Long Island City

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Long Island City
Neighborhoods of New York City
Detail of 1896 map of Long Island City, from the Greater Astoria Historical Society
CountryUnited States
StateNew York
CityNew York City
ZIP code11101–11106, 11109, 11120
Area code(s)718, 347, 917
  (Redirected from Long Island City, Queens)
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Long Island City
Neighborhoods of New York City
Detail of 1896 map of Long Island City, from the Greater Astoria Historical Society
CountryUnited States
StateNew York
CityNew York City
ZIP code11101–11106, 11109, 11120
Area code(s)718, 347, 917
LIC General Post Office, 11101
Gantry cranes in Gantry Plaza State Park on the Long Island City waterfront

Long Island City (L.I.C.) is the westernmost residential and commercial neighborhood of the New York City borough of Queens. L.I.C. is notable for its rapid and ongoing gentrification, its waterfront parks, and its thriving arts community.[1] L.I.C. has among the highest concentration of art galleries, art institutions, and studio space of any neighborhood in New York City.[2] The neighborhood is bounded on the north by the Queens neighborhood of Astoria; on the west by the East River; on the east by Hazen Street, 31st Street, and New Calvary Cemetery; and on the south by Newtown Creek, which separates Queens from Greenpoint, Brooklyn. It originally was the seat of government of Newtown Township, and remains the largest neighborhood in Queens. The area is part of Queens Community Board 1 north of the Queensboro (59th Street) Bridge and Queens Community Board 2 south of the Bridge.

History[edit source | edit]

Long Island City, as its name suggests, was formerly a city, created in 1870 from the merger of the Village of Astoria and the hamlets of Ravenswood, Hunters Point, Blissville, Sunnyside, Dutch Kills, Steinway, Bowery Bay and Middleton in Newtown Township. It was a separate city until 1898.[3] The last mayor of Long Island City was a notorious Irishman named Patrick Jerome "Battle-Axe" Gleason.

The city surrendered its independence in 1898 to become part of the City of Greater New York. However, Long Island City survives as ZIP code 11101 and ZIP code prefix 111 (with its own main post office) and was formerly a Sectional center facility (SCF). Since 1985, the Greater Astoria Historical Society, a non-profit cultural and historical organization, has been preserving the past and promoting the future of the neighborhoods that are part of historic Long Island City.

The Common Council of Long Island City in 1873 adopted the coat of arms as "emblematical of the varied interest represented by Long Island City." It was designed by George H. Williams, of Ravenswood. The overall composition was inspired by New York City's Coat of Arms. The shield is rich in historic allusion, including Native-American, Dutch, and English symbols.[4]

In 2006 a resident of Woodside, Queens, Hiroyuki Takenaga, proposed establishing a Japantown in Long Island City.[5]

Geography[edit source | edit]

Long Island City is the eastern terminus of the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, also known as the 59th Street Bridge, which is the only non-toll automotive route connecting Queens and Manhattan.

Northwest of the bridge terminus are the Queensbridge Houses, development of the New York City Housing Authority and the largest public housing complex in North America. Major thoroughfares include Vernon Boulevard, 21st Street, which is mostly industrial and commercial; Queens Boulevard, which leads westward to the bridge and eastward follows New York State Route 25 through Long Island; and the westernmost portion of Northern Boulevard, which becomes Jackson Avenue (the former name of Northern Boulevard) South of Queens Plaza.

Commercial history and notable buildings[edit source | edit]

108th Precinct NYPD
Facade of SculptureCenter, 2003
L.I.C. as seen from Empire State Building at night

Long Island City was once home to many factories and bakeries, some of which are finding new uses. The former Silvercup bakery is now home to Silvercup Studios, which produced notable works such as HBO's Sex and the City. The Silvercup sign is visible from the IRT Flushing Line trains going into and out of Queensboro Plaza. The former Sunshine Bakery is now one of the buildings which houses LaGuardia Community College. Other buildings on the campus originally served as the location of the Ford Instrument Company, which was at one time a major producer of precision machines and devices. Artist Isamu Noguchi converted a photo-engraving plant into a workshop; the site is now the museum, a collection dedicated to his work.

High-rise housing is being built on a former Pepsi-Cola site on the East river. From June 2002 to September 2004, the former Swingline Staplers plant was the temporary headquarters of the Museum of Modern Art. Other former factories in Long Island City include Fisher Electronics and Chiclets Gum. Long Island City's turn-of-the-century district of residential towers, called Queens West, is located along the East River, just north of the main LIRR Long Island City Station. Redevelopment in Queens West reflects the intent to have the area as a major residential area in New York City, with its high-rise residences very close to public transportation, making it convenient for commuters to travel to Manhattan by ferry or subway. The first tower, the 42-floor Citylights, opened in 1998 with an elementary school at the base. Others have been completed since then and more are being planned or under construction.

Today, the most prominent structure, other than Queensboro Bridge, is the community's green skyscraper, the 658-foot (201 m) Citicorp Building built in 1989 on Courthouse Square. It is the tallest building on Long Island and in any of the New York City boroughs outside Manhattan.[6] Socioeconomic diversity is very visible in Long Island City; the Queensbridge Houses are composed of over 3,000 units, making it the largest public housing complex in North America.

Culture and recreation[edit source | edit]

Arts and culture[edit source | edit]

Long Island City is home to a large and dynamic artistic community.

Recreation[edit source | edit]

Government and infrastructure[edit source | edit]

The New York City Department of Education operates a facility in Long Island City housing the Office of School Support Services and several related departments.[10][11]

Economy[edit source | edit]

Eagle Electric, now known as Cooper Wiring Devices, was one of the last major factories in the area. They have moved production to the People's Republic of China, and Plant #1, which was the largest of their factories and housed their corporate offices, is being converted to residential luxury lofts.

