Queens, NY – Once a manufacturing hub known for its iconic Pepsi Cola sign, Long Island City has transformed into one of the city’s hottest residential neighborhoods, with some noteworthy sights to match. Following is a list of Long Island City’s top attractions:
Gantry Plaza State Park
Located on a former dockyard and manufacturing district in the Hunters Point section of Long Island City, Gantry Plaza State Park boasts 12-acres of beautiful park grounds, including well-preserved remnants of the area’s past. The most notable of these are the huge iconic Pepsi Cola sign and the gantry cranes for which the park was named. The park sits adjacent to Hunters Point South Park, which adds another 5.5 acres of park grounds with pedestrian and bike paths, a playground, picnic terraces, wooden seating areas, and a 30-foot-high cantilevered platform to this must-see destination.
Gantry State Park is a popular meeting place for people all ages and offers breathtaking views of Manhattan across the East River, as well as the United Nations HQ and Roosevelt island.
This inspired museum houses thirteen galleries and an outdoor sculpture garden featuring a wide collection of artwork by Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988). The museum itself is Noguchi’s actual workspace in then-industrial Long Island City, a wonderful treat that allows you to feel how he integrated his work with his natural surroundings. Special exhibits explain aspects of his life, work against the World War II detention of Japanese-Americans, and his development of specific artistic projects, such as paper lamps.
MoMa PS 1
MoMA PS1 is one of the oldest and largest nonprofit contemporary art institutions in the United States. Located in Long Island City, New York, MoMA PS1 is dedicated to exhibiting the most provocative and challenging art from around the world. MoMA PS1 is an affiliate of The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). This museum is literally housed in an old school, and when you walk the halls you cannot help but be brought back to your own grade school memories of buildings just like this one. The art here is very modern/contemporary and often quite provocative.
Elevator Historical Society
A celebration of the history of elevators, this museum is a wonderful collection of elevator parts and memorabilia. Most of the items on display are still functional and, unlike most museums, can actually be touched to experience the feel of these classic pieces.
SculptureCenter is a not-for-profit arts institution dedicated to experimental and innovative developments in contemporary sculpture. Sculpture Center commissions new work and presents exhibitions by emerging and established, national and international artists.
Hunters Point State Park
Once an abandoned industrial area, the space has transformed into a bonafide waterfront park, including a central green, playgrounds, fitness equipment a dog run, a bikeway, a waterside promenade, picnic terraces a basketball court, a 30-foot-tall cantilevered platform for viewing the skyline and waterfront, and a 13,000 sf pavilion that contains comfort stations, concessions, and an elevated cafe plaza.
The Cliffs, opened in 2014, offers both high and short walls, a slack line area, classes in many phases of climbing, as well as stretch and yoga classes, and climbing parties. Almost all of the climbs are leadable and the lead only overhung cave will challenge even the more advanced climbers. You will also find a full locker room with lockers, showers, and sinks and a small retail shop with enough climbing equipment to outfit the beginner.
There are 16 bridges that connect the island of Manhattan to the outer boroughs, and at least a dozen of them offer pedestrian lanes. Among them is the world famous Queensboro Bridge (also known as the 59th Street Bridge and now officially The Ed Koch Bridge). A walk across this iconic, century old structure will give you a great view of Long Island City, the East River, and the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
Hunters Point Historic District
The Landmarks Preservation Commission’s (LPC) 1968 designation report describes the Hunters Point Historic District as “a notable residential area…which retains, on both sides of the street, a feeling of unity and repose, little changed since it was first built” that “serves as a microcosm of the domestic architecture of the last quarter of the Nineteenth Century.”