7 Blocks in Corona, Queens

July 29, 2011 2:07:04 PM PDT
We hopped on the 7 line for a trip to the 103rd Street stop along Roosevelt Avenue in the heart of Queens.

When you first step out into the Corona, Queens neighborhood surrounding this station, you find yourself in a community rich with influences from Central and South America.

But while it is surrounded by Latino pride, the area is a mix of many people.

It was also once the home of the great American jazz musician Louis Armstrong. In fact, his home is now a museum, about 5 blocks north of the station. The place is frozen in time with his living room, bedroom, and den carefully maintained to preserve it just the way he left it.

"Louis lived in this house for 28 years and we have almost everything he accumulated during his lifetime here. Trumpets, mouth pieces, and homemade audio tapes that he created here in his office," said manager of the museum, Baltsar Beckeld.

About 7 blocks south east of the station is another popular tourist spot. The Hall of Science occupies one of the few remaining structures of the 1964 New York's World Fair and is the city's only hands-on science and technology center.

And people from all corners of Queens and beyond are drawn to Mama's of Corona. Its official name is Leo's Latticini, but everyone fell in love with the matriarch of the family and now just call it Mama's. Her 3 daughters make sure that their famous Italian deli and pastry shop next door remain fixtures in this community.

"Everything is homemade. The service is great. The prices are right. Not that many stores like that left around," said customer Mitzi Belsky.

And you have to go just beyond 7 blocks to cap off your meal with an ice at the famous Lemon Ice King of Corona and a game of bocci ball. But it's worth it.

A world of science, musical history, and great food can all be found within 7 blocks of the 103 Third Street stop in Corona.