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Bounded by Newtown Creek to the south, 36th Avenue to the north, and stretching from the East River to New Calvary Cemetery, Long Island City is the largest neighborhood in Queens. It's also one of the most rapidly gentrifying.
The neighborhood was once full of factories, warehouses and bakeries, which, today, are being re-purposed as offices, artist studios and residences. Young artists started flocking to Long Island City over the past decade, drawn to its inexpensive rents and large loft spaces. In recent years, tall luxury buildings have been popping up along the waterfront, ushering in a new professional class. The area is also home to the 3,000-unit Queensbridge Houses, the largest public housing development on the continent.
The Long Island City economy is thriving - another selling point for young professionals and families. Among its many prestigious commercial entities, Long Island City is home to Silvercup Studios and the 658-foot Citigroup Building (the tallest building in New York City outside of Manhattan) and serves as headquarters of FreshDirect and JetBlue Airways.
As another major draw, Long Island City offers considerable transportation options. Almost every major subway line stops in Long Island City, as does the LIRR and East River Ferry. The area also sits at the foot of the Queensboro Bridge.
An artist enclave, Long Island City boasts an impressive array of art and cultural institutions including MoMA PS1, Socrates Sculpture Park, SculptureCenter, the Noguchi Museum, and, up until its recent demolition, 5Pointz Aerosol Art Center. It's also home to the Oracle Club, a gathering space for artists and writers, and the Obie-winning Chocolate Factory Theater.
For recreation, Gantry Plaza State Park is a major outdoor attraction. The 12-acre riverside green space offers striking views of the Manhattan skyline. The highlight of the park are its restored gantries. Once used for the loading and unloading of barges, they're today nods to the area's industrial past.
Two huge commercial signs -- those of Silvercup Studios and Pepsi Cola (which once had a presence in the area) -- are visual landmarks of the neighborhood and can be seen from across the East River in Midtown and the Upper East Side.