Long Island City on Long Island is only one subway stop from mid-town Manhattan and right on the East River. Long Island City offers full on views of the UN slab, radiator-topped Chrysler Building, iconic Empire State Building, and other Midtown NY skyscrapers that together form one singular sensation of a panorama.
Its waterfront is now lined with upscale, glassy new developments that are home to many young professionals looking for luxury amenities and convenience to Midtown at slightly discounted prices. Once an industrial sprawl full of storage warehouses and taxi depots, Long Island City has seen remarkable change in the past two decades.
The only thing remains the same - The Pepsi-Cola sign.
Pepsi-Cola was invented in Bradham's Drug Store in North Carolina by the store owner Caleb Davis Bradham. In 1893, “Brad’s Drink,” made from a mix of sugar, water, caramel, lemon oil, nutmeg, and other natural additives, became an overnight sensation. On August 28, 1898, Bradham renamed his drink “Pepsi-Cola." He believed the drink was more than a refreshment but a “healthy” cola, aiding in digestion, getting its roots from the word dyspepsia, meaning indigestion. Despite its name, pepsin was never an ingredient of Pepsi-Cola.
In 1943, the Arundel family started bottling and distributing Pepsi with only four trucks in Nassau County on Long Island. The name was Island Bottling Company until 1955 when the company went public and was renamed "Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Long Island." The company bottled and supplied mostly PepsiCo products, including soft drinks and non-carbonated beverages like Gatorade sports drink and Aquafina water, to the five boroughs in New York City.
The 120-foot (37 m) long and 60-foot (18 m) Pepsi-Cola sign was constructed in 1936 and was located on top of the bottling plant. In 1999, the bottling plant was closed and then sold and demolished in 2001. Pepsi sold its facility to the Queens West Development in 2001.
But the sign was preserved and reinstalled a short distance away in a park. Today it is located in front of a high-rise apartment building near Center Boulevard and 46th Avenue overlooking Gantry Plaza State Park.
The sign has appeared in several films, including Steven Spielberg's 'Munich' (2005) with Daniel Craig and Mathieu Kassovitz, and Sydney Pollack's 'The Interpreter' (2005) with Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn.
In April 2016 the sign was designated an official New York City landmark by the Landmark Preservation Commission.