Long Island City (LIC) is a commercial hub in Queens — just across the East River from the Upper East Side in Manhattan. Historically, LIC has been an industrial neighborhood, but starting in the early-2000s, LIC has been better-known for its rapid and ongoing residential growth and gentrification. In fact, over the past two decades, LIC has transformed into a major cultural center with gleaming high-rises and trendy bars.
LIC is quickly earning a name for itself as a bastion of modern art, as the area has among the highest concentration of art galleries, art institutions and studio space of any NYC neighborhood. The Fisher Landau Center for Art and The Noguchi Museum are just two of LIC’s most notable galleries, each of which feature exhibitions by both prominent and emerging contemporary artists. MoMA PS1, the United State’s oldest non-profit arts center and affiliate of Manhattan’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), is also located in the area.
Another unique neighborhood fixture is The Museum of the Moving Image, which explores the history of film production and digital media with fun, interactive exhibits. The exhibition hall houses a vintage video game arcade and a movie theater that features over 300 independent, silent, and foreign films every year. Located nearby is Silvercup Studios, the largest film and television production studio in New York City, responsible for producing many popular shows and movies including Sex and the City, The Sopranos, 30 Rock, Mad Men, The Devil Wears Prada and Highlander.
Long Island City is a neighborhood in western Queens, one of New York City’s five boroughs. Sitting along the East River, LIC has a number of waterfront parks and green space, perfect for showcasing its impressive waterfront views of Midtown Manhattan. LIC’s added appeal comes from its close proximity to a number of public transit options, including the Long Island City Ferry. An added bonus? LaGuardia Airport is only a 20-minute drive away.
The multicultural neighborhood of Astoria borders LIC to the north, housing a mix of traditional ethnic eateries and trendy hot spots, popular with those looking for a more laid back atmosphere. Directly south is Brooklyn and the evolving Greenpoint neighborhood with hipster appeal.
Commuting to and from LIC is convenient thanks to the array of transit options for those that live or work in the area. Nearby options include:
Queensboro Plaza Station (N, Q, W, 7), Queens Plaza Station (R, E, M) Court Square Station (E, G, M, 7), Hunters Point Av. Station (7), Vernon Blvd./Jackson Av. Station (7), 21 Street/Jackson Av. Station (G)
Ferry stops located along the East River drop off commuters in Midtown or Wall Street.
There are a number of bus routes in the area that travel throughout Queens and surrounding areas.
You can easily get a cab or Lyft or Uber to take you just about anywhere in the city. Williamsburg is a 10-15 minute Uber ride away.
What our Local Experts are saying about Long Island City
“There’s a lot of new restaurants, cafés, bars, and even a new Whole Foods. Not to mention major train stops (Queensboro Plaza and Court Square.) People really like the accessibility to Astoria, too. It’s a great choice for a lot of my clients.”
“The rental ‘value’ in LIC is much higher than in other areas of the city. Since most of the inventory consists of newly developed doorman buildings, you get to live in an amenity-filled property with views of the city for 15-35% cheaper than comparable buildings in Manhattan. Plus, Williamsburg is only about a 10-15 minute Uber ride away, and Astoria is directly to the north, which has a lot of great restaurants run by first, second and third generation immigrants who bring their own special touches from their home countries.”
“If someone is looking for a modern, doorman building with a view in a vibrant neighborhood, but doesn’t want to pay the high prices of Manhattan, then LIC is a no-brainer!”
“The food and nightlife definitely competes with the likes of the East Village in terms of cost and variety. I’m always surprised by this when I visit friends and family there!”
Places of Note.
We asked our Local Experts to highlight some of their favorite places and neighborhoods in-and-around Long Island City.
Hunter’s Point - A neighborhood in LIC that is home to many restaurants, bars, galleries and more. Some shout outs include: Hunter’s Point Park, LIC Market, Casa Enrique, MoMA PS1, The Yoga Room, Vernon Blvd., Indie LIC, Sweetleaf Coffee Roasters, Foodcellar and Co.
Hunter’s Point Park/Gantry State Park - Two popular, connecting parks that were recently built on the waterfront. Touted as an ideal place for jogging, bicycling, or just taking your dog for a walk, the parks also have a recreational piers, outdoor cafes, playgrounds, and dog run.
Astoria - A laid back, multicultural neighborhood located to the north of LIC known for its diverse traditional eateries and affordable rentals. Favorite spots include the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden, Taverna Kyclades, Bareburger, Astoria Park, and Socrates Sculpture Park.
Court Square/Queensboro Plaza - Sitting within Hunter’s Point, this is where the majority of new development is taking place, including a boom in new restaurants, bars, and cafes. It is also close to major subway stops (Queensborough Plaza and Court Square).