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Sure, we love a leisurely drive up the Taconic, but sometimes the hottest summer day-trip is right in our own backyard. Our newest pick: Long Island City, which is just five minutes from Midtown and exploding with things to do and see.

To get there, leave your Metrocard at home and channel your inner Gilligan. East River ferries ($4) leave 34th Street on the half hour mark and will have you Queens-side in minutes.

Start your day with shopping along Vernon Blvd. or in the craftsy Hunters Point district. We love the quirky, vintage-inspired home goods at SITE NYC, which also does upholstery, paint and renovation consultations.

Break for lunch at M. Wells--a new diner in name and decor only--for haute Quebecois-American fare, like grilled cheese with foie gras or Caesar salad with smoked herring.

Next, it's time for a little culture at MoMA's PS1 branch. Check out Belgian installation artist Francis Alys' tribute to city life or, on summer Saturdays, the museum's popular world-music Warm Up series.

Finish up with roof-top drinks at the just-opened Z Hotel. With its 5,000 square feet of stunning skyline views, you'll remember all the reasons you love being a New Yorker.

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