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LONG ISLAND CITY
Long Island City is a commercial and one of the most vibrant residential neighbourhoods located in the western part of Queens that is just across the East River from midtown Manhattan. Over the course of the last 15-20 years, Long Island City has seen rapid growth with continuous gentrification, expansion of art galleries, art institutions, museums, and prime residential areas with a high quality-of-life living. To the north of Long Island City is Astoria - another up and coming Queens neighbourhood, to the east is the East River and to the south is Newtown Creek which separates Queens from Brooklyn’s Greenpoint.
As mentioned, long Island City is home to a large growing and dynamic arts community which include such notables as MoMA PS1, an affiliate of the Modern Museum of Art, the SculptureCenter which is New York City’s only non-profit exhibition space dedicated to contemporary and innovative sculpture, The Fisher Landau Center for Art which is a private foundation that offers regular exhibitions of contemporary art.
One of the most notable growth sectors in Long Island City has been its residential expansion. After a rezoning of the East Rivers waterfront, just across from the United Nations Headquarters, construction of luxury high rise buildings began at a rapid pace attracting many young professionals, families, store fronts, restaurants, and in turn saw a rapid transformation of Vernon Boulevard attracting many new bars and restaurants. Another attraction developed as a result of the residential growth is Gantry Plaza State Park which is along the same waterfront. A 12-acre riverside oasis with manicured gardens, recreational facilities like basketball courts, playgrounds, handball courts, and of course spectacular views of the midtown Manhattan skyline, including the Empire State Building and the United Nations.
Long Island City was once home to many factories and bakeries, some of which are finding new uses. The former Silvercup bakery is now home to Silvercup Studios which is the largest film and television production facility in New York City which was the primary shooting studios for such notable TV series like HBO’s The Soprano’s, FX’s Rescue Me, 30 Rock, Mad Men and Sex and the City amongst many more.
Many Long Island City residents prize their 15-minute commute to Manhattan. The E and 7 subway trains run through Long Island City including the LIRR (Long Island Rail Road). With the 59th Street Bridge at the north end of the neighbourhood, driving to and from the city is a short commute – and the 59th Street Bridge is one of the very few ways of driving to the city without having to pay a bridge or tunnel toll.