Forest Hills has several neighborhoods within the community, with different feels and types of housing. Forest Hills is anchored, literally in the center, by Queens Boulevard and Austin Street, those streets being the commercial heart of Forest Hills, surrounded to the north and south by different types of communities. Austin Street is a local favorite with restaurants, mom and pop stores and some chain stores, including Target and Sephora. Queens Boulevard has every type of commerce with specialty stores serving multiple ethnic groups.
Forest Hills was essentially built out from around the LIRR station at 71st Road and is now served by the E,F,M and R subways as well as Express buses. It is also roughly half-way between Laguardia and JFK airports, making it one the most commutable communities in all of NYC.
The north side of Queens Blvd is dominated by older Coop buildings, typically clean and quiet, but typically without modern amenities. There is a smattering of newer buildings. It has a mix of empty-nesters and young families. A little closer to the Grand Central Parkway is mostly free-standing houses. Mostly smaller homes when first developed, many have been torn down in favor of large-scale homes, changing the character of the area. On the south side, there are both Coops and townhomes between QB and Austin Street, which are also typically older buildings without modern amenities but significantly less pricey than their Gardens neighbors just across the LIRR tracks.
South and also west of The Gardens are quiet, suburban townhomes, houses and some Coops, extending out to Metropolitan Avenue to the south. Most of the area is within walking distance of the subways and LIRR, or certainly to buses on both Metropolitan and Queens Blvd. The building structures are mostly smaller, and along with the tree-lined streets, creates a mostly bucolic, peaceful community with access to Forest Park at the eastern end. It is not an area with nightlife or many singles.
The public schools in Forest Hills are among the best in Queens, including PS 101 and Russell Sage JHS, along with a couple of Catholic parochial schools.
While Forest Hills is one of the more expensive neighborhoods in Queens, it is significantly less expense than Forest Hills Gardens with much of the same appeal.