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New Long Island City hotel’s art gallery celebrates NYC culture

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The Modernist Hotel opened just this month to accommodate guests with their own flair. (Photo from the Modernist Hotel website)

The recently opened Modernist Hotel in Long Island City is hosting an art gallery this week to celebrate the culture of the city and create a dynamic space that isn’t just for guests. 

This Friday, April 1, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., the hotel will open its doors at 38-30 28th St. for the art gallery curated by Orestes Gonzalez from LIC Culture Lab. The gallery can be viewed in the lobby just past the front desk, featuring abstract and geometric pieces. 

Yianni Katsifas, the general manager of the Modernist Hotel, said that artwork will also be featured throughout the building and in the guests’ rooms as well.

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(Photo from the Modernist Hotel website)

“Our goal is that when people come stay at the hotel, it’s not just a transient place,” Katsifas said. “They can really get a feel for the Long Island City neighborhood and the important pieces that make it what it is even when they’re just staying in a room.”

The Modernist Hotel opened two weeks ago as a family project. The property is small, with only 16 rooms. However, the rooms are large featuring a kitchenette and balcony.

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“A lot of our guests have compared it to an Airbnb experience,” Katsifas said. “We wanted it to be like a home because we’re so small that’s something we can provide— that warm, fuzzy, second-home feeling.”

Katsifas stressed that most of the work to get the hotel up and running was done by the family. 

“The rooms feature this wood paneling with geometric squares and rectangles on the walls. My dad and I spent the entire summer cutting the wood for all those pieces, nailing it to the walls and making these designs,” Katsifas said.

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(Photo from the Modernist Hotel website)

 The rooms are warm with a wood and leather aesthetic, which Katsifas said plays to the history of Long Island City. 

“The neighborhood was this really cold industrial area and now it’s this buzzing, bright, young community. So, we wanted that reflected in the design elements,” Katsifas said.

The art gallery will also pay homage to Katsifas’ mother, who he said has always appreciated the arts. Though, when she was young, her parents didn’t approve of her passions.

“Her parents said ‘no, young Greek girls become engineers, not artists,’” Katsifas said. “So this is a way to honor her and her interests.”

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