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Explore Gentrification in Long Island City With New Walking Tour

 The view from the Long Island City waterfront at Gantry Plaza State Park.
The view from the Long Island City waterfront at Gantry Plaza State Park.
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DNAinfo/Jeanmarie Evelly

QUEENS — A walking tour of Long Island City this weekend will explore gentrification and change in the neighborhood, from the area's manufacturing roots to its current reputation as a hotbed of luxury buildings.

Jeff Sacks, a Queens Plaza resident and high school government teacher, designed the tour — dubbed "L-I-See It: Then and Now" — based on his own treks exploring the neighborhood.

"Basically any street you turn on, there's construction," said Sacks, who's leading the outing for tour company Local Expeditions.

"I just became interested in why this is all happening so fast, how it's been able to happen, the zoning changes — as a history person, it makes me wonder what was there before."

The walk will start in the Dutch Kills area, where it'll touch on the local hotel boom and pay a visit to Dutch Kills Green, a former parking lot that the city transformed into a park.

They'll then move through Court Square, visiting the former 5Pointz graffiti site, the Long Island City Courthouse and other local landmarks, eventually ending at the Hunters Point waterfront where what was once a Pepsi bottling plant is now a number of high-rise apartment buildings, Sacks said.

He'll talk about the history of the neighborhood, including its local rail yards, its rapidly changing skyline and how the city's failure to land the 2012 Olympics resulted in the developing Hunters Point South project.

The tour costs $40 and will take place Sunday at 6:30 p.m., with future tours expected to take place throughout the summer.

Sacks said he sees the event as a way to discuss the changes happening in Long Island City as well as a way to promote the area.

"It's kind of a way to keep people in the neighborhood for a little bit," he said.

For more information and schedule, visit Local Expedition's website.