Photos of Jamaica, Queens

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    Shopping on Jamaica Avenue

    Shopping on Jamaica Avenue
    ••• Shopping on Jamaica Avenue. Photo (c) John Roleke

    Jamaica Center, the downtown section of Jamaica, Queens, is one of the most varied areas in the borough, and it's one at a crossroads. A clothing store mecca, retail space along Jamaica Avenue between Parsons Boulevard and 165th Street is thriving. Art deco buildings and a colonial-era church once abandoned are getting renovated. At the same time, the area hurts for decent restaurants and a respite from choking traffic and a lack of parking. The city plan to rezone large areas of the downtown for higher residential density living remains controversial.

    Jamaica Avenue in the downtown is a mecca for clothing shoppers. Bargain stores, hip-hop specialty stores, and retailers like Old Navy, Strawberry, and Children's Place compete for attention.

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    Gertz Mall on Jamaica Avenue

    Gertz Mall on Jamaica Avenue
    ••• Gertz Mall on Jamaica Avenue. Photo (c) John Roleke
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    Jamaica Movie Theater

    Jamaica Mutiplex
    ••• National Amusements Jamaica Mutiplex, Movie Theater on Jamaica Avenue. Photo (c) John Roleke

    National Amusements Jamaica Mutiplex is part of One Jamaica Center, also home to Old Navy and the Gap, on Jamaica Avenue at the intersection with Parsons Boulevard (more movie theaters in Queens).

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    Colosseum Mall in Jamaica, Queens

    Colosseum Mall in Jamaica, Queens
    ••• Colosseum Mall in Jamaica, Queens. Photo (c) John Roleke

    The Colosseum Mall is at 165th Street, a block north of Jamaica Avenue, in the 165th Street pedestrian mall.

    The mall is home to dozens of small and medium-sized stalls with business ranging from custom hip-hop T-shirt shops to West African tailors and Hispanic first communion dress shops. The downstairs is full of discount jewelry stands selling over-the-top bling, sneaker shops with excellent selections of unusual styles, and photo shops for quick teenager snaps.

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    165th Street Pedestrian Mall in Jamaica, Queens

    165th Street Pedestrian Mall in Jamaica, Queens
    ••• 165th Street Pedestrian Mall in Jamaica, Queens. Photo (c) John Roleke

    The 165th Street Pedestrian Mall, just north of Jamaica Avenue, is focused on teenagers with lots of small and medium-sized clothing shops, including Jimmy Jazz. The Colosseum Mall is at the end of the block.

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    Jamaica Hatland

    Jamaica Hatland
    ••• Jamaica Hatland on the Pedestrian Mall at 165th Street in Downtown Jamaica. Photo (c) John Roleke

    The 165th Street Pedestrian Mall is a big draw for teenagers, and that gives Jamaica Hatland a chance to shine with a selection devoted to baseball-style hats in every imaginable emblem, logo, and color.

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    Past and Present on Jamaica Avenue

    Renovated Dutch Reform Church and Social Security Building in Jamaica, Queens
    ••• The Renovated Church Is Set to Become an Arts Performance Space. Photo (c) John Roleke

    The historic Dutch Reform Church in the foreground is undergoing renovation, and should open up as a performing arts space in 2008. Looming above is the massive Joseph P. Addabbo Federal Building, home to Social Security Offices (155-10 Jamaica Ave) and other federal agencies.

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    Grace Church Cemetery

    Grace Church Cemetery in Jamaica, Queens
    ••• Grace Church Cemetery in Jamaica, Queens. Photo (c) John Roleke

    The cemetery of Grace Church abuts Jamaica Avenue. Step into the cemetery and see its colonial-era gravestones. It's an incongruous step back in time from the bustling shopping district.

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    First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica

    First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica
    ••• First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica started in 1662. Photo (c) John Roleke

    First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica is one of the oldest congregations in New York City, founded in 1662.

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    Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning

    JCAL in Jamaica, Queens
    ••• JCAL in Jamaica, Queens, gets done over as part of Jamaica Flux: Workspaces & Windows 2007. Photo (c) John Roleke
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    Intersection of Jamaica Avenue and Sutphin Boulevard

    At Jamaica Avenue and Sutphin Boulevard
    ••• At Jamaica Avenue and Sutphin Boulevard. Photo (c) John Roleke

    The North Fork Bank is home to a WPA-era mural depicting colonial Jamaica.

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    Sybil's Bakery and Restaurant in Jamaica, Queens

    Sybil's Bakery
    ••• Sybil's Bakery. Photo (c) John Roleke

    Sybil's is an institution in its three branches in Queens and Brooklyn, serving up hearty, home-style Guyanese food from a steamtable. Never tried Guyanese? Think Indian flavors with Caribbean foodstuffs. The pumpkin curry is a best bet.

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    LIRR Building in Jamaica, Queens

    LIRR Building in Jamaica, Queens
    ••• LIRR Building in Jamaica, Queens. Photo (c) John Roleke

    The LIRR building at the Jamaica, Queens, train hub connects with the Air Train. The juxtaposition of attached buildings from different eras is startling.

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    Air Train Building in Jamaica

    Air Train Building in Jamaica
    ••• Air Train Building in Jamaica. Photo (c) John Roleke
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    Club Kalua in Jamaica, Queens

    Club Kalua in Jamaica, Queens, NY
    ••• Club Kalua in Jamaica, Queens, NY. Photo (c) John Roleke

    Just outside strip-club Club Kalua, Sean Bell was shot and killed on November 25, 2006, by plain-clothes NYPD detectives. The controversial killing drew large protests. It's led to grand jury indictments of three of the five officers involved in the shooting.

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    Street Scene in Jamaica Center

    Street Scene in Jamaica Center
    ••• Apartment Buildings and Smaller House. Photo (c) John Roleke
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    Performing Arts Center at York College

    York College in Jamaica, Queens
    ••• Performing Arts Building at York College. Photo (c) John Roleke