Jamaica is a middle-class neighborhood in Queens. It is mainly composed of a larger commercial and retail area, though the part of the neighborhood is also residential. Jamaica is bordered by Hollis to the east; St. Albans, Springfield Gardens, Rochdale village to the southeast; and South Jamaica to the south; Richmond Hill and South Ozone Park to the west; Briarwood to the northwest; Kew Gardens Hills, Jamaica Hills, and Jamaica Estates to the north.
Jamaica was settled under Dutch rule in 1656 in New Netherland as Rust Dorp. Under British rule, Jamaica became the center of the "Town of Jamaica". Jamaica was the first county seat of Queens County, holding that tite from 1683 to 1788, and was also the first incorporated village on Long Island. When Queens was incorporated in 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. Today, some locals group Jamaica's surrounding neighborhoods into an unofficial Greater Jamaica, roughly corresponding to the former Town of Jamaica.
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 ad 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, is a major commercial center. The New York Racing Association, based at Aqueduct Racetrack in South OZone Park, lists its official address as Jamaica (Central Jamaica once house NYRA's Jamaica Racetrack, now the massive Rochdale Village housing development). John F. Kennedy International Airport and the hotels nearby also use Jamaica as their address.
Jamaica is located in Queens Community District 12 and its zip codes are 11423, 11432, 11433, 11434, 11435, and 11436. It is patrolled by the NYC Police Department's 103rd and 113th Precincts.