Long Island City, NY

Overview

Long Island City finds itself situated at the west end of New York City's borough of Queens that sits right on the East River, which empties out into the Atlantic Ocean. The neighborhood attracts many visitors due to the proximity to Manhattan. Working-class families as well as high-level executives and professionals flock to this neighborhood not only for the great location but also for the amazing view over the river at the Manhattan skyline. With spacious and modern apartments and homes that can accommodate large and small families, the Long Island City neighborhood happens to be a very popular destination for people looking to move close to New York City without paying Manhattan prices. A quick train ride or drive into the center of Manhattan makes this the perfect location for professionals. There are also plenty of great shopping options in and around Long Island City as well as in Manhattan across the river. Various types of restaurants with eclectic cuisines can be found in the heart of the neighborhood, and plenty of bars and nightclubs providing a vibrant night life scene.

Restaurants & Nightlife

Il Falco, located in the heart of vibrant Long Island City on 44th Drive, features Old World and traditional Italian cuisine and has a large wine selection. The menu has dishes such as traditional risotto and beef or veal marsala. Pastas and gnocchis are local favorites and are prepared from scratch every day. The restaurant provides a cozy yet quietly elegant atmosphere, and patrons pay higher-than-average prices for this fine Italian fare. Casa Enrique features authentic Mexican cuisine for affordable prices even for the city. Located on the southern end of Long Island City, this restaurant touts some of the best food of its kind in the area. Traditional dishes such as enchiladas may seem like a lot, but the amount of food one gets could be shared between two people. Other choices, such as flautas and huevos rancheros, make this place a local and tourist favorite. The Baroness Bar in southern Long Island City was voted one of the best in the city in 2014 by New York Magazine. This hot night spot provides an exciting and hip environment for everyone. Known for opening bottles of champagne with swords, this place cannot be missed. The bar and night lounge provide a very large menu of craft brews and wines as well as great foods and appetizers. The bar also features a game menu and happy hours until 8pm with beers for $4. For those in the mood for a good laugh, The Standing Room provides the best comedy entertainment in the area. Located on Vernon, the Standing Room has a great rotating list of the best comedians from around the area and country. The cocktails here are innovative and the reasonably priced menu draws a consistent crowd.

History & Culture

Long Island City has become one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Queens. It has the highest concentration of art studios, galleries and artist loft spaces than any other neighborhood in the five boroughs of New York City. The famed Museum of Modern Art finds itself in the center of Long Island City, hosting art and photography exhibitions from all over the world. Adult admission costs $10 while children under 16 get in for free and students and seniors cost $5. It stays open Thursday through Monday 12 to 6pm. Secret Theatre, only two blocks from MoMA, features musicals and dancer performances as well as opera and art openings. Admission costs vary depending on what you are going there to see, and usually start at $5 per ticket.

Transportation

Plenty of car and limo services can be found in and around Long Island City in Queens. Some can be expensive, so local residents tend to hail taxis, which can be very easy. Cab companies are also very prevalent in and around the neighborhood and provide a main mode of transportation. A one-block ride will cost around $3.50, and a ride from the center of the neighborhood to the airport starts at $50. Bikers are also plentiful in the neighborhood as biking provides an excellent and quick mode of transportation. Bike lanes make it safe for bikers living and commuting within the neighborhood. Many people in the neighborhood also walk because there are plenty of amenities scattered throughout and easily accessible. Uber services are available in Long Island City and costs vary. A ride from the center of Long Island City to the center of Brooklyn will cost between $20 and $64, depending on the type of car and service. Many residents choose to either take the ferry or take the train when traveling over to Manhattan. The Ferry costs $2 per one-way ticket, and the train costs $2.50 a ticket. The G, E, M and 7 trains all run through the center of the neighborhood making it very easy for professionals who work in Manhattan or the other boroughs to get to work quickly. Public parking can be found scattered throughout the neighborhood, with parking meters on most streets, with one hour costing $1 and several parking garages starting at $10 and going up to $25 for the whole day. The Long Island Expressway can be found at the southern tip of Long Island City and provides access to Manhattan and other boroughs of the city and connects to route 287 and the Brooklyn/Queens Expressway.

