Queens is renowned for its diversity, but sometimes we get so caught up in our everyday life that we do not get much of a chance to experience the neighborhoods nearby. With that in mind, we at LICtalk have initiated a new category, RoadTrip, to explore these exotic locales, write about them, and sum it all up in a pictorial triptych(remember, you can click on pics to enlarge). Hopefully, it will entice you, our readers, to break out of your comfort zone and forgo your regular Saturday night outing to Olive Garden in Times Square. Or, if you prefer, you can view this series as ‘They do it for me, so I don’t have to leave my couch.’
For our first road trip destination, we have chosen the neighborhood most accessible to many residents in LIC: Greenpoint. In doing so, we have immediately broken the three most important tenets of our RoadTrip series: 1) One does not need a car to visit Greenpoint, nor even a bike 2) Greenpoint is in Brooklyn, not Queens and 3) Is it really a roadtrip if it’s the next town over? Fear not, because if you are a regular reader of this site, you know that LICtalk frequently exhibits a complete lack of decorum, as well as a passion for breaking all the rules, even if they are our own. Most importantly, despite its proximity to LIC, once you step off the Pulaski Bridge and make your way west to Manhattan Avenue, it is like you have entered a different world far, far away! There is one word that sums up the major difference between Long Island City and Greenpoint: quaint. Whether it be the main retail drag of Manhattan Avenue, whose stores range from old world to so retro they are now an anachronism, or the residential housing stock, which is 45th Avenue in LIC times ten in terms of beautiful side by side brownstones. Then there are the inhabitants: hipsters economically pushed out of Williamsburg, Polish emigrants, and the increasingly well-off who are buying up all those beautiful brownstones from the previous two. What else differs vs. LIC? Well they have more, and more diverse restaurants, and that alone is worth making a trip. As for living there though, a large part of the small town feel comes at the price of inconvenience, particularly when it comes to commuting to Manhattan, which I get the strange feeling a lot of the inhabitants are not doing on a regular basis. Fortunately, you live right next door, so throw caution to the wind like I did, and grab the golden donut …or pierogi.