Sunday, July 17, 2011

Walking around Long Island City

Hot, but a beautiful day for a walk. I had visited Long Island City for dinner, but had not walked around the neigborhood. We followed a guide in Time Out. After coming out from the underground at Hunters Point, we tried to get brunch at M. Wells diner, but it was still packed at 1:30. We walked over to Vernon Boulevard and ate at Tournesol instead. I had a delicious terrine with foie gras. The server answered my questions about the menu very patiently. Both GH and I had a Bloody Mary, which was also very good.

We walked to the new condominium developments at the waterfront. Everything was very well laid out, even overly planned, but the wild grass fringing the boardwalk was sensibly left alone. We dutifully saw the big Pepsi-Cola sign that looked over the East River. The wooden deck chairs and double hammocks were thoughtful additions to the Gantries Park. We walked to PS1 but did not go in. On 45th Avenue was a row of Italianate houses that date from the 1880s, the homes of the affluent in 19th century Hunter's Point. Walking along Jackson Avenue after that, we passed by the Supreme Court House built in the English Renaissance style. It looked strangely flat, like a painting.

From Jackson Avenue, we turned into Purves Street, and popped into the SculptureCenter. The building was formerly occupied by a derricks and hoists company, and so had a very high ceiling. The front courtyard, surrounded by concrete walls, was covered with gravel. The effect was Zen-like, helped by a sound installation by some artist. We did not see the exhibit Time Again, but we may very well find our way back to the center again.

The industrial park along 43rd Avenue was a bit of a wasteland. At the end of the guided walk was the Z New York Hotel. We did not like the look of it very much, and turned back to Vernon Boulevard to get a drink. That strip of restaurants and bars was still our favorite place in Long Island City.

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