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Introducing Queens

Of the city's five boroughs, Queens is top dog in size and runner-up in head count. Anywhere else, it would be a major city in its own right. So where to begin?

Assuming it's not Tuesday or Wednesday (when most of the galleries are closed), start your explorations with two days in Long Island City (LIC). A quick subway ride from Midtown, it's packed with contemporary art musts like MoMA PS1, 5 Pointz and the lesser-known Fisher Landau Center for Art. Watch the sun set over Manhattan from Gantry Plaza State Park, and sip-and-sup in the hip, locally loved restaurants and bars lining Vernon Blvd.

Spend a day or two exploring neighboring Astoria, taste-testing its ethnic delis and nosh spots, downing Czech beers at the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden, and getting a cultural fix at the brilliant Museum of Modern Art and Noguchi Museum. If its summer, catch a film alfresco at the riverside Socrates Sculpture Park.

Further out, Flushing (home to NYC's biggest Chinatown) also merits a full-day adventure, with enough hawker-style food stands, exotic grocery stores, kitschy malls and reflexology therapists to keep you purring for hours. If you're short on time, spend the morning exploring the area around Main St and Roosevelt Ave, chow down freshly made dumplings, then spend the afternoon in neighboring Corona, dropping your jaw over the giant scale model of NYC at Queens Museum of Art or the blingtastic bathrooms inside Louis Armstrong House.

If it's hot and you feel like a splash, consider hitting the surf at up-and-coming Rockaway Beach. It has the city's best beach and finest fish taco.