Queens Official Responds to the Voice Over Plan to Officially Change Long Island City’s Name to ‘LIC’


Original Post: We get it, but the term ‘Long Island’ shouldn’t carry this much of a stigma. Because it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

Over the weekend, the Post reported that the powers that be in Queen’s newest “New Williamsburg” are a bit ticked off by the fact that Long Island City . . . is called Long Island City. With more and more business on its way to the up-and-coming tech-centric neighborhood, business owners and officials have complained that the name hints to visitors who are unable to search on Google that Long Island City is nowhere near Manhattan.

Side note: Long Island City is one of the closest neighborhoods to the island fortress.

And, because of this, the municipality is losing money — one hotel owner said 5 percent (give or take) of the hospitality business there is lost to misidentification. So, the proposal: change Long Island City officially to “LIC” — it’s three letters, it’s hip, it’s catchy and, hey, who doesn’t love a good real estate nickname change? ProCro, TriBeCa, DUMBO — why not LIC?

Well, you can’t really change the name of a neighborhood through City Hall. Those aforementioned nicknames are started by hasty brokers and then filtered into the public sphere via Robert De Niro or the way-too-trendy. That means that Long Island City is here to stay; you can call it “LIC” to your clients on the phone. Or just tell them to buy a map before they come.

[UPDATE, February 21st, 4pm]

Rob MacKay, an official at the Queens Economic Development Corporation, responds to the Voice’s original post after the jump.

“My father lives on Long Island and he loves it, but the name “Long Island City” is hurting business in that Western Queens neighborhood. LIC is in the middle of a hotel boom, adding 20 hotels over the past five years. But these properties lose about 5 percent of their foreign business because foreign travel agents think they are located in Long Island and their clients want as close to Manhattan as possible. The Laughing Devil Comedy Club, restaurants and real estate agents have similar problems. LIC is a wonderful neighborhood and a fantastic place to stay, eat, shop, live and enjoy art and the great outdoors. All this shouldn’t be lost on people because of its name. Nothing personal for Long Island residents. LIC is one subway stop from Grand Central Station and at least an hour by car (if traffic is good) from Long Island. Its name should reflect its geography.”

(Disclaimer: John Surico lives in Brooklyn but hails from Long Island. He’s very sensitive about his location.)

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