LIC Flea is a gateway to weekend getaways

July 5, 2013 Editorial Staff
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If you’re looking for a “destination location,” look no further than LIC Flea & International Food Bazaar.

In a single weekend you, your family and friends can ride the ferry — which docks at the most exciting piers in the city — hop aboard a free air-conditioned shuttle, do some shopping, grab an icy dish of sorbet or hand-shaken lemonade with fresh berries and mint, take an afternoon river kayaking trip, create art in an outdoor sculpture garden, share an artisan pizza or devour sliders from an old-fashioned barbecue smoker, take a stroll through the park and pose for photos under an iconic billboard overlooking the city’s skyline.

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For decades, Long Island City has been an epicenter of the arts, waterfront parks and unique cuisine. But now LIC Flea offers a common gathering place ideal for combining each of the elements that make this neighborhood one of the most vibrant in the city.  The best part is that you can easily do it all without breaking the bank.

As a partner with LIC Flea International Food Bazaar, the East River Ferry—which celebrated its second year of service this week on June 25—offers visitors transportation from Midtown, Wall Street, Williamsburg, Dumbo, Greenpoint and Governors Island, all arriving in Long Island City every half hour. Single rides are $4, or just an extra buck to bring along a bicycle. Schedules and maps are available at, and there’s even a smart phone app called NY Waterway.

From the ferry terminal, a complimentary air conditioned shuttle transports visitors directly to the LIC Flea at 5-25 46th Street. Families can engage in art activities, enjoy local musicians and DJs, nosh on artisan treats and shop for collectibles, artwork, home furnishings, fashion and antiques from a rotating selection of over 90 vendors featured every weekend from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

When the heat gets too sweltering and a jump in the river suddenly seems enticing, head to the north end of the market, where free kayaking is available throughout the summer via the volunteer-based LIC Boathouse. Check out the full summer schedule at

Following an afternoon on the East River, refuel and recharge at the market with a selection of delectable dishes. For a formal indoor dinner, Vernon Boulevard is just a block away, where old time Main Street U.S.A. magically collides with Long Island City’s sparkling contemporary waterfront.

It’s framed by Gantry Plaza just down the street—which boasts pristine piers, lounging chairs, weeping willows, playgrounds and the glowing iconic Pepsi billboard — just one of hundreds of picturesque vantage points for views of the Manhattan skyline.

Also nearby are Socrates Sculpture Park, with an outdoor green market and free yoga classes (; one of the country’s oldest and largest collections of contemporary and experimental art at MoMA P.S. 1 (; or the showcase of artwork by renowned Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi at the Noguchi museum (

Long Island City is also rich with theater, improv, comedy, music, restaurants, lounges, dog parks, galleries, studios and hidden treasures.

With the LIC Flea International Food Bazaar as a crossroads, come for the market, and return weekly over the summer to discover miniature escapes from the work week, all eclectically packaged in one of New York’s most vibrant neighborhoods.

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