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My Place or Yours?

She was born in the house next door; he moved here for the dog run. Two distinctly different ways to love Hunters Point, Queens.

Map by Jason Lee; photographs by Julia Gillard  

The Newcomer: Joe Schliffer
Age: 26.
Profession: IT consultant and part-time M.B.A. student at NYU.
Resides: A one-bedroom apartment in the Gantry, a new condo development on 5th Street, with his wife and dog.
Years in the neighborhood: One.
“We moved from a small two-bedroom in Astoria, which didn’t allow pets. Now my wife’s commute to midtown takes fifteen minutes door-to-door, and we were able to get a puppy. We already know more people in our neighborhood than in any place we’ve ever lived.”

1. Second Street Dog Run
2nd St. at 50th Ave.
“Every night from 6 to 7:30, a large group of us meet here with our dogs. The dog run has become our little community.”

2. Black and White Train Mural
49th Ave. nr. 5th St.
“I work from home, and I can see the mural from my window. It’s by a local artist, done on plywood in front of a vacant lot.”

3. Communitea
47-02 Vernon Blvd., at 47th Ave. 718-729-7708
“I’m a tea drinker, and they have a great assortment. My favorite is rooibos from South Africa. Gossip Girl shoots here a lot. I guess it’s an important part of the show because they keep coming back.”

4. Farmers Market
48th Ave. at Vernon Blvd.
“It’s winding down for the season pretty soon. They have a good selection of fruits and vegetables, and I feel like if I keep buying stuff here, maybe it will get bigger. I’m also a member of the Long Island City CSA [Community Supported Agriculture], which just started.”

5. Gantry Plaza State Park
49th Ave. at Center Blvd.
“The grassy area behind the Pepsi sign has a couple of benches that look toward the river and a wall of high marsh grass. It’s a strange feeling to be watching Manhattan but not be part of it.”

6. LIC Bar
45-58 Vernon Blvd., nr. 45th Rd. 718-786-5400
“They have BBQ and music on Sunday nights and a big back patio area where you can bring dogs. A lot of dog-park people come here.”

7. Tournesol
50-12 Vernon Blvd., nr. 50th Ave. 718-472-4355
“It’s the best food I’ve had in the neighborhood. Really good steak-frites. We go for brunch a lot.”

8. Manducatis Rustica
46-31 Vernon Blvd., at 46th Rd. 718-937-1312
“New café. My wife and I got the blood-orange and vanilla and hazelnut and chocolate gelato. I think it will be a good addition to the neighborhood.”

9. Bricktown Bagel & Cafe
51-06 Vernon Blvd., nr. 51st Ave. 718-361-2428
“The neighborhood’s first bagel place. They make their own with a lot of malt. My father grew up in the Bronx, and every time I go to visit him in New Jersey I bring him bagels from here.”

10. The Chocolate Factory
5-49 49th Ave., nr. Vernon Blvd. 718-482-7069 “I don’t know much about it other than they have plays and host events like Taste of LIC. But I like the idea of having a little bit of culture in the neighborhood.”

11. Bella Via
47-46 Vernon Blvd., nr. 47th Rd. 718-361-7510
“The best pizza in the neighborhood. The crust is crispy with a little bit of char. The Biancaneve—white pizza with ham, Parmesan, and mozzarella—is the best.”

12. Briggs & Costa
47-12 Vernon Blvd., nr. 47th Ave. 718-392-1102
“This looks like something you’d see in Soho: a furniture store and interior-design studio. They did the furniture in the common room in my building.”

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