From DNA Info New York:
Best Spots to Take Your Date in Jamaica
Rufus King Park
QUEENS — Far away from the Van Wyck Expressway and the hustle and bustle of JFK airport, Jamaica offers a host of charming spots ideal for a summer date, ranging from wide open parks to intimate restaurants.
Here’s where to take your companion in Jamaica:
For those who want a stroll in a park:
Rufus King Park — located at Jamaica Avenue and 153rd Street — is one of the most popular spots in downtown Jamaica, which provides opportunities for a quiet lunch, a walk and a history lesson.
The park features King Manor Museum, which was once the home of Rufus King, a politician and one of the signers of the U.S. Constitution. The manor, where couples can see a collection of 19th century furniture, music instruments and costumes, offers guided tours Thursdays through Sundays.
On Friday evenings, A Better Jamaica screens free classic movies in the park, which can also be a great setting for a date. Recent screenings have included “King Kong” and “Godzilla.”
There is also a concert space, as well as a playground and sprinklers for kids, a soccer field, handball and basketball courts.
It can get crowded and quite noisy during the day, but usually the portion closest to Jamaica Avenue, in front of the museum, remains quiet and provides shade, tables and chairs, as well as free wireless Internet.
Captain Tilly Park, several blocks away from Rufus King Park, at Chapin Parkway and 165th Street in Jamaica Hills, couples can find another romantic spot just across the street from the old Jamaica High School building.
Parkgoers can sit on benches along the Goose Pond, which is filled with wildlife, including herons, wild ducks and geese, and watch the sun setting over the trees.
Jamaica Bay, which is also relatively close by, offers numerous hiking trails and birdwatching opportunities for couples who love nature.
For those who want a romantic dinner:
Jamaica has several intimate restaurants, which can serve as a lovely spot for a rendezvous.
Cityrib, a high-end, sit-down barbecue restaurant on Parsons Boulevard, is one of neighborhood favorites for couples, locals say. “It has a nice ambiance, and on Fridays and Saturdays they usually have events and jazz concerts,” said Valerie Stevens of the Jamaica Center Business Improvement District.
Stevens also recommended The Door, a Jamaican restaurant at the corner of Guy Brewer and Baisley boulevards, which she said has “a nice touch to it and serves a very good food.”
Spicy Lanka, on Hillside Avenue, which serves Sri Lankan cuisine, is also known for its charming atmosphere, as is Pretty Toni’s Cafe, a soul food restaurant on West Merrick Rd. in nearby Valley Stream, which, according to Greg Mays of A Better Jamaica, is very cozy and elegant.
For those in the mood for a game of chance:
There is also a touch of Las Vegas in Jamaica, as the area features its own casino.
Resorts World provides gambling opportunities; it also hosts events and concerts, featuring celebrities, including 50 Cent.
Couples can also dine at one of the resort’s two restaurants — Genting Palace, which serves Asian food, and steakhouse RW Prime.
A free shuttle bus picks up casino-goers from Sutphin Blvd/Archer Ave. every 20 minutes.
For those who crave culture:
Jamaica has several theaters and cultural venues that offer a variety of events. To find interesting concerts and live theater performances in the area, check the schedules of the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, the Jamaica Performing Arts Center and the African Poetry Theater.
Those seeking something a little bit different can:
— Ride the AirTrain from the Sutphin Blvd. station to JFK to watch the planes take off and land.
— Walk along Jamaica Avenue in search for historic and landmarked buildings, including King Manor Museum, the former Valencia Movie Theatre, which currently serves as the Tabernacle of Prayer church, the former Jamaica Savings Bank building or the former Queens Register of Titles and Deeds Building, which is now used by the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning.
— Go for a bike ride around the stunning homes of Jamaica Estates.
Okay, let’s break this article down from a person who actually lives in Jamaica and has seen most of it and been to most places. Glad to see something positive but time to break it down in real terms.
1. Rufus King Park, not a bad little park, although, like many places in Jamaica, it has too much garbage, which many of the pigs whose use this park tend to trash it. I have been to this park many times and have never seen a fight and it is safe, even at night. You will see many guys drunk and passed out on bench, not unlike other parks, but they are harmless. I think it is a neat little park and the Friday films are cool and that section of the park is nice and quiet. I don’t find the park crowded and noisy at all, but this park is far from a “date place”. Does need cleaned up.
2. Captain Tilly Park is a really nice little quite peaceful park with a pond in the middle. It is also pretty clean too and a great peaceful vegetarian restaurant, Annam Brahma, is only about a block away. This combo would be a great date.
3. Jamaica has hardly any decent restaurants let alone intimate, at least not the ones listed. I like City Rib, but I would not call it intimate and Pretty Toni’s Cafe, which is great, is not in Jamaica at all, it is in Long Island, so I do not know why it was listed. Rocoto’s Restaurant on HIllside and 178th is not only good, but it is intimate and a great date place, so why was that not listed.
4. Ride the AirTrain, really, that is a “date thing”, come on that is really stretching it for this article as is Resorts World.
5. Jamaica Estates is really not Jamaica, so why include that. A better bike ride would be Addisleigh Park, a historic district of Jamaica, with big beautiful million dollar homes, where many jazz greats lived back in the day. Much better homes than in Jamaica Estates. Now that is a must, you will not even think you are in New York, let alone Jamaica and the St. Albans Park nearby is nice, in fact probably the nicest, small but nice.
6. The walk on Jamaica Avenue is only good because of the historic landmark buildings, otherwise, Jamaica Ave is pretty much a bunch of low-class retail stores for the most part and a bunch of beauty supply stores and dirty too. But make sure to go inside the former Valencia Movie Theatre, which is still completely intact and beautiful. There is nothing like it in NYC. That is a must! It is the only Lowe’s Wonder Theatre’s in NYC that is still intact, there were only four built in the 1920’s.
So overall I would say not a really great date place, but a few interesting things to see or do, but the area needs a major overall and much cleaning up, it is too dirty with so much garbage all over, courtesy of some of the slobs that live there and the slobs that visit, plus majorly poor leadership.
Jamaica has potential, but it has been allowed to be run into the ground for decades while the leaders have done little to improve it and some of the people living there don’t help either.