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Is Long Island City the best neighborhood for singles?

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Ever since the Department of City Planning's 2001 decision to rezone Long Island City, the Queens neighborhood has undergone a dramatic transformation, with dozens of new residential towers going up and thoroughfares like Vernon and Jackson boulevards becoming thriving commercial corridors. 

This has meant plenty of newbies flooding in, and new data from Modern Spaces suggests that many of them may be singles. According to the brokerage's market report for the first quarter of 2017, one-bedrooms are a hot commodity in Long Island City. The neighborhood saw a 29 percent increase in purchases of one-bedrooms from last year, and 71 percent of all condo purchases were one-bedrooms, up from 42 percent in 2016. (Accordingly, the price per square foot for this size unit has also gone up by $128 during the same time period.) 

Eric Benaim, CEO of Modern Spaces, notes that many of these one-bedrooms are resales, which could indicate that the previous residents are coupling up and looking for larger spaces. And Long Island City is increasingly becoming a nightlife destination: "There are a lot of restaurants and activities now in the neighborhood, with hotels opening rooftop bars and clubs," Benaim says. "That's attracting a lot of single, young professionals."

Of course, an increase of interest in one-bedrooms does not necessarily correlate to an increase in singletons. And one can read many things into the data when there's little information about who's selling those one-bedrooms and who's buying. Plenty of couples, for instance, could be splitting those spaces, shacking up being a tried-and-true way of saving on rent in NYC. (And one-bedrooms are a little friendlier to first-time buyers on a budget than larger spaces.) When the New York Times dropped in last year, one resident told them that the population LIC seems to be most popular with is young families.

Andrew Kleinberg, who blogs about the neighborhood on LICtalk, says that if those one-bedrooms are occupied by the unpartnered, they're not necessarily looking for their match nearby: "One thing that I have recently noted is how quiet all the pubs are on Center Boulevard despite the nearby towers," he says. "Leads me to believe that if there are a lot of single people in LIC, they're not partying there."

But there is additional data suggesting that LIC has a vibrant dating scene. Earlier this year, StreetEasy and Hinge ranked the city's most romantically active neighborhoods, measuring how often the dating app's users saved people's profiles, and how often users had conversations and exchanged phone numbers, in different areas of the city. In Queens, Long Island City and Hunter's Point (a micro-neighborhood within LIC) came in second and third, after Astoria. 

And back in 2012, the city's Economic Development Corporation used Census Data to map the ratio of single men to single women by neighborhood. Though women do outnumber men citywide—lending credence to the complaint that the dating scene here is particularly tough for single women interested in men—the neighborhoods of northwest Queens seem to be more balanced than others in their gender breakdown, which could make finding romance an easier gambit for straight singles. 

Of course, as much as New Yorkers would prefer to avoid inter-borough romances that require lengthy commutes, the prevalence of online dating means that your options stretch far beyond the boundaries of your neighborhood. In fact, one sociologist who studies dating habits told the Times that dating locals you meet out and about, as a method of forming romantic relationships, has been on the decline for years.

 

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