The past two decades have seen a renaissance of Long Island City. Once a mecca of industrialization and factories, the area is now a bustling residential hot spot, ripe with art and creativity. With a lively nightlife and social scene, hip lofts and upscale developments, terrific views of Manhattan, a thriving art scene, and even a couple of TV studios, it’s no wonder more and more people are flocking to this great neighborhood. Residents love its enviable location on the East River and its easy commute to Manhattan. There are several trains that lead to the heart of Long Island City, including the E, G, M, or 7 to Court Square. And once at Court Square, there’s no shortage of great places to explore…
4-09 47th Road, Long Island City, NY 11101
Open Daily: 8AM – 10PM
Named for the restored gantries that line its 12-acres of waterfront vistas, Gantry Plaza State Park is a reminder of this neighborhood’s industrial past. Today it boasts gardens, fountains, playgrounds, sports grounds, and a fishing pier complete with a cleaning station. There are picnic tables, dog runs, spectacular views of Midtown Manhattan, and spring and summertime concerts. Check out their website for upcoming events, which often include interactive learning of science and nature.
22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11101
Open 12PM – 6PM; Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Anyone looking for the most experimental and adventurous art they can find had better make the easy trek to MoMA PS1. An affiliate of The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA PS1 is the leading contemporary art center in New York. Their mission is to support and advance innovation in contemporary art and, as such, they devote their energy and resources to discourse and experimentation, continuously pursuing emerging artists, new genres, and innovative new work. Purely an exhibition space, MoMA PS1 achieves its goal of innovation in art with new and rotating exhibitions, long-term installations, and a full schedule of music and performance programming.
32-01 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City, NY 11106
Open Year-Round: 9AM – Sundown
For those who are knowledge-hungry, entertainment-seeking, health-and-healing-minded, or just really into interactive activities, Socrates Sculpture Park is for you. The ambition of their events calendar is hard to ignore. They offer free festivals, performances, and exercise classes such as yoga and tai chi. Their outdoor foreign cinema series is complete with pre-screening music, performance, and cuisine from the film’s country of origin. They hold design competitions, amazing exhibitions, and artists’ projects. With things to do for the entire family, a truly beautiful setting, and such an extensive calendar of events, it’s hard to find a reason not to go. Start by checking out Chronos Cosmos: Deep Time, Open Space, a stellar exhibition of vast proportions, currently on display through September 3.
11-11 44th Drive, Long Island City, NY 11101
Open Monday – Friday: 6AM – 12AM; Saturday & Sunday: 6AM-10PM
If your desired exercise routine demands something more vigorous than yoga or tai chi, consider checking out the Cliffs. This climbing gym requires no membership (although, of course, memberships are available), no experience (although advanced classes, of course, require certain prerequisites), and no commitment (although, once tried, you might just get hooked). They offer day passes to monthly memberships, classes from Intro to Climbing to Belay Escape and Self-Rescue Skills, clinics, events, and parties. More than just a climbing gym, they peg themselves as a community, and they aim to make everyone feel welcome from the very first visit.
Eat and Drink
In addition to art studios, museums, event spaces, parks, theaters, hot spots for exercise, and much more, there are plenty of great places around Court Square to eat and drink. It’s only a matter of what you’re craving at the moment. For tapas and small plates, you won’t regret trying The Beast Next Door. If you’re ready for another brewery experience, then check out Rockaway Brewing Company or LIC Beer Project. For a delicious breakfast, head to LIC Market; some good ol’ pizza for lunch, Levante; and something more international for dinner, Peruvian cuisine at Jora Restaurant and Bar or Irish fare at Woodbines. For an after-dinner digestif, another local favorite is Dutch Kills, where the people are friendly and the drinks are strong.
Living near Court Square
By now, you may very well be ready to make your move to a life near Court Square. Whether it’s the five-minute commute to Midtown or the stunning Manhattan views across the East River, there are plenty of reasons to plan a move here. For luxury living in this bustling community, check out The Pearson Court Square, Citi Habitats’ stylish residential building in the heart of this thriving neighborhood.