Long Island City is currently home to the largest fortune cookie factory in the United States, owned by Wonton Foods and producing four million fortune cookies a day. Lucky numbers included on fortunes in the company's cookies led to 110 people across the United States winning $100,000 each in a May 2005 drawing for Powerball.[12][13][14]

Online grocery company FreshDirect, serves the Greater New York area via deliveries from a warehouse and administrative offices on Borden Avenue in LIC. A customer can also order online and come to the warehouse for pickup.

The city has been the home since 1999 to the Brooks Brothers tie manufacturing factory, which employs 122 people and produces more than 1.5 million ties per year.[15]

Long Island City is the new home of independent film studio, Troma.

To accommodate new families, Long Island City Kids Enrichment Center[16] opened its doors in December 2008.

On March 22, 2010, JetBlue Airways announced it was moving its headquarters from Forest Hills to Long Island City, also incorporating the jobs from its Darien, Connecticut, office. The airline, which operates its largest hub at JFK Airport also operates from LaGuardia Airport, and will make The Brewster Building in Queens Plaza its home.[17][18] The airline plans to move around mid-2012.[19]

Transportation[edit source | edit]

Ferry dock

Long Island City is served by the elevated BMT Astoria Line (N Q trains) and IRT Flushing Line (7 <7> trains) of the New York City Subway. It is also served by the underground IND 63rd Street Line (F train), IND Queens Boulevard Line (E F M R trains) and IND Crosstown Line (G train). The Long Island City and Hunterspoint Avenue stations of the Long Island Rail Road are here, and a commuter ferry service operated by NY Waterway at the East River Wharf. Cars enter by way of the Queensboro Bridge, the Queens Midtown Tunnel and the Pulaski Bridge. The Roosevelt Island Bridge also connects Long Island City to Roosevelt Island. Queens Boulevard, Northern Boulevard (New York 25A) and the Long Island Expressway all pass through the area.

Education[edit source | edit]

Long Island City is served by the New York City Department of Education.

Long Island City is zoned to:

A 7-12 school called Baccalaureate School for Global Education is in LIC.

Long Island City is also the location of the Queens Paideia School, an independent progressive school that offers personalized learning and group activities for its mixed-age student body, K-8.

Long Island City is home to numerous high schools, a number of which offer specializations, as indicated below. These specialized schools are not to be confused with SHSAT-based high schools. Rather, these schools offer programs that are included at SHSAT schools.

Numerous institutions of higher education have (or have had) a presence in Long Island City.

Notable past and present residents[edit source | edit]

See also[edit source | edit]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. ^ Silver, Nate (April 11, 2010). "The Most Livable Neighborhoods in New York". New York. Retrieved 2010-07-03. 
  2. ^ Roleke, John. "Long Island City Art Tour". About.com. Retrieved 2010-07-03. 
  3. ^ Greater Astoria Historical Society; Jackson, Thomas; Melnick, Richard (2004). Long Island City. Images of America. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. p. 10. ISBN 0-7385-3666-0. 
  4. ^ "History Topics: LIC Coat of Arms". Greater Astoria Historical Society. Retrieved 2010-07-03. 
  5. ^ Gill, John Freeman. "For a Big Dreamer, a Little Tokyo." The New York Times. February 5, 2006. Retrieved on September 5, 2013.
  6. ^ "Citicorp Building". Emporis. Retrieved 2007-01-06. 
  7. ^ Bayliss, Sarah (August 8, 2004). "Museum With (Only) Walls". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  8. ^ Kaminer, Ariel (December 27, 2009). "Ice, Served Two Ways: Plain or Glamorous". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
  9. ^ Bagli, Charles V. (November 10, 2008). "Disputed Queens Housing Faces a Vote This Week". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  10. ^ "Contact Us." New York City Department of Education Office of School Support Services. Retrieved on May 1, 2013. "44-36 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City, NY 11101"
  11. ^ Home page. New York City Department of Education Office of School Support Services. Retrieved on May 1, 2013. "2004 The Office of School Support Services 44-36 Vernon Boulevard Long Island City, NY 11101"
  12. ^ Lee, Jennifer (May 11, 2005). "Who Needs Giacomo? Bet on the Fortune Cookie". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
  13. ^ Snow, Mary (May 12, 2005). "Cookies Contain Fortunes for Powerball Winners". CNN. Retrieved 2010-03-10. 
  14. ^ Olshan, Jeremy (June 6, 2005). "Cookie Master". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2010-03-10. 
  15. ^ Tschorn, Adam (September 10, 2009). "Behind The Knot: A Quick Tour of Brooks Bros. NYC Tie Factory". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
  16. ^ "LIC Kids". Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  17. ^ McGeehan, Patrick (March 22, 2010). "JetBlue to Remain 'New York's Hometown Airline'". The New York Times. Associated Press. Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  18. ^ McGeehan, Patrick (March 22, 2010). "JetBlue to Move West Within Queens, Not South to Orlando". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  19. ^ "JetBlue Plants Its Flag in New York City with New Headquarters Location" (Press release). JetBlue Airways. March 22, 2010. Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  20. ^ a b "Yahoo! search of Long Island Colleges". Retrieved 2011-06-16. 
  21. ^ "DeVry College of New York Campus Community Homepage". Retrieved 2011-06-16. 
  22. ^ Lee, Felicia R. (December 3, 1997). "In the Old Neighborhood With: Julie Dash; Home Is Where the Imagination Took Root". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
  23. ^ Hevesi, Dennis (February 20, 2011). "Roy Gussow, Abstract Sculptor, Dies at 92". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-03-06. 

External links[edit source | edit]

Coordinates: 40°45′04″N 73°56′28″W / 40.751°N 73.941°W / 40.751; -73.941