Long Island City was once a bustling, self-contained town in and of itself: iconic signs for Pepsi-Cola beverages and Swingline bakeries harken back to a time when LIC was best known for industrial commerce and production. Many of those brands have since departed, and their legacies have been replaced with new landmarks of an up-and-coming cultural scene that has steadily developed in recent years.
Sleek high-rises, scenic public spaces, and East River views make Long Island City an equally modern (but much less hectic) answer to downtown Manhattan.
An energetic yet approachable neighborhood to live, work, and play in.
Long Island City continues to gentrify, but its decidedly industrial past keeps the pace feeling more welcome than rushed. Former warehouse buildings and rail yards have given way to modern public green spaces, shops, and local-loved corner parks. In general, residents are on-the-go, and the growing number of laptop-friendly coffee and cocktail bars, public sports fields, and Manhattan-based dining outposts are a testament to this.
Well-balanced with a post-college town vibe. Shopping stretches like Jackson Avenue and staples like MoMA PS1 and Socrates Sculpture Garden provide diverse entertainment options.
The Long Island City lifestyle is all about getting "out and about" in your own backyard - taking advantage of a neighborhood that prides itself on a thriving independent business scene with a cosmopolitan edge. 5Pointz Aerosol Art Center was first opened in 1993 as a center to discourage random graffiti acts throughout the area, but today stands as an impressive public arts mecca. It has attracted aerosol artists from around the world to showcase their talents across a five-story factory building, soon to be the site of a graffiti art museum. Come summer nights, art and music fans flock to the Museum of Modern Art's LIC outpost MoMA PS1 for the destination event series "Warm Up", held on its outdoor patio space.
Saturday dance parties feature up-and-coming and established DJs, as well as interactive art displays and installations. Meanwhile, the weekend market at the Long Island City Flea is a hub where local businesses from cocktail bars and global caterers to flower shops and furniture dealers put their samples on display. Film buffs, sunbathers, and couples on the hunt for an outdoor date spot count Socrates Sculpture Garden among their favorite local spots. Breathtaking concrete and color-splashed displays serve as a backdrop to a cultural event mix of summertime movies, dance performances, and waterfront concerts by the Metropolitan Opera.
A neighborhood with a classic-NYC feel, or want easy access to a bustling night and weekend scene.
While you'll still find a few brownstone walk-ups and boutique bodegas tucked along 45th Avenue, Long Island City is still a newly developing area that lacks the "classic" charm of other older NYC neighborhoods. Multi-train access to Times Square makes for an easy commute into Midtown and Manhattan's east side, but off-peak train schedule changes can feel relatively isolating in comparison to older, more trafficked neighborhoods.
Luxury high-rise co-ops and rentals at prices comparable to walk-up buildings in Manhattan.
The majority of Long Island City's rentals are recently constructed buildings with modern amenities ranging from doormen to rooftop dog runs and pools. For more classic homes, look south to Hunters Point, a district bordered by 45th Avenue, 21st and 23rd Street.
Clean-lined architecture and serene public spaces that feel modern and sleek, but still charmingly under the radar.
Long Island City serves as a diverse enclave convenient for those looking for the sleek aesthetic of a luxury building outside of the city as well as a quick commute. Even though LIC is fast-approaching "it" neighborhood status, the area still sports a down-to-earth feel that makes it a relaxing place to return home to.
That's why life in Long Island City feels both under the radar and constantly new, with endless potential to make it one's own.