In order to separate from the confusion of being mistaken with Long Island, officials and business leaders are looking to change the name of Long Island City to the “hip” abbreviation “LIC.”
After meeting with travel agents from around the world to introduce them to New York, Rob MacKay of the Queens Tourism Council, frequently finds out travelers get thrown off by the city name when searching websites of Long Island City hotels.
“It’s a nightmare! I actually have to show them how close we are to the city,” said MacKay. “The name apparently affects the real estate world and the tourism industry.”
With changing the name, MacKay hopes to distinguish Long Island City, emphasizing its unique businesses and thriving community, being only two subway stops away from Manhattan.
“I’ve been frustrated with this for a while now. A lot of people call us daily and they’re confused because they have a misconception of Long Island City,” said Eric Benaim, owner of real estate firm Modern Spaces.
The change in name does not seem too drastic, as Long Island City is already being referred to as LIC by residents and businesses.
“People here already call it LIC and businesses use it in their names. We always say LIC, we’re trying to get people used to it,” said Benaim.
According to MacKay, the process of changing the name does not follow any legal or financial steps but instead just takes the dedication of the community to begin calling itself “LIC.”
Yet, not everyone agrees with the name change.
“Leave it as Long Island City!” said Manducatis Rustica owner, Gianna Cerbone-Teoli. “People do get confused about it but it’s so great when you have to explain.”
Instead of changing the name, residents believe the community should help others understand the differences and unique qualities of Long Island City.
“I think it’s unnecessary to change it for people that are not well informed,” said Esteban Varas, 23. “I mean we are all on Long Island.”