The Queens neighborhood of Long Island City is one of the Big Apple’s hippest hubs for artists and creative minds. This is where 5 Pointz is located, the legendary oasis of top grafitti artists who have emblazoned their studio complex with dazzling imagery. You can also catch other hot NYC art venues in Long Island City, featuring sculpture, film and African artwork. Nearby is the laid back historic village of Greenpoint and some nice recreation spots like Queensbridge Park.
Things to see
Hop over into Brooklyn’s ruggedly handsome Greenpoint neighborhood for some great afternoon strolling around its historic district. Its East River border has been revitalized in recent years to give residents a spot to relax and exercise along the waterfront.
Simon and Garfunkel immortalized Queensbridge in their song Feelin’ Groovy, and that vibe still resonates in this welcome space of greenery. Residents love Queensbridge Park for a waterfront picnic or a welcome dose of exercise.
If you enjoy films don’t miss the Museum of the Moving Image, one of the cultural jewels of Queens. Housed in Paramount Studios original 1920 building, it holds America’s biggest collection of moving pictures.
Like it or not, grafitti is an entrenched facet of New York City’s art scene. This dazzling form of expression reaches its apex at 5 Pointz, a warehouse turned grafitti exhibit best described as living art.
African art and craftsmanship from the old to the contemporary is displayed with real verve at the Museum of African Art right on 43rd Avenue.
Hotels in Long Island City
Staying right in the heart of the borough of Queens opens up all kinds of unique lodging options. Space is precious here, so many of the accommodations in Long Island City are revamped historic buildings turned boutique hotels. Prices aren’t typically cheap in this trendy art haven but you definitely get serious charm and proximity to the action.
Several major hotel chains also have a presence here, offering more affordable rooms if an upscale boutique joint doesn’t fit your style. Staying in Queens ensures easy access to the rest of New York City by subway or taxi, so you can leave the car at home and enjoy this city on the street level where everything happens.
Where to stay
Everyone from families right down to the young and the hip can find accommodation to suit their style in Greenpoint. This is the handsome historic nub of Queens, sticking out into the East River and providing loads of atmosphere.
Astoria is a cool working-class neighborhood just north of Greenpoint along the East River. It’s a great area to look for affordable chain hotels and take advantage of easy access across the water into Manhattan.
Ethnically diverse and overflowing with style, Williamsburg is a large neighborhood to the south of Greenpoint where boutique hotels cater to well-heeled hipsters who want quick access to Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
How to get to Long Island City
La Guardia Airport is the closest New York airport to Long Island City, offering the most convenient way to get right into the action with minimal traffic time.
Several subway lines run under the East River into the neighborhoods surrounding Long Island City for excellent public transport into Manhattan and all of the other boroughs of New York City.
Hop on the quick and scenic East River Ferry from north Williamsburg to cross the East River and get to the Wall Street district in style.