The Difference A River Makes

Looking west from 21st Street and 44th Avenue in Long Island City, Queens.1

In short: the low-rise buildings are in the six blocks of Queens between 21st Street and the East River2 and the high-rises are all on the other side of the river in Manhattan. Long Island City used to have a lot of small industry3 but that’s mostly gone now, and the area around Court Square (a few blocks east of where I was standing) and Queens Plaza (northeast of where I was) has been heavily gentrified in the last few years. I expect that these buildings will be demolished either in the current boom or the next for more office and apartment towers.

  1. Note for people who live elsewhere and for forgetful New Yorkers: there is absolutely no relationship between the numbered street grid in Queens and the numbered street grid in Manhattan. Not geographically, not cartographically, not philosophically.
  2. What? You thought there would be 21 blocks from the start to 21st Street? You don’t know the Queens “grid.”
  3. The most famous was the Swingline Stapler company.
Scroll to Top