woodside. The houses have undergone myriad alterations or have been replaced outright with slightly bigger apartment buildings. Astoria is among the most gentrified neighborhoods in Queens and is constantly updating its housing stock leading to many jarring juxtapositions both in scale and building styles.

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Astoria