It is no secret that Long Island City is home to one of New York City’s most thriving cultural scenes. But there is far more to it than the SculptureCenter and MoMA PS1. If you are visiting the city, make sure that you include these six lesser-known hot spots in your travel plans.
Although technically part of Manhattan, Roosevelt Island is a stone’s throw away from LIC. If you are staying at the Ravel Hotel on Long Island City, take a short stroll to Queensbridge Park and catch the ferry over to the island. Visit attractions such as the North Point Lighthouse, the Octagon, and the RIVAA Gallery. Also, head to the north end of the island to see the Tom Otterness sculptures.
The Noguchi Museum
Located on 33rd Road, the Noguchi Museum showcases the work of Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi. There is more to see here than you might think, so the free guided tour (2 p.m. from Wednesday through Sunday) is a must. General admission costs $10, although you can save on transport costs by visiting at the weekend when the free Long Island City shuttle will drop you at many of the city’s artistic hot spots.
The Secret Theater
Long Island City has a fast-growing list of popular performance venues, but there are few as charming and intimate as the Secret Theater on 23rd Street. Performance genres vary and you are just as likely to find yourself watching a performance of Othello as you are a raunchy burlesque show. Check current shows on the theater’s website.
Queens Museum of Art
The Queens Museum of Art is home to the iconic Panorama of New York City, which is a huge, three-dimensional depiction of NYC’s five boroughs viewed by walking on an overhead ramp. It is a must-see in Long Island City. Also in the museum’s permanent collection are exhibitions such as World’s Fair Visible Storage and the Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Art.
Underpenny Antiques and Collectibles
Tucked away underneath a fading tenement house on 50th Avenue, the Underpenny Antiques and Collectibles store definitely falls into the hidden-gem category. Owner Sung Park has amassed a collection of rare art, sculptures, and jewelry that is nothing short of spectacular. Items on the right of the store are for show purposes, but if you see something you like on the left, there is a good chance that you can take it home.
LIC Flea and Food Market
Just a short stroll from the Z NYC Hotel lies the LIC Flea and Food Market. It is open on weekends during the summer months only, but if you are in town, this vast outdoor market is well worth a visit. Expect to find a unique assortment of antiques and collectibles, a generous helping of vintage clothing, and an array of delicious food.
Author Bio: Linda Forshaw likes to write about local haunts and far-flung places. She lives in Liverpool, England, and spends her free time exploring new places, going to live gigs, and planning her next adventure. She is currently writing for the #HipmunkCityLove project.