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What to do and eat in burgeoning Long Island City, Queens

Long Island City was once its very own city, until the consolidation of New York City in 1898. Today LIC is known for a cutting-edge art and design scenes, and possibly the tech scene with the announcement of Amazon's forthcoming HQ2 — all contributing to rapid growth in residential and corporate properties. However, everywhere you turn in this waterfront community you'll find bold reminders of the area’s once industrial past.

Spend the day museum hopping at the Museum of Modern Art’s avant-garde offshoot MoMA PS1, the Museum of the Moving Image, and the niche Noguchi Museum. Explore sculpture parks and actual parks, and toss in a couple of delicious meals (hello, Brazilian lunch). Here’s how to do LIC with a little savoir-faire.

Get to Long Island City by ferry

The NYC Ferry route between Manhattan and Long
Photo Credit: Shaye Weaver

The NYC Ferry route between Manhattan and Long Island City offers a scenic view of the skyline and a quick, hassle-free way to get between the boroughs for $2.75 -- the same price as the subway. It also stops at Roosevelt Island, if you're feeling extra adventurous and want to explore more of the city's waterfront. From the landing, it is an easy and pleasant walk into the heart of the neighborhood.

Wake up at Sweetleaf

The original Sweetleaf at 10-93 Jackson Ave., which
Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

The original Sweetleaf at 10-93 Jackson Ave., which opened in 2008, is the optimal spot to start your day. Espresso drinks are the star of the coffee counter, with classics poured out excellently. There's also the signature Voodoo Child (pictured) -- a chilled, Vietnamese-style cold brew. Pair with any bakery pick.

Walk the Socrates Sculpture Park

Until 1986, the plot of land that is
Photo Credit: Shaye Weaver

Until 1986, the plot of land that is now Socrates Sculpture Park was an abandoned landfill along the East River. Now, more than a dozen sculptures are spread throughout this outdoor museum along the waterfront. The recent Socrates Annual exhibition featured Tanda Francis' "Take Me With You" (pictured), meant to address the scarcity of clean water. The park is open to the public daily from 9 a.m. to sundown. (32-01 Vernon Blvd.)

Go back to school via MoMA PS1

Housed in a century-old Romanesque Revival public school
Photo Credit: Charles Roussel

Housed in a century-old Romanesque Revival public school building at 22-25 Jackson Ave., MoMA PS1, which became affiliated with the Museum of Modern Art in 2000, has no permanent collection, but does have several long-term installations by such renowned artists as Cecily Brown, James Ferraro, Richard Artschwager and more. Plus, walking through the halls and into the former classrooms makes for an incomparable museum experience. Suggested admission is only $10.

Grab a Brazilian lunch at Beija Flor

Shift gears for a Brazilian lunch at Beija
Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

Shift gears for a Brazilian lunch at Beija Flor (38-02 29th St.). Rustic interiors set the mood for a menu of lively flavors. Lunch specials include sandwich options or larger plates like the frango grelhado (chicken with yucca and collards) or the filé de peixe (swai fish with tomatoes and onions). (Pictured: The seafood stew entree, with swai fish and shrimp in coconut milk.) Don't forget to order a Brazilian beer or a caipirinha, Brazil's national cocktail.

Welling Court Mural Project highlights beautiful street art

Start at 30th Avenue at 12th Street to
Photo Credit: Shaye Weaver

Start at 30th Avenue at 12th Street to see about 140 murals that have grown out of the Welling Court Mural Project. Colors, shapes and words seem to pop off the buildings as you pass by. New Yorkers and artists from around the world, including Abe Lincoln Jr., Lady Pink, Magda Love and Icy & Sot, have contributed to the project. You'll see political cartoons (President Donald Trump as a spoiled child), inspirational quotes ("Do or do not. There is no try," by "Star Wars" icon Yoda), grotesque and dark characters (a terrifying octopus), as well as beautiful and peaceful murals (a group of boys in a boat).

Glimpse six decades of work at the Noguchi Museum

Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi designed and built the
Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi designed and built the Noguchi Museum to serve as a place to house his work. With a career of nearly six decades, and work spanning everything from sculpture to landscape architecture, Noguchi left a definitive mark. Though his work can be found around the world, the museum offers an unrivaled, intimate look at his unique form. (9-01 33rd Rd., 718-204-7088)

Move through LIC's past at Gantry State Park

Take a breather at Gantry State Park in
Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

Take a breather at Gantry State Park in LIC's Hunters Point. Located in a former dockyard, the waterfront stretch of parkland still contains remnants of its manufacturing district past. This includes the northern portion which was a former Pepsi bottling plant, where a large landmark Pepsi-Cola sign can still be found. (4-09 47th Rd.)

Celebrate filmmaking at The Museum of the Moving Image

The Museum of the Moving Image (36-01 35th
Photo Credit: Esto / Museum of the Moving Image / Peter Aaron

The Museum of the Moving Image (36-01 35th Ave.) is dedicated to the curation of all things media and claims to be the only museum of its kind in the U.S. The permanent "Behind the Screen" exhibition documents moving media from early film to the digital era of today. There is also a changing list of screenings with afternoon show times, should you want to sit down for a flick. And do not miss the new Jim Henson Exhibition.

Dine (and drink) seasonally at LIC Market

Opened by a Queens native, LIC Market (21-52
Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

Opened by a Queens native, LIC Market (21-52 44th Dr.) maintains strong relationships with local farmers and purveyors to make sure that the menu is true to the seasonal American mantra. The humbly decorated space recalls a more country setting than the modern design high-rises that surround it. Try the burger and add foie gras (for $15 more) along with any of the natural wine selections. Other must-trys include The Creek at the Cave (10-93 Jackson Ave.) and Manetta's Ristorante (10-76 Jackson Ave.).

Go to new heights at The Cliffs

At 30,000 square feet of climbing and bouldering
Photo Credit: Josh Pestka

At 30,000 square feet of climbing and bouldering terrain, The Cliffs is one of the largest of its kind in the city and in the U.S. Group and private climbing instruction is available for kids and adults, along with corporate team-building programs. There's even a retail store for stocking up on gear. Try: Climbing 101: Intro to Indoor Climbing, $49 (includes day pass and gear rental). A day pass is $30. (11-11 44th Dr., 718-729-7625)

Transmitter Brewing

Specializing in farmhouse-style ales, French- and Belgian-style brews
Photo Credit: Transmitter Brewing

Specializing in farmhouse-style ales, French- and Belgian-style brews and barrel-aged sours, Transmitter Brewing (located in a warehouse at 53-02 11th St.) lets you sample its offerings in its tasting room, which can be a fun weekend activity or post-dinner treat. It regularly has new releases, so one visit may not be enough.

Choose from 40+ wines by the glass at Domaine Bar a Vins

A day both outdoors and indoors, and full
Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

A day both outdoors and indoors, and full of art and city views, means a nightcap is of utmost importance. Winos are on the return to Domaine Bar a Vins, located conveniently off the 7 train --- and for good reason. With over 40 wines by the glass, choosing what to sip may prove difficult. Which means only one thing: You need not limit yourself to one glass. (50-04 Vernon Blvd., 718-784-2350)

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