GLEN OAKS, LONG ISLAND
No one can be sure how William K. Vanderbilt would react if he were to know what has become of his home, but it is certain that this predominantly first-generation immigrant dominated part of Queens is well organized to serve the community. The private estate of Glen Oaks that includes the highest point in Queens was converted for mass housing after World War II. Military personnel returning home from various theaters of war were to be the beneficiaries, but apartment rents in 3 figures have resulted in people from the third world with new visas and passports settling here in large numbers.
Glen Oaks is a little over one half of an hour away from Manhattan. A maze of highways serves the area, putting it within convenient reach of the entire State and beyond. Apartment blocks dominate the housing scene. The locality has bounteous outdoor sports and recreation choices. These include lit tennis courts, racquetball and also bocce for older people who prefer more gentle pastimes. There are two Elementary Schools and District 26 that covers Glen Oaks has an enviable academic record. The local branch of the Queens library has an admirable collection of materials in some of the many languages of the Indian sub-continent. Crime rate is amongst the lowest in any part of Queens. Overall, the neighborhood offers excellent value for money in terms of public amenities, though neighboring Nassau may turn up its wealthy nose at the poor cousin.
The Queens County Farm Museum lends some rustic charm to Glen Oaks. It is a key component of the agricultural heritage of this part of the United States. It is also an operational farm with crops and animals. This makes it special in the extreme urban environment of New York. Young people with little exposure to the ways of agriculture benefit by spending time within the liberal limits of the farm. Museum exhibits contain a complete set of tools used over the centuries to look after and to harvest crops.The Zucker Hillside Hospital is an important part of Glen Oaks. It has over 200 beds and makes key and on-going contributions to the science of Mental Health. It is one of the leading centers for the study and treatment of schizophrenia in the United States. The hospital has an atmosphere that is quite unlike that of most impersonal medical institutions. It is set in a large estate with relaxing greenery and much open space for some 250 thousand patients every year. Children can keep studying at schools on site even as they recuperate and heal. The hospital complex has comprehensive outdoor recreation and sports facilities for the people it serves.