Cost

The cost of living in Long Island City has gone up because of the demand for its convenient location and cultural diversity by way of the art studios and museums. A typical one-bedroom apartment in the neighborhood averages $2,800 per month. The homes and apartments in the area are somewhat spacious, which draws in a lot of potential residents especially students and young professionals who travel into Manhattan for work or to attend class at one of the many world-class universities house there. Transportation costs are comparable to neighboring areas of Queens. A cab ride going one block starts at $3.50 and going outside the neighborhood to the airport can cost $50. The subway provides the most cost-effective way to get around the city. The ferry across the East River provides a very convenient yet unconventionally fun way to get into the heart of Manhattan and ticket prices start at $2 for a one-way trip. A beer at the local bar or pub varies in cost. A domestic can or bottle can be purchased for around $3 and specialty or craft brews can run from $8 and up depending on the beer and the establishment. Gas prices in Long Island City hover around the New York City average and are about 10 percent higher than the national average. Prices are about 5 percent above the New York State average.

Shopping

Lockwood Style in nearby Astoria sells fun and funky clothing to area residents. Designs range from comfortably chic to delightfully edgy, providing something for everyone in this eclectic little boutique. This place has a sister store next door that sells home goods and decor, making it a great place to pick up gifts. Tiny You has to be the cutest kids boutique in all the five boroughs. The children's specialty shop located on the south end of Long Island City features nothing but rave reviews. With high-quality, one-of-a-kind children's fashions and accessories, the boutique caters to all types of families, selling whole outfits with prices starting at $40. The boutique also sells artwork and other works by local artists in the community and prides itself on the support it gives to other local businesses and the arts. Plenty of small delis and corner grocery stores provide residents with the convenience of quickly grabbing a few things, including Millie's Deli and Grocery on Jackson Avenue in the heart of the city. Located on 47th Avenue, Foodcellar & Co. remains the locally favored grocery store. For an array of healthy, organic foods, try Natural Frontier Market on Jackson Avenue. Located in the heart of Long Island City, Greenmarket serves as the only farmer's market in the neighborhood, but it has an excellent reputation as the largest and most diverse farmer's market in the entire country. Founded in 1976 with only 12 farmers, this establishment has grown to over 54 markets accommodating over 230 fisherman and farmers from the tri-state area.

Parks

Residents enjoy several parks in Long Island City, including Hunter's Point South Park located on the banks of the East River. This amazing waterfront park has been transformed into a relaxing outdoor area attracting local residents and visitors. Bicycle and running paths can be found everywhere including along the water. Basketball and volleyball courts can also be found here as well as fitness equipment and public bathrooms for added convenience. A separate dog park has been put in making this place perfect for dog owners. The dog park is part of Hunter's Point South Park and a concrete wall fences it in to keep the dogs and people safe. A playground with modern and clean equipment can also be found at the park for children. The park does not cost anything to use. Gantry Plaza State Park joins Hunter's Point at the north end running along the banks of the East River. This 12-acre oasis provides stunning views of downtown Manhattan and the Financial District. The park has a pier where people can take the East River Ferry over to Manhattan. Clean and modern playground equipment here provides fun for children of all ages. Leashed dogs are allowed inside the park that opens from 8am to 10pm.

3 Neighborhoods in Long Island City, NY

  • Astoria

    Located in northwest Queens, one of the five boroughs of New York City, Astoria is situated a mere six miles across the East River from Manhattan. Traditionally a Greek and Italian neighborhood, recent times have seen an influx of Brazilians, Bangladeshis, Eastern Europeans, Colombians and Egyptians to the area. Lively and welcoming, down-to-earth and diverse, Astoria provides varied culinary options, great shopping and quiet residential streets.

    More
  • Hunters Point

    Hunters Point sits on the south end of Long Island City in New York City's Queens borough. The small waterfront neighborhood also houses a historic district with row homes from the 19th century. The neighborhood attracts new residents due to its convenient location and beautiful waterfront properties. Views from Hunters Point overlook the East River into downtown Manhattan and several high-rise apartment buildings provide panoramic views of the river and city. The amazing view of the New York City skyline from Hunters Point cannot be compared and remains a main reason people move to the neighborhood.

    More
  • Sunnyside

    The small, quiet neighborhood of Sunnyside sits close to the East River in New York City's Queens borough. Some call the neighborhood the hidden gem of Queens because of its very convenient location and extremely affordable cost of living.

    More