Top 6 Things To Do in Long Island City in the Springtime

Spring is in the air… finally! This morning,  New Yorkers crawled out of their winter dens, stripping themselves of snow boots, misery and wool coats, slapped on a (temporary) smile and ventured outdoors for what seems like the first time in ages to enjoy the balmy 65-degree Fahrenheit, sunny weather we’ve been blessed with on a weekend day. Hallelujiah! Spring is here!
With the better weather comes a responsibility that most weekend warriors will understand. On the two days a week you’re not stuck indoors at your office, if it’s nice outside, you darn well better be outside enjoying it. Let’s be clear, though. You shouldn’t ditch the black boots and long sleeves yet. We’re still in New York and it’s April, and it could very well snow tomorrow … so don’t get too excited.
An old friend we met in Argentina, but just so happens to also live in NYC, came over today and we set out to enjoy the best of what LIC (that’s Long Island City….which, while technically geographically located on Long Island, is very much part of New York City and one Subway stop away from Manhattan on the 7, E or M trains – sorry to blow your mind) has to offer.
So, we took her out to enjoy our favorite weekend rituals for good weather in Long Island City. What are those, you ask? I’m so glad you did!

Here are my Top 6 Favorite Things To Do in LIC in The Springtime:

1.  Visit the LIC Flea & Food

Inaugurating the unofficial delayed start to the season this weekend was the grand reopening of the LIC Flea & Food, a celebrated local food and artisan fair held every Saturday and Sunday during the spring and summer outdoors at the corner of 46th Avenue and 5th Street, just one block from Center Boulevard in Long Island City, Queens.
Tons of food options, tons of artists and craftsmen – making for a few hours of fun at the Flea
Keep your eyes out for a detailed post about the “Flea” in the coming days.
For more on the LIC Flea & Food, visit http://www.licflea.com/ .

2.  Enjoy Gantry State Park

Iconic Pepsi-Cola sign? Check.

Amazing, unobstructed views of the New York City skyline? Check.

Ample room to sit, lounge, stroll and enjoy the waterfront? Check.

Dog park with (what I think is) the best view you can get? Check.

Ferry landing, where you can grab the East River ferry to Manhattan or to various parts of Brooklyn? Check.

 



Trouble finding the park? Walk straight from Center Boulevard towards the skyline. Stop before you fall in the East River. Easy peasy. Continue reading

Pic of the Day – Long Island City, New York

Today’s pic of the day is from across the street from where we live, in Gantry State Park, which runs along the edge of Long Island City, in Queens, New York. You can stroll along the “boardwalk” here and take in some of the best views of Manhattan.

View of Manhattan from Long Island City
Date Taken: September 8, 2014
Location: Gantry State Park, Long Island City, New York
If you turn around from where this photo was taken, you can get a shot of the famous Pepsi-Cola sign that is one of the best-known landmarks for Long Island City. Once the site of the Pepsi cannery, the area has been developed as a higher-end mixed use residential neighborhood. The Pepsi sign was restored and reinstalled after the cannery closed and the residential/commercial construction was commenced.
I love New York!

The High Line in NYC

Spring has been teasing New York City lately, and it’s kind of messed up. But on those days where it’s warm and sunny, New Yorkers flock to the High Line in Chelsea.

Sixty degrees one day, and the young female office workers ditch the tights and wear short dresses that are a little too short, a little too early. Calm down, it’s March.

The fact that the next day’s high is in the forties (or lower) snaps us all back to reality, and we realize that spring just ain’t here quite yet. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of time this spring and summer to strut your inappropriately-short-and-tight office attire around the city streets, twenty-something social media interns and fashion stylist interns. It’s just not that time yet.

However, we got a taste of spring today after we exited our boozy brunch at Fonda in Chelsea this early afternoon.  (Delicious brunch! – Will post a review next time.)

The elusive sun beat down on our hibiscus margarita-stained lips as my husband, our friend and I walked up 9th avenue and decided to stroll over down to the High Line and enjoy the brief respite from the sh*ttiest winter in recent memory.

One thing you’ll learn about most New Yorkers is that we avoid touristy things like the plague. Case in point: I hadn’t visited the Statue of Liberty until I was 26 years old and I went with a tourist I befriended during their visit to NY. So, it’s not surprising that I had never visited the High Line prior to today since its opening in 2009.

 

We entered at 23rd street and walked downtown toward the Meatpacking District and the Gansevoort Street exit.

 

 

Remember that time the sun was out? It was just a few minutes ago…

 

You can sit in these stadium-style seats and gawk at the traffic below you on Tenth Avenue. If that’s your thing.

I have to admit, it was pretty awesome. Oh, yeah… and it’s free.

I’ll be visiting again when the weather is nicer (as in, sunny and warm for more than a few hours at a time), and taking more photos then.

I love the architecture in the Meatpacking District.

After, we strolled around the Meatpacking District, wandered into AllSaints and coveted ALL THE THINGS, balking at the prices and decided we couldn’t afford ANY OF THE THINGS in good conscience, and took the Subway back home to LIC.

I want all the things.

It was a fabulous afternoon!

How do YOU like to spend a sunny day in NYC? Leave a comment and tell me!

A Winter’s Day in Central Park – Central Park Ice Festival

On January 18 last year, hubby and I went walking through Central Park to check out the Central Park Ice Festival near the Bethesda Fountain with its famous statue, Angel of the Waters.

Okamoto Studio’s artists were on hand, giving live demonstrations, carving beautiful creatures and objects out of ice blocks using various tools like chain saws, picks, chisels and blowtorches.

Central Park Ice Festival
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If you find yourself in NYC during the winter, check the Central Park Conservatory website to see when this event will be on. In 2015, it was held in mid-February, so it seems to be held at different times of the winter.  The best part? It’s free!  It’s also family-friendly.

Inside the Bethesda Terrace, you’ll normally find opera singers taking advantage of the ahhh-mazing acoustics of the structure. It’s a great opportunity to take in some world-class singing without buying a ticket to the Met(ropolitan Opera)! That day was no exception.

Isn’t the architecture just beautiful?

And, only in New York, we ran into this dog, dressed head to tail in Yankees swag.

After the festival, we wandered down the mall, taking in the sights of the men and women with giant bubble hoops, blowing bubbles to the delight of children. Just for a second, we fought the urge to run into the giant bubbles ourselves, popping them and getting covered in soapy, iridescent remnants of our childhood.