Can you believe that today is the last Saturday in August?! Where did this summer go? Of course, it was like no other in my lifetime!
Today, it is raining here on Long Island. Call me crazy, but, I am so happy for this wet and inclement weather. As you guys know, I love the rain on a good day - the sound of it; the smell of it; and the thunder and lightning that usually accompanies it. But, today I'm even more grateful for the rain because I just so needed a day to sit inside and catch up on some indoor activities and the rain makes for a relaxing day with quiet down time. Plus, I don't have to feeling guilty about not going out in the sunshine!
The great borough of Queens...
This past week, I've spent several days roaming about the great borough of Queens. Did you know that Tanya and I were both born in Queens? That's right. In fact, both of us still have family members in this borough, which always gives us a good reason to bop around and visit.
For me, since I spend a great deal of my blogging focus on the outer NYC boroughs, I make frequent visits to Queens and its many historical and cultural destinations.
This week I enjoyed a Daycation in Long Island City, in this borough on one of the most lovely weather days we've had this summer! On this past Wednesday, my destination was to Gantry Plaza State Park. Many people do not realize how many AMAZING outdoor spaces and parks there are in the New York City limits, namely, its outer four boroughs.
Gantry Plaza State Park is one of these such outdoor open air spots located on the East River waterfront with magnificent views of Midtown Manhattan and a plethora of features for an enjoyable day of leisure. This park also has a great deal of history from when it was a dockyard for ships bringing in goods a century ago.
Here are 6 reasons to plan a daycation to Long Island City's state park.
1. A Daycation Destination for Everyone
Gantry Plaza State Park's 12 acres is comprised all the amenities needed for a perfect outdoor family day destination. These include walkways, seating areas, gardens, picnic tables, a playground, playing fields, basketball courts, handball courts, 4 piers and a waterfront promenade facing the Midtown Manhattan skyline. headquarters of the United Nations and the Midtown Manhattan skyline. Cameras are a must for snapping away at the spectacular views and capturing shots of iconic buildings that include The United Nations Building, The Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and more.
2. Historic Remnants of a Gone By Era of Freight Transfer
The park is located in a former dockyard and manufacturing district in the Hunter's Point Park section of Queens. The most prominent feature of the park is a collection of gantries with car float transfer bridges which in turn were served by barges that carried freight railcars between Queens and Manhattan.
The former dock facility includes restored "contained apron" transfer bridges and were built in 1925 to load and unload rail car floats that served industries on Long Island via the Long Island Rail Road's North Shore Freight Branch. I can't tell you how cool it is to get up close to these remnants of a thriving working dock from a century ago!
3. Remains of Long Island Rail Road Tracks
In the southern end of the park, the site of the former dock facility, features old train tracks of the Long Island Rail Road's North Shore Freight Branch which used to run on the south side of 48th Avenue (now part of Hunter's Point Park).
4. Pepsi-Cola Sign is a Designated NYC Landmark
The northern portion of Gantry Plaza State Park was part of a former PepsiCo bottling plant that closed in 1999. The Pepsi-Cola sign was designated a New York City landmark on April 12, 2016.
5. Fishing and Crabbing Pier
Pier 4 is designated for fishing and crabbing and is fully equipped with its own cleaning table. During my visit, there were fishermen enjoying a day out in the sunshine catching bluefish.
6. NYC Ferry Access to/from Long Island City to/from Manhattan
If you are visiting from nearby Manhattan, it's an easy peasy NYC Ferry ride across the East River to this beautiful Queens park. Likewise, if you are looking for access from Long Island City to Manhattan with a scenic view, the Ferry is conveniently located in Gantry Plaza Park.
For your additional viewing pleasure, here are some photos from my relaxing day of discovery at Gantry Plaza State Park!!
Tootles for now!!