Doing Queens like a New Yorker is easy with help from New York expert, Tryphavana Cross from NYC & Company. ITTN’s Shane Cullen travelled across the Atlantic with United Airlines, for a whistlestop weekend in Queens, one of the five boroughs of this city.
Renaissance New York Flushing Hotel
The group stayed at the brand-new Renaissance New York Flushing Hotel. This is part of the new Tangram complex in the centre of Flushing, Queens.
The hotel has 208 rooms. It is located on top of an 8-plex 4DX cinema, a retail centre, almost 30 Asian-style restaurants, a beer garden and leisure facilities. Prime Met, the rooftop restaurant, is “a fusion of Asian flavor and western steakhouse”. This is also home to both a whiskey and a sake bar. A handy feature is that the hotel in Flushing offers a free shuttle service to La Guardia. In addition, it offers easy access to the 7 train bringing you right into Grand Central Station in Manhattan, you don’t even have to change lines.
The decor is sleek, trendy and shiny new. Furthermore, rooms are stylish and spacious by New York standards. In addition, they have all the added features that make travelling easy – a half dozen USB ports around the bedstand for recharging everything. What’s more, the Aveda shampoo, conditioner and body wash added an additional touch of luxury.
The Renaissance New York Flushing Hotel at Tangram at 37th Avenue and the surrounding neighbourhood have a very strong Asian influence.
Making Light Work of New York’s Subway
Just like a New Yorker, we rode the Subway which was far easier than I anticipated. A 7-day unlimited ticket costs $33 (for use on the Subway and local buses). The pass expires at midnight on the seventh day of use. If like me, you’ve watched one too many US movies or shows, you will be pleasantly surprised that the Subway is safe, well-lit, harbours no paranormal ghosts and is a very quick and drama-free way to get around the city.
Manhattan also offers free wifi meaning Google Maps makes navigating the city streets effortless. It also means sending messages via Whatsapp doesn’t cost a small fortune with roaming charges (make sure you change your phone settings!).
Museum of Modern Art – PS1
The Museum of Modern Art has two locations, the original MoMA and also MoMA PS1 with the latter is home to a very modern collection of art pieces. This museum is described as “a place where audiences can encounter and engage with new art and perspectives”. You’ll likely love some, and be perplexed by others while one or two will completely stop you in your tracks.
The building is a former public school located in the centre of Long Island City in Queens. It began its artistic life as a studio and exhibition space in the early seventies. It has an ideal that “community is not a monolith, but an ever-evolving constellation of local and international artists, organisations, and neighbours”. The broad array of artistic concepts, exhibitions and works of art capture this diverse background to its origins.
MoMA PS1 is open Sun, Mon, Thurs and Fri from noon to 6 pm and Sat from noon to 8:00 pm. Entry is by advanced timed ticket only so book admittance on their website – https://www.momaps1.org/visit. Adult tickets cost $10 and under sixteens are free.
Not visited on this trip is the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) which is in Midtown Manhattan (11 West 53 Street). MoMA is open daily, 10:30 am –5:30 pm except for Saturdays when it stays open till 7:00 pm (Christmas Period opening hours may vary). It costs $25 per person with those under 16s free. Book slots on the MoMa website to avoid queues/disappointment, see tips for visiting and details on exhibition dates – https://www.moma.org/. Check out ITTN’s exclusive interview with MoMA’s Carly McCloskey for what this modern art museum has on offer for visitors – https://ittn.ie/news/more-at-moma-with-ittn-and-nyc-company/.