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The Low Down on Long Island City

  • Silvercup Studios
  • Moma PS1
Long Island City: get a new view on NYC

Just a stone’s throw over the East River, Long Island City offers a relaxed and refreshing change of pace for New Yorkers looking to shake things up and get a new view of the city.

Bordering the East River and offering breathtaking views of Manhattan, Long Island City might just be Queens’s best kept secret. Once a center for industry and manufacturing, LIC now boasts a diverse array of eateries and a thriving art scene that could rival any one of Manhattan’s hip neighborhoods.

Whether you’re a young professional seeking a quick commute into lower Manhattan, a creative type in need of studio space, or just visiting for the weekend, Long Island City will give you reason to pause and enjoy everything it has to offer.

MoMA PS1

Sure, you’ve been to the Museum of Modern Art in Midtown, but have you explored it’s hipper, younger sister museum across the river? Even before affiliating with MoMA in 2000, PS1 has been a champion of the experimental and avant-garde, housing one of the largest contemporary art collections in the country.

New Yorkers from every neighborhood flock to PS1 each summer for Warm Up, the museum’s outdoor music series that actually takes place within an architectural installation.

Want to see even more art? Check out the nearby Noguchi Museum, a former industrial building that artist Isamu Noguchi converted into his own museum back in the ‘70s. Spend an afternoon wandering the galleries, and don’t miss the adjoining open air sculpture garden.

Silvercup Studios

Silvercup Studios

Ever wonder where your favorite TV shows are produced? Look no further than Silvercup Studios, formerly the Silvercup bakery, now home to the largest film production facility in the city. From Sex and the City to The Sopranos, just about everything shot at Silvercup has become a household name.

Up close you might just catch a glimpse of your favorite A-lister, and even from afar, the iconic sign radiates enough movie magic to make any passerby feel a part of cinema history.

If you prefer the stage to the screen, be sure to check out the Secret Theatre, LIC’s best off off Broadway spot. Skip the lines and catch a performance like a local in this intimate black box theater.

Dutch Kills

Once a hamlet of navigational importance during the Revolutionary War, Dutch Kills now lends its name to Long Island City’s most beloved cocktail bar. With all the charm of a speakeasy and none of the pretension of Manhattan, Dutch Kills is as well-known for their cocktails as they are for their artisanal hand-cut ice. This cozy spot is easy to miss — look for a nondescript sign that reads ‘BAR’ and allow yourself to be transported back to the Prohibition Era.

LIC Market

Brunch like a New Yorker. Relaxed and rustic, LIC Market is one of Long Island City’s shiniest hidden gems, a weekend must for locals and visitors alike. It offers an impressive list of natural wines and beers, as well as culinary specials that change daily. Looking for something to go? The market sells goodies you can take home and share.

From foodies to art lovers to movie buffs, every curious explorer has something to discover in Long Island City. Next time you’re in Manhattan, be sure to check out what’s happening on the other side of the river — you might just discover a new favorite haunt tucked away in this charming industrial neighborhood.

Brooklyn Grange

You might think that finding farm life in the city is impossible. But the folks at Brooklyn Grange are making rural living urban with their rooftop farm. That’s right, on the top of the Standard Motors Building roof veggies like rainbow chard and tasty cucumbers. They even offer a CSA, but it’s so popular that all of 2016’s spots are filled and there’s a waitlist for 2017.

For most of us, waiting a year to get vegetables isn’t going to happen. But you can still visit Brooklyn Grange’s flagship farm and see what’s growing. They do open tours on Saturdays and you can book a private tour Monday through Friday up until November 15th. Just give them a shout through their request form.

(Image credits: ForgemindArchiMedia/flickr; AlvinKhaled/flickr)