You can hang out beside a Civil War-era fortress
Designed in 1862 to protect the East River approach to the New York Harbor, well-preserved Fort Totten hovers over Bayside, Whitestone, and Bay Terrace. Mostly a tranquil public park now, it's worth a visit for the killer views of the Throgs Neck Bridge, or, when the weather is cooperative, a canoe ride on the Long Island Sound. Yeah, that’s right we said canoe.
We have a real, actual, working dairy farm
In 1919, Max and Arthur Schwartz, who grew up on a Middle Village dairy farm, founded Elmhurst Dairy. For years, they were bona fide milk men, hand-bottling and delivering the fresh, creamy stuff. Eventually this spawned a proper facility in Jamaica. In operation since 1940, it’s one of the state’s oldest continuously operating dairy farms, still churning out top-notch milk and cream.
We have a hidden city
The one-time Jamaica Racetrack, which shuttered in 1959, morphed into Rochdale Village in 1963, becoming (before the ascent of the Bronx’s Co-op City), the world’s largest private housing cooperative. A city inside of a neighborhood inside of a borough inside of a city, Rochdale Village is basically entirely self-contained. Operating independently of outside utility companies, it uses a 21 megawatt cogeneration facility to generate electricity, heat, AC, and hot water for all of its residences AND two shopping malls. Plus, it has its own school, its own library, and is protected by a force of unarmed security guards and "Peace Officers," both of which work closely with the NYPD's 113th Precinct.