Queens may be the #1 place to visit in 2015, but I’m glad that so far, it doesn’t seem like Manhattanites are buying it.
The evidence? Yesterday’s Queens Brewers Night, which was a beer-tasting event at a Long Island City hostel. There were 5 breweries there, each with 2 beers on tap, and $25 bought a chance to try them all.
It was a good deal, but more importantly, unlike any other event like this I’ve ever attended in Manhattan or Brooklyn that sounds like a great idea but in practice is too crowded to be enjoyable, it was a great experience. There were a limited number of tickets available, which went a long way toward keeping the crowds manageable, but even when there’s a cap, these events still have a way of becoming out of control.
Not in Queens. I was able to taste each beer at my leisure, taking sips while sitting on a comfy couch among hostel guests using their computers. It was so refreshing to not have to wait in line for an hour at each tap. It was so satisfying to be able to relax and not worry about beers running out. It was surprising to discover there are Long Island City breweries I’d never heard of before.
If you judge by rising rent prices or Lonely Planet awards, the secret of Queens is out, but if you judge by the ability to attend a low-key, terrific event without leaving your borough, it’s still pretty safe. I hope it stays that way, but since I know it probably can’t, I’m going to keep enjoying these small-scale events filled with locals while I can.