Jamaica Colosseum Mall
Jamaica Colosseum Mall’s 165th Street side
The Jamaica Colosseum Mall (JCM) is one of the largest jewelry exchanges in New York City. It was founded in 1984 and serves as a major retail hub in the community. The name comes from the Roman Colosseum where merchants sold their good to the public. In addition to Jamaica Avenue, JCM is a large retail outlet home to many shops known for selling jewelry and clothes.
When businesses in Jamaica were being abandoned in the 1970s, JCM helped to revitalize the economy of the area and restore its history as a shopping hotspot. Part of the JCM’s history are the famous musicians who grew up in Jamaica and shopped in there like LL Cool J, the Wu-Tang Clan, 50 Cent, Run-DMC, and Jay-Z. The two former even shot music videos in the mall. This mall is definitely on the map and keeps its finger on the pulse of the community by providing fresh gear to ensure that you’re always popping.
If you’re looking for even more shopping in the area, check out the 165th Street mini mall near JCM right off Jamaica Avenue. It’s another shopping hub with vendors offering various items and services like clothing, footwear and hair braiding, as well as food shops.
Find the JCM at 89-02 165th Street.
Jamaica Farmers’ Market
The Jamaica Farmers’ Market is the brainchild of the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation and Down to Earth Markets, is the longest-running in New York City, opening for its 43rd season this past summer.
The market is seasonal and is open on Fridays and Saturdays primarily from June to November. It features local vendors such as Alex’s Tomato Farm, Gajeski Produce, Meredith’s Country Bakery, and Migliorelli Farm that offer fresh produce and foods made from ingredients all over the state. On Fridays, the market is located on Parson’s Boulevard between Archer and Jamaica Avenues. On Saturdays, it’s located on 160th Street between Jamaica and 90th Avenues.
VP Records is one of the largest independent reggae labels in Jamaica. Founded by Vincent “Randy” and Patricia “Pat” Chin, immigrants from Kingston, Jamaica who moved to New York to achieve their American Dream. They opened VP Records in 1979, an internationally renowned reggae and Caribbean music label and distributor, to fill the void for the genre as it was largely unknown to the city at the time.
“A lot of the music stores are no longer around, but the VP Records retail outlet continues to serve the community with new releases and vinyl classics,” said Pat in an interview with the Jamaica Observer. Her husband Vincent, a record producer and label owner, passed away in 2003, but the vibrant shop continues his legacy. Today, the label is run by the Chins’ sons Randy and Christopher, with Pat maintaining the company as well.
Visit their retail store at 170-21 Jamaica Avenue.