I've lived in Jackson Heights for over 30 years now, and have seen vast improvements with respect to quality of life issues. That's not to say that the community does not have its problems. Traffic seems to be a major one that is an ongoing battle, and one that the www.wjha.org
is currently fighting. Unfortunately, the transsexual and prostitution problem is one that indeed exists behind closed doors and in cleverly hidden illegal underground businesses along Roosevelt Avenue that come to life in the wee hours of the morning. Thankfully, over the past decade, there have been many police raids of these "businesses", and they seem to be less prevalent today than they were in the past 20 years or so. So as not confuse anyone, whatever prostitution does exist on Roosevelt, is not one that is readily visible to the casual passerby. It is one that goes on mostly behind the scenes. The 115th police precinct covers the Jackson Heights area in addition to certain parts of Corona and East Elmhurst. You can check Jackson Heights' crime statistics here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/html/precincts/precinct_115.shtml
You can also check this website to compare the statistics for other NYC neighborhoods you may be considering.
As a long-term resident, I'd say that Jackson Heights is a safe community, and one that is currently witnessing an influx of young, professional families. As a result, we have seen new businesses open, such as Espresso 77, that take into account the needs and wants of the community's newest residents. Starbucks is soon to open. The neighborhood markets, although not Whole Foods, have begun to supply organic merchandise because this seems to be the demand. If you have a car, the new Trader Joes located near Forest Hills is not too far away. Fairway Market in Red Hook, Brooklyn is literally a 10 minute drive on the BQE on any given Saturday/Sunday morning (my family and I do this all the time). The www.amishfinefood.com
, now open in Glendale at the www.theshopsatatlaspark.com
, will shortly be opening another store in Long Island City. That will also be a short car ride away.
Like someone else mentioned, http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_your_park/vt_flushing_meadows/vt_flushing_meadows_park.html
is located nearby and is accessible by train or by walking (nice walk).
Here's a link to www.gardenschool.org
This private school yields a high rate of its graduates going on to continuing their studies at some of the best universities in the nation. http://sjaschoolny.com/index.html
is a neighborhood parochial school. Do a Wikipedia search to discover all the education options available in the community. Hope this helps!