clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Flea Market Rummaging and Contemporary Art in Long Island City

New, 2 comments

Welcome to Perfect Saturday, a weekly Racked feature in which we outline the best places to shop and spend the afternoon in a particular neighborhood, starting with brunch and ending—who knows!

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Welcome to Long Island City, where artists and investment bankers sweat side-by-side at PS1's Warm Up dance parties, and go out for buttermilk pancake brunches the next day. Flanked by the aforementioned museum and the Citigroup building, Greenpoint's grittier neighbor is an excellent place to get your flea-market-rummaging and art-book-browsing fix. Read on for our perfect Long Island City Saturday.

Minimalist with a rustic twist, LIC MARKET (21-52 44th Drive) captures the modern yet welcoming vibe of its neighborhood. Settle in with a mimosa and enjoy classics done simply and oh-so-well, like buttermilk pancakes with berry jam and pumpkin seed butter, slow cooked pork, or the frittata of the day.

You know a neighborhood is officially "happening" when it gets its own flea market. The LIC Flea (525 46th Avenue) is a bit smaller than its Brooklyn counterparts, but it’s also less crowded and crazed. It’s a pleasantly stroll-able collection of vendors from which you’ll find unique, often local-to-Queens goods. Shop vintage clothing, handmade jewelry, antique furniture and novelty gifts, and if you’re not too stuffed from brunch, check out the food selection that might soon give Smorgasburg a run.

Just Things (47-28 Vernon Boulevard) is just that – well, it’s actually all the things. You’ll find a mixed bag of clothing, books, records, home goods, jewelry and antiques here. The prices are low enough to have a field day—if you love the thrill of the dig, this something-for-everyone store is a total haven.

Just as unique of a mix but expertly curated instead of dig-encouraging is LIC Living (535 51st Avenue). The store caters to every aspect of a well-appointed lifestyle, with an array of clothing, accessories, housewares and beauty items. Finds for men and children make the cheerful shop even more perfect for scoring just the right gift for someone special, too.

You could spend more than a day at the institution that has been making LIC a destination for years, MoMA PS1 (22-25 Jackson Avenue). The space is one of the world’s most renowned, cutting-edge centers of contemporary art, where you can find awe-inspiring work from paramount artists and up-and-comers, alike. The addition of the critically acclaimed M. Wells Dinette makes grabbing a mid-art snack a culinary delight, and you can end your day at the epic dance party that is the weekly Warm Up series, a fixture in New Yorkers’ summer calendars.

Somewhere between experiencing the newest piece of installation art and letting off some steam at Warm Up, make a stop at MoMA PS1’s store, ARTBOOK @ MoMA PS1 (22-25 Jackson Avenue). As the retail extension of one of the most important institution in the art world, the shop holds every title you can think of when it comes to contemporary art, from just-released works to out-of-print titles.

If you’re in need of a manicure before spending the afternoon dancing at Warm Up or want to unwind after feeding your brain with all that art by indulging in a massage, head to Emily Salon and Spa (474 48th Avenue). You can relax, primp or both here, with everything from blow-outs and highlights to facials and hot stone massages.