I've lived in Hempstead, NY for over 40 years. In the heart of Nassau County, Long Island, Hempstead is the epicenter of the county. It's a populous, but not overly crowded town and has all the amenities of living in close to New York City. Hempstead is a short car or bus ride to state beaches and parks.
There are many hot spots for dining and entertainment near the main streets of Hempstead. Hempstead boasts affordable home prices and a wide selection of apartment buildings. Many people are employed by Nassau County government offices most of which are located in Hempstead. Surrounded by two large teaching hospitals, Hempstead employs thousands of local residents. In addition to the diverse restaurants in Hempstead, it also boasts close proximity to the venerable Nassau Coliseum, home of the Islanders and the hottest entertainment shows and concerts. Hempstead is also the home of Hofstra University, where the N.Y. Jets practice and has its own theater for public shows.
Hempstead is also home to various cultural museums such as The Children's Museum, where kids are encouraged to play interactively and creatively. It also is the home The Aviation Museum, near the site of Lindbergh's historic first flight, and The African American History Museum. The nearby Roosevelt Field Shopping Center is a large and popular shopping venue. From high end stores like Nordstrom's and Bloomingdale's to private chic shops, this mall is vast and lovely to shop. It boasts a large food court and great selections as well.
Like many cities, Hempstead has its share of violent crime and burglaries. It is important while visiting any place to be aware of your surroundings at all times and guard your personal belongings and security.