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Elmont: Beyond Belmont Park

Sitting just west of the Cross Island Parkway near the Queens border, Elmont is a diverse community of about 33,000.

Sitting just west of the Cross Island Parkway near the Queens border, Elmont is a diverse community of about 33,000. Locals describe this hamlet, part of Hempstead township, as friendly with an above-average school district. The median house or condo value in Elmont was estimated at about $404,000 in 2009, according to City-Data.com.

Mostly small businesses line Hempstead Turnpike, the main East-West route through town. The exception, however, is Elmont’s most famous attraction —Belmont Park racetrack, one of horse racing’s crown jewels. The park covers a long stretch along the north side of the busy turnpike and attracts thousands of visitors during racing season.

This has also worsened traffic congestion, and some residents have called on authorities to address this issue.

What the locals say

Librarian Carol Miller, 41, grew up in Elmont and has worked here for more than 20 years.
Likes: “I grew up on a very international block, which was standard for the area,” with immigrants from Ireland, Germany, Italy, Colombia and China, she says. “Today it is even more international, with other nationalities moving in, such as Middle Easterners and those from the [Caribbean] islands.”

Maria Loizos, 22, is a West Hempstead resident; her boyfriend, Richard Hannafey, 23, is a lifelong Elmont resident.
Likes: Both love “Manor Brews,” a lemonade and tea mixture from Manor Delicatessen (60 Covert Ave. in nearby Garden City), and baked goods from Sapienza Bake Shop (1376 Hempstead Tpke.).
Dislikes: Loizos hates the frequent sound of low-flying jets, especially from LaGuardia airport, which is about 13 miles northwest of Elmont. “We’re right in their flight path,” she says.

Erin Groenert, 20, is a lifelong resident who reads a lot
Likes: “I like the library; I call it the ‘White House’ because it is so huge and people who see it are awed.”


 
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