Like many places in NYC, Long Island City (LIC) was once farmland. Its history as such is as recent as the 1920s. Since then, it had become known for its factories and warehouses, like Wonton Foods, Inc., which is the largest manufacturer of fortune cookies (among other products) in the United States. In recent years, though, it has changed again. Now it is one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in Queens, in terms of development, and also one of the best deals, for the following reasons.
- Proximity to Manhattan
Located just across the East River, LIC is closer to more action in Manhattan than certain places on the island itself, just a stop away from Midtown on the 7 train (that’s not an exaggeration). Of course, it’s significantly less in rent than you’d find in Midtown, which makes it ideal even though you won’t have a coveted New York, NY address.
Still, it offers something the city can’t: peace and quiet. The neighborhood is still in development, and while it features many hotels, new high rises and even the famous Citi building, it is truly quiet, day and night. Close enough to the action but offering the respite from city life that most people travel all the way to Long Island or Connecticut for. If you don’t believe me, take one of the 6 subway lines which stop in the neighborhood to see for yourself.
- Gantry State Park
New Yorkers love their parks. LIC is home to one of the city’s best kept secrets, the Gantry Plaza State Park. Situated on the edge of the East River, the park offers unobstructed, beautiful views of Manhattan. The park’s 12 acres include picnic tables, play areas and multiple piers, where you can even go fishing.
Though no longer in existence, LIC’s 5 Pointz building was considered the graffiti mecca by spray paint artists from the 90s until very recently when it was demolished in 2014. The neighborhood still has enough going on in the area of the arts to keep art lovers entertained, including the MoMA PS1, the Socrates Sculpture Park by Isamu Noguchi and several small galleries.
In addition to being just a minute from Manhattan, LIC is in the center of popular neighborhoods Astoria and Greenpoint, Brooklyn, offering a wide range of cuisines, shopping, and unique experiences from the areas distinct Greek and Polish enclaves.