AstoriaTwenty minutes from midtown via subway, relatively affordable Astoria has become an enclave of fresh, youthful energy happily co-existing with a strong Greek community. As recent graduates and young professionals have been priced out of Williamsburg, the relaxed vibe of the many new and older local hangouts has welcomed them to this corner of Queens.

A Sense of Place
Residential streets lined with 2-3 story brick and wood frame multifamily townhouses cover much of the area, while commercial hubs cluster around the main thoroughfares: 36th Ave., Broadway, 30th Ave., Ditmars Blvd., and Steinway St. The section surrounding Ditmars Ave., which has a more tranquil feel compared to the bustle of Broadway, has become especially popular with young professionals, prompting the steady increase in cafes, restaurants, bars, gyms, and shops. At the western end of Ditmars Ave, along the East River, Astoria Park offers views of Upper Manhattan and the Hell Gate and Triborough Bridges. It also contributes the city’s largest outdoor pool, tennis and basketball courts, a bandstand, a butterfly garden, a bocce court, multiple trails, and playgrounds.

A Cultural Melting Pot
Greek restaurants are ubiquitous throughout the neighborhood, and have been joined by cuisines from many other cultures as Brazilians, Bangladeshis, Columbians, Eastern Europeans, and Egyptians have discovered, and put their mark, on this convenient and pleasant part of the city. Bohemian Hall is a true European style biergarten and popular outdoor gathering spot. Just next door, Astoria Market features local artisans and craftspeople. The lauded Museum of the Moving Image screens silent films with live music, restored prints from leading archives around the world, and top films from the international festival circuit.

In With the Old, In With the New
While most of the housing stock consists of multi-family semi-detached row houses and townhouses with a few small walk-ups, tax abatements have spurred the development of newer, tall condos.

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Long Island City

long island cityOnly one subway stop from Midtown, Long Island City has a more open, less hectic, neighborhood ambiance; for anyone from artists to investment bankers, it’s a fun and convenient place to call home. The views of Manhattan are awe-inspiring from the wide green waterfront expanse of Hunter’s Point South Park or the beautifully landscaped Gantry Plaza State Park, which features piers jutting out into the East River and Adirondack chairs and hammocks sprinkled about. The city provides a dramatic backdrop for outdoor movies, concerts, and dance performances. Farther north along the waterfront, there is always an engaging exhibit at Socrates Sculpture Park.

Hunter’s Point: Food, Fun, and Family-friendly
Hunter’s Point, at the southern tip of LIC, south of 45th Ave, offers a relaxed vibe with family-friendly brick townhouses and low-rise buildings sharing the blocks with low-slung industrial buildings and new sleek amenity-laden high-rises. Popular shops and eateries draw locals to Vernon Blvd. and Jackson Ave. Beer enthusiasts come from near and far to spend the day doing the popular LIC Brewery Crawl. Every Saturday and Sunday during the warmer months, LIC Flea & Food hosts a bevy of well-curated local vendors. Art plays a big role in LIC, and many early 1900s industrial buildings have been transformed into galleries, studios, and performance venues. Renowned MoMA PS1 provides exhibition space for the most experimental art in the world and also hosts regular “warm-up” dance parties among interactive art displays on its huge outdoor patio.

While prices in Hunter’s Point are higher than the rest of LIC, this area offers more affordable options than Manhattan.

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The G Line runs south into Brooklyn.

The East River Ferry also serves the neighborhood.

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