Other Long Island City attractions include two places to climb: a five-story outdoor wall at NYC Outward Bound headquarters, and a cavernous new gym called The Cliffs, opening in May. At Astoria Park, you'll find a skateboard park, jogging track and waterfront paths, along with the city's largest outdoor swimming pool.
Pham, the Z hotel guest, said travel to Manhattan was easy, between subways, cabs and Z's free hourly shuttle bus. The hotel even has free bikes for use by guests. And a ferry ride from Long Island City takes five minutes to reach Manhattan. But with so much to do on the Queens side of the river, you might not want to leave.
Want to go?
LONG ISLAND CITY CULTURAL ALLIANCE: www.licarts.org/. Excellent map of Long Island City and Astoria neighborhoods in New York City borough of Queens, plus attraction listings.
MOMA PS1: http://momaps1.org/, 22-25 Jackson Ave. at 46th Ave. Thursday-Monday, noon-6 p.m. Adults, $10; children 16 and under, free.
MUSEUM OF THE MOVING IMAGE: www.movingimage.us/, 36-01 35th Ave. Wednesday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday, 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Adults, $12; children 3-12, $6.
NOGUCHI MUSEUM: www.noguchi.org/, 9-01 33rd Road. Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Adults, $10. Children under 12, free.
SOCRATES SCULPTURE PARK: www.socratessculpturepark.org/, 32-01 Vernon Blvd. Free.
STEINWAY PIANO FACTORY: www.steinway.com. Tours Tuesdays 9:30 a.m., September-June, reservations fill up months in advance, 718-721-2600.
GANTRY PLAZA STATE PARK: On Queens side of East River, 4-09 47th Road. Pepsi-Cola sign, boardwalks, piers.
ASTORIA PARK: At 19th Street between Astoria Park South and Ditmars Boulevard.
Z NYC HOTEL: www.zhotelny.com/, 11-01 43rd Ave., Long Island City, or 212-319-7000. Rates vary by date and room; $175-$325.
NYC OUTWARD BOUND CLIMBING WALL: www.nycoutwardbound.org/get-involved/want-to-climb/, 29-46 Northern Blvd., Tuesday-Thursday, 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m., April 16-Oct. 31, $25 online, $28 at the door. Minimum age 12; under 18 with adult only.
THE CLIFFS: Climbing gym, opening in Long Island City in May, www.thecliffsclimbing.com.
EAST RIVER FERRY: www.nywaterway.com/AboutERF.aspx, Hunters Point/Long Island City terminal at 54th Avenue and Second Street, $4 five-minute ride to 34th Street, Manhattan.
SUBWAY: From Manhattan, subway routes to Long Island City and Astoria include E or 7 to Court Square and Q or N to stops from Queensborough Plaza to Astoria/Ditmars. (No Q service weekends.)