Long Island City | UBIQ New York

Long Island City

Few neighborhoods in New York have changed so thoroughly and dramatically as Long Island City (LIC) over the past 15 years. Once a sleepy, self-contained and semi-industrial Queens town, LIC has transformed into one of the most upscale and desirable neighborhoods outside of Manhattan. Driving this change was the development of the waterfront and building of a number of towering high-rises, that brought inventory and modern luxury to a neighborhood lacking in both.

Where Is

The Locals

Long Island City has a seen a huge influx of first-timers move to the neighborhood, but the older areas further east are home to many longtime multi-generational residents.

What's to Love

The area is full of a variety of modern buildings for those seeking luxury and proximity to Manhattan at a slightly discounted price. Getting to midtown is quick and convenient and makes the neighborhood a great choice for those not wanting to live in Manhattan. The skyline view of Manhattan from Gantry waterfront park is one of the best found anywhere. The influx of wealthier residents has lead to a boom in new restaurants and bars along Vernon Blvd, the area’s commercial center. And the MOMA’s satellite center PS1 is also located in LIC, offering great cultural experiences without needing to travel to Manhattan.

What's Not to Expect

The all-glass, hyper-modern residential structures have a somewhat sterile feeling to them, and the neighborhood is still feels desolate in areas like its industrial past. While prices were once a huge bargain, they have risen steadily to the point where they are less so now. There is also not much of a nightlife and the streets become quiet and empty later into the evenings.

Long Island City Look & Feel

Long Island City presents a strange contrast of giant, all-glass buildings, older apartments and industrial warehouses, making for an aesthetic that may not please everyone. The streets are much busier than they once were, particularly during rush hour times, but still becomes relatively quiet at night.

Great Eats Cool Drinks & Nights Out & Entertainment

Long Island City’s foodie culture has developed rapidly over the past 10 years, with many new restaurants opening on the commercial thoroughfare of Vernon Blvd and Jackson Blvd.

Top Choices:

  • Il Falco: the neighborhood’s best Italian offering
  • Sushi Daizen: authentic Japanese omakase
  • M Wells Steakhouse: the area’s top steakhouse
  • Casa Enrique: high-end Mexican

Parks & Rec

Long Island City has a handful of greenspace parks to the north but not the south, as the lovely Gantry waterfront park is all-concrete--great for sightseeing but less so for lounging or exercising. The northend of LIC to Astoria has Queensbridge and Rainey parks along the waterfront and, even better still, the open-access Socrates Sculpture Garden, where outdoor artist installations go up and weekly outdoor summer movies play.

Guest Lodging

Like most neighborhoods outside of Manhattan, Long Island City offers only limited hotel accommodation options. Top choices include:

LIC Hotel
Ravel Hotel
Z Hotel

Public Transportation

Long Island City has good access public transportation options that make it easy to get to Manhattan or further south in Brooklyn, with both the 7 train and E/M lines running to Midtown and the G train heading south into Greenpoint and below.

Transportation options:

7 E M G Bus service

Car Travel

There is street parking in Long Island City, though spaces are limited in the condo development along the waterfront. The rest of the neighborhood has less of an issue.

Green cabs for passenger pickup are also readily available just about anywhere.

Distance from main airports by car:

LaGuardia: 15 minutes
JFK: 35-60 minutes
Newark: 60-75 minutes

Surrounding Neighborhood