Long Island City in New York
Long Island City New York is situated near the East River, east of Manhattan. It’s known for its waterside parks, lively art scene and continuous change and renewal. I see it mostly as a perfect low budget alternative to staying in Manhattan. It takes you only fifteen minutes to travel from Long Island City to Manhattan and vice versa.
The Hidden Art Scene
Long Island City has a high concentration of galleries, art institutions and studio space. However, these places are lesser-known and, therefore hard to find. One of the art organisations that are a little more visible is MoMA PS1. In fact, it’s more of large exposition space, with a focus on modern art and experiment. Are you an art and music fanatic and do you happen to be in Long Island in the summer? Each summer MoMA PS1 hosts the Warm Up Sessions. Every Saturday you can enjoy different genres of music in an artistic, outdoor environment. After a visit to MoMA PS1, it’s only a seven-minute walk to The Creek and The Cave, a Californian style Mexican restaurant. They have great burgers, a lounge (with performances by stand-up comedians and others) and above all: a cosy patio where you simply have to try the tasty, affordable margaritas and nachos.
Spend the Night in Long Island City
Long Island City is not necessarily an area you’d stroll through just for the fun of it. Although I do have to add: not yet. Long Island City is one of the upcoming neighbourhoods. You’ll notice all the construction sites – now at the waterfront, but soon expanding inward. It’s mostly hotels being built, and most of the hotels here offer very reasonable prices. Hotel Ravel is worth a mention, with its good food and wonderful view. Another one to recommend is The Paper Factory, which indeed is a former paper factory, that has been renovated as a hotel with modern yet cosy rooms with a real New York City vibe. Those looking for the true New York experience I would always advise to stay in Manhattan, but if this is not an option, budget-wise, for example, Long Island City is a perfect alternative. It’s as close to Manhattan as it gets and the hotels offer an ideal quality/price ratio.
Roosevelt Island Tramway
In case you want to take your time to travel from Long Island City to Manhattan, I would recommend walking via Roosevelt Bridge to Roosevelt Island. Take some pretty pictures down the waterfront, while you walk towards the Roosevelt Island Tramway: a cable car that brings you to Manhattan for just US$2.75 (or even for free, with the Unlimited Metro Pass). A special and cheap way to reach your destination!