Every Spring, when the weather turns nice, parents throughout Long Island City migrate to the playgrounds and they become de-facto watering holes. By mid-May, as gossip about schools(kindergarten, pre-K, daycare) turns to local rumor mongering “I hear Mario Batali is taking over the Gantry snack kiosk”, people get to asking or wondering “Hey, whatever happened to that X couple with the Y kid(s)?” The response usually ends up being “Oh, they moved to Astoria, the Bronx, Bronxville, …Scarsdale, or Sunnyside.” with the rationale being split in some ratio between schools and space. Likewise, a whole new flock of baby makers has arrived, and continues streaming in from across the river as the summer winds on.
Of course if you don’t have kids, you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about. Unless you’re an intuitive prize-winning journalist like myself. Yet whether it’s Colts Neck or Great Neck, the question remains: why is LIC such a transitional neighborhood? I’ll offer up three reasons. First, the valuation gap between home prices in Manhattan and it’s inner-ring(select parts of Brooklyn + LIC) versus the suburbs has grown dramatically. Basically you can get much more house for your dollar in the burbs than at any other time in history(we’ll tell you why in a forthcoming piece). Secondly, there is a paucity of any apartments larger than two-bedrooms. Developers are incorrectly assessing the desire of families to stay here in this part of, …gulp, Queens! Finally, and this is the most important reason: parents have an inability to allow themselves the pleasure of it all being so easy and wonderful. Why must you be a slave to car pool culture, as opposed to having all activities and schools within short walking distance? Unlike say Mamaroneck, Montclair, and drum roll please …Manhattan! Why must you subject yourselves to commutes denominated in hours, partial or whole? Why must you subject yourselves to limited dining choices such as Panera Bread, PF Changs, and Red Lobster? Why must you devote one whole day each weekend doing home repairs in the morning, and shuttling on crowded roads to Bed Bath & Beyond, Lowe’s, and Target in the afternoon? Why? Are you Emperor Penguins? Nope. So cut yourselves some slack, because you’re already in the right place to bypass that lifestyle.
Long Island City, where you can have your cake and eat it too.
Touring New Long Island City Building 27 on 27th – pictorial. If you build it, they will come.