We’ve become big fans of the East River Ferry, especially after hanging out with Captain Norman Little, one of the first responders for 9/11. Recently, we took an all day tour hopping on and off the ferry, looking for the “Untapped” finds in the neighborhoods accessible by the East River Ferry, from Long Island City to Greenpoint, to Williamsburg to DUMBO. First up, Long Island City!
Urban Exploration: 5Pointz
Photo by Jane Hu for Untapped Cities
5Pointz is an outdoor art exhibit space considered to be the world’s largest legal “graffiti exhibit” in the United States, if not the world, where aerosol artists from around the globe paint colorful pieces on the walls of a 200,000-square-foot factory building. The building is slated to be demolished by September of 2013, so make sure to check it out soon. Tours run by the 5pointz Aerosol Art Center are available, along with regular events.
What to Eat: Cafe Henri [Map]
This light and airy little French cafe is full of both French and American classics. From croque monsieurs, quiche lorraine, escargots and sweet and savory crepes, there’s even eggs benedict translated of course to le oeufs benedict. I also highly recommend the smoothies.
Coffee Break: Sweatleaf [Map]
In spite of its use of comic sans font on the menu, we love this spot because of how cozy it feels, in large part due to how it has retained many historical elements within the store. In the bathroom, there are vintage photos showing how the spot looked over time. With a cozy couch section by the window, a communal table and a great nook in the back, this is definitely worth a stop.
Outdoor Drinks: Creek & the Cave [Map]
The Creek & the Cave has a great outdoor patio that’s accessed through a staircase leading from the Mexican restaurant storefront. It’s also known for its open mic and standup evenings, where even Louis C.K. stops by.
Culture Check: MoMA PS1
An afternoon would not be complete without mention of MoMA PS1. An exhibition space rather than a collecting institution, MoMA PS1 devotes its energy and resources to displaying the most experimental art in the world. Don’t miss the summer Warmup Series, the ultimate stage for music and modern art.