Travel with Val: Tourists Find Long Island City A Great Alternative To Manhattan Madness
New York City's visitors are crossing the East River into Queens to go off the beaten track for tourism. NY1's Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.
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The Maschietto family of Venice, Italy is spending 10 days in New York City, at just $125 a night. They are part of a wave of tourists finding that Long Island City in Queens is an attractive alternative to the Manhattan madness.
“Less people, more quiet and cheaper,” says one of the Maschiettos.
NYC & Co., the city’s tourism agency, says since 2008, 22% of the new hotels built in New York have been located in Queens, such as the stylish Ravel tucked under the the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge and the nearby Z Hotel, which claims 90 percent occupancy this summer.
“It’s booming, the community is booming, a lot like the early 1900s when people migrated here from around the world," says Arthur Rosenfield, LIC entrepreneur.
Because Manhattan is an enticingly short subway ride away, a fledgling Long Island City tourism council has designs on keeping visitors on its side of the East River. New restaurants are debuting, including the soon-to-open Corner Bistro of Greenwich Village fame.
But the secret to a place’s popularity goes well beyond bricks and mortar.
“We have artists, entrepreneurs. It’s a very interesting place to mingle and to mix,” says Rosenfield.
Killer sunsets don’t hurt, but the neighborhood's eclectic blend of humanity also creates an identity.
“Like all the other neighborhoods started, Williamsburg, the reason they came is because it was reasonable, hip. They didn’t have the rich, you know what I mean?" says Henry Z of the Z NYC Hotel. "We want to be cool. I think so, we are cool.”
For more information, visit www.OurLIC.com.