Enclaves: Jackson Heights


When walking through Jackson Heights in Queens, one is bound to hear a multitude of languages spoken. The neighborhood is home to immigrants from all around the world; the tourism agency NYC & Company currently approximates that 60% of residents were born outside the United States. This number has been over 50% since the 2000s.

Many businesses are owned by residents of South American or Asian descent, and certain sub-sections of the neighborhood have high concentrations of a particular culture — Little Colombia, Little Pakistan, Little Bangladesh and Little India can all be found in Jackson Heights. Ecuador, Argentina and Tibet are just some of the additional locales represented in the neighborhood. As a result, Jackson Heights is regarded as one of the most diverse neighborhoods not only in New York City, but in the country.

storefronts in jackson heights
Businesses along Roosevelt Avenue, many with signage in Spanish, are lit up by colored lights. (ALISON ETTINGER-DELONG)
person on a jackson heights sidewalk with a bus in the background
A person waits to cross the street at 83 Street and Roosevelt Avenue. (ALISON ETTINGER-DELONG)
photo of building in diversity plaza in jackson heights
At 37th Road between 73rd and 74th Streets, dubbed “Diversity Plaza,” there is a substantial Indian population. (ALISON ETTINGER-DELONG)
person shopping for produce in jackson heights
Residents pick up fresh fruit and vegetables from a local shop. (ALISON ETTINGER-DELONG)
facade of a jackson heights travel agency
A travel agency offers a variety of currency exchanges. (ALISON ETTINGER-DELONG)
sidewalk and the 7 train in jackson heights
The 7 train runs above ground throughout the neighborhood. (ALISON ETTINGER-DELONG)
a carousel horse in front of a jackson heights grocery store
Miniature carousel horses, only 50 cents per ride, stand in front of local businesses. (ALISON ETTINGER-DELONG)
horse in front of a gate in jackson heights
Another horse guards a neighborhood gate. (ALISON ETTINGER-DELONG)