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Some interesting facts about Jamaica,NY
Jamaica is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens. It was settled under Dutch rule in 1656 in New Netherland as Rustdorp. Under British rule, the Village of Jamaica became the center of the "Town of Jamaica". Jamaica was the county seat of Queens County from the formation of the county in 1683 until March 7, 1788, when the town was reorganized by the state government and the county seat was moved to Mineola (now part of Nassau County). When Queens was incorporated into the City of Greater New York in 1898, both the Town of Jamaica and the Village of Jamaica were dissolved, but the neighborhood of Jamaica regained its role as county seat. The neighborhood is part of Queens Community Board 12, which also includes Hollis, St. Albans, Springfield Gardens, Baisley Park, Rochdale Village, and South Jamaica. Jamaica is patrolled by the NYPD's 103rd Precinct.
Previously known as one of the predominantly African American neighborhoods in the borough of Queens, Jamaica in recent years has been undergoing a sharp influx of other ethnicities. It has a substantial concentration of West Indian immigrants, Indians, Arabs, Russians, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Filipinos as well as many long-established African American families.
The neighborhood of Jamaica is completely unrelated to the Caribbean nation of Jamaica (although many residents are immigrants from Jamaica); the name similarity is a coincidence. The Lenape were the Native Americans living in the area when the English took it over in 1664, and named it "Jameco" after a Lenape language word for "beaver".
Jamaica is the location of several government buildings including Queens Civil Court, the civil branch of the Queens County Supreme Court, the Queens County Family Court and the Joseph P. Addabbo Federal Building, home to the Social Security Administration's Northeastern Program Service Center. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Northeast Regional Laboratory as well as the New York District Office are also located in Jamaica. Jamaica Center, the area around Jamaica Avenue and 165th Street, is a major commercial center, as well as the home of the Central Library of the Queens Borough Public Library.
Some locals group Jamaica's surrounding neighborhoods into an unofficial Greater Jamaica, roughly corresponding to the former Town of Jamaica, including Richmond Hill, Woodhaven, St. Albans, Rosedale, Springfield Gardens, Hollis, Laurelton, Cambria Heights, Queens Village, Howard Beach and Ozone Park. The New York Racing Association, based at Aqueduct Racetrack in South Ozone Park, lists its official address as Jamaica (Central Jamaica once housed NYRA's Jamaica Racetrack, now the massive Rochdale Village housing development). JFK Airport and the hotels nearby also use Jamaica as their address.