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Long Island City

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About Long Island City

Long Island City is a vibrant community in western Queens, one of the five boroughs of New York City. The neighborhood is home to a rapidly growing and diverse population, attracted by its vibrant arts scene of bold galleries, museums and performance spaces. Long Island City has something for everyone, whether you enjoy dining out at a number of top-rated restaurants, browsing a local gallery or performance space, or admiring the impressive view of the Manhattan skyline from the community's Gantry Plaza.

The History of Long Island City

Long Island City's history dates back to the 1630s, when Dutch settlers established Jarck's Farm, a 160-acre peninsula in present-day Astoria. This farm helped establish Long Island City as a farming community, a reputation it upheld until the 19th century. The Dutch settlers initially lived peacefully with the area's Native American inhabitants, until nearby Dutch neighbors in Jersey City and Manhattan took advantage of tribespeople in their communities, sparking the Indian outbreak of 1643. There was more trouble in the area in 1776, when Congress declared independence from Britain, leading to the Battle of Long Island. British troops invaded Queens County and stayed there until 1783.

Long Island City was an independent city until the late 1890s, when Queens was annexed as a part of New York City. Subway tunnels connecting the area with Manhattan were developed during the 1930s, spurring significant growth. Although many businesses left the area during the 1960s and '70s, redevelopment in the early 2000s brought about a revitalization of Long Island City that's returned it to its former glory.

The Long Island City Economy

Long Island City was a predominantly industrial area in its early years, but now many of its warehouses have been converted into restaurants, galleries and performance spaces. As some manufacturing plants have left the region, it's made way for smaller businesses, including artisan food producers and technology startups. These businesses are attracted to Long Island City by its central location and affordable rents, which have in turned helped diversify the local economy. Several movie and television studios call Long Island City home, as does the nation's largest fortune cookie company, Wonton Foods.

While there's a growing number of jobs in Long Island City, its proximity to Manhattan provides even more job options. If you don't find a job that fits your interests or experience in Long Island City, commuting to Manhattan or other neighboring boroughs is extremely easy, thanks to public transit.

Long Island City Schools

The New York City Department of Education serves the schools of Long Island City. In addition to traditional elementary, middle and high schools, there's also a large number of specialized high schools in the area. Secondary students can attend schools focusing on the arts, technology, communication, vocational studies and more.

If you're considering pursuing higher education, there are several campuses to choose from in Long Island City. LaGuardia Community College, Briarcliffe College and Touro College are just a few of the options.

Resources for Moving to Long Island City

Here are a few helpful resources to make your move to Long Island City as easy as possible:

  • Utilities: Major utilities providers in Long Island City include Consolidated Edison Co. and the NYC Water Board.
  • Garbage and Recycling: Trash and recyclables collection is provided for most homes in Long Island City.
  • Transportation: Like most of New York City and the surrounding area, Long Island City is extremely well-connected via public transportation. Subway, bus and ferry are among your options for getting around.

Long Island City Housing

Long Island City provides a range of real estate options, and is more affordable than many other areas of New York City. You'll find its luxury homes near the East River in Hunters Point and inexpensive, historic dwellings in Dutch Kills. New York's largest public housing unit is in the Queensbridge neighborhood of Long Island City.