5 Reasons We Love Long Island City

5 Reasons We Love Long Island City

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Long Island City, Queens, is a fun place to explore with the family.

   
If you’re looking to experience an urban atmosphere without actually being in Manhattan, Long Island City is the place for you. Located across the East River from Manhattan in the presumably all-suburban borough of Queens, Long Island City is known for its increasingly diverse community, thriving public art projects, and kid-friendly piers and skating rinks.
     

The Different Cultures

While Queens consists of the most culturally diverse demographic among the boroughs, Long Island City exemplifies culture diversity in its people and in its food. You and your family can explore Japanese culture at RESOBOX, an all-in-one art gallery, café, and activity center. It offers cultural classes in Japanese cooking, manga drawing, jodo, and more. If you are looking to explore another culture, you can check out Casa Enrique for Mexican classics such as guacamole, enchiladas, and tres leches. At Casa Enrique, you can also get a taste of chicharrines, a delicious Mexican street snack.
     

The Street Art History

Unique spots in Manhattan and Brooklyn were not the only places you could find art. Long Island City was once home to the 200,000-square-foot graffiti Mecca 5 Pointz NYC, an aerosol art museum that was whitewashed in November 2013 and demolished a year later. Hundreds of artists from all over the world contributed to 5 Pointz, including Jimmy C, Semor, and Tracy 168. But don’t you worry! Street art murals were revived in 2015 with Top To Bottom, a public mural project on a three-story building south of the Queensboro Bridge in LIC. Launched by Arts Org NYC, Top To Bottom showcases a vibrant union of colors and shapes by street art extraordinaires. You can find masterpieces from NYC native Chris “Daze” Ellis (his art collection entitled "The City is My Muse" was displayed at the Museum of the City of New York back 2016) and Argentina-bred Magda Love (creator of the detailed jungle-like mural for the Top To Bottom project).
     

The Scenic Views

You and your family can get an amazing view of the New York City skyline by going to Gantry Plaza State Park (commonly referred to as Gantry Park). Located in Hunter’s Point, LIC, this waterfront park is known to attract photographers, families, and couples. With its panoramic view and peaceful piers, your family can enjoy a relaxing scroll or a gorgeous sunset. And we can’t forget about a famous city landmark overlooking Gantry Park: the Pepsi-Cola sign, which once rested on top of the soda company’s bottling facility. In 2001, the Pepsi plant was torn down and today you can see the sign light up in red in front of a high-rise apartment building near Center Boulevard and 46th Avenue. If you don’t have the time to visit Gantry or the Pepsi-Cola sign, simple walk in LIC will be enough to see some wondrous skyscrapers.
    

Art Programs at The Noguchi Museum

What’s more fun than making creative art with your kids? On the first Sunday of every month The Noguchi Museum offers Open Studio for families with children ages 2-11. Led by museum educators, Open Studio allows families to enjoy the galleries and make art based on their experiences. Arts for Tots is offered on select Saturdays and Sundays for families with children ages 2-4. Families get to view the galleries while exploring art materials. The Noguchi’s collection includes sculptures, drawings, models, and designs. If you can’t participate in one of the Noguchi’s programs, the museum offers free admission to visitors on the first Friday of every month.
    

Ice-Skating Year-Round

Want to show your best moves on the ice? City Ice Pavilion offers public ice-skating sessions on select weekdays and birthday parties. If your little one is interested in learning how to ice-skate or just wants to have some fun, City Pavilion offers holiday camps, group lessons, and youth hockey. You can also check out Long Island City’s ICE, the newest skating rink in town. LIC ICE offers a wide range of opportunities, from elite personalized training to the Future Islanders Program, eight introductory hockey-training sessions for children ages 5-8 led by former New York Islanders Arron Asham and Radek Martinek.

   
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