Queens Neighborhoods: Long Island City

The Queens neighborhood Long Island City, also known as LIC, is mostly known for its large population of artists, artists’ studios and workshops, art galleries and public art spaces – from amazing graffiti to sculpture parks. Similar to Williamsburg in Brooklyn, Long Island City renewal begun when artists turned the huge industrial buildings into studios and galleries, and then brought the investors and the young couples.

Long Island City, Queens

credit: Shinya Suzuki

Long Island City is located in the West of Queens, only 15-minutes to Midtown Manhattan. The neighborhood is bordered by Astoria on the north, Newtown on the south, East River on the west, Hazen and 31st Street and the New Calvary Cemetery on the east.

Things to Do in Long Island City, Queens

MoMA PS1

MoMA PS1, the contemporary branch of the Museum of Modern Art, is a must-see stop for every art enthusiast visiting New York and one of the biggest art attractions in Queens. Located in a former public school, MOMA PS1 is the biggest and longest standing non-profit art intuition in the US, focusing on changing exhibitions of fresh, risk-taking artworks. In the summer MoMA PS1 hosts Warm Up, an outdoor afternoon party with live DJs and music performances.

MoMA PS1
22-25 Jackson Ave. at the intersection of 46th Ave.
Long Island City, NY 11101

socrates sculpture park

credit: kl801

Socrates Sculpture Park

Socrates Sculpture Park is an outdoor museum, offering an unlimited space for large sculptures and installations and displaying changing exhibitions of young artists. Formerly an illegal dumpsite, the 4.5 acres park is a free and cozy public park with wide lawns and amazing waterfront landscape.

Socrates Sculpture Park
32-01 Vernon Boulevard at the intersection of Broadway
Long Island City, Queens

The Chocolate Factory

Despite its promising name, the Chocolate Factory is actually a huge theatre and an artists’ residency. Founded in 2003 in a former hardware store, the Chocolate Factory Theater supports artists from the various fields of the performance arts including theatre, music, dance and multimedia, providing visiting artists with access to space and equipment and allowing them to expose their art to the wide public. There’s a storefront gallery displaying changing art exhibitions and performance night every Thursday (free admission to Queens residents).

Chocolate Factory
5-49 49th Ave.
Long Island City, Queens

 

What to Eat in Long Island City

Long Island City renewal is obviously followed by the renewal of its dining scene. There is a wide selection of eateries, mostly spread on Vernon Boulevard, which you can visit in between gallery tours or even for a special occasion. For inexpensive Thai food, check out Tuk Tuk on 4906 Vernon Blvd, where you can have a large bowl of Pad Thai or curry for less than $10. Communitea is considered an essential spot for tea drinkers. In addition to their unique tea blends (their Eucalyptus Rooibos Tea is world famous), they also offer light meals and sandwiches. For a nightcap, visit LIC Bar on 45-58 Vernon Blvd, a classic New York bar set in a 100-years old building and maintaining its original design. There are live shows of local musicians on Sundays.

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