Is Jamaica, the neighborhood in Queens, named for the country of Jamaica? Seems a little odd that way back when a bunch of colonialists would have named it for a tropical island. Thanks for clearing this up.

J, Kew Gardens

Actually, J, the name comes from the Yamecah Indians, who were the first inhabitants of the area. Also spelled "Jameco," the name comes from the Algonquin word for beaver. English settlers moved there in 1656 while the area was under Dutch rule.

You may know Jamaica as a major transfer point on the Long Island Railroad. What you might not know is that rail service to and from New York City via Jamaica began all the way back in 1836. With JFK airport also in Jamaica, the area remains one of the busiest transportation hubs in the world. It's also a popular shopping destination.

Gothamist today reports on some less historic events in Jamaica.