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Roosevelt island

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Roosevelt island

So this island seems to have a fascinating history with the prison, asylum, and tb ward. Is any of that history evident with a walk around?

New York, NY
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1. Re: Roosevelt island

you can sometimes see patients being strolled around outside in their hospital beds. lots of new apt bldgs and starbucks etc so the demographics have changed a lot. if you don't see the history stuff, at least you can take the tram across just for fun.

Boston
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2. Re: Roosevelt island

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d56…

New York City, New...
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for Madison
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3. Re: Roosevelt island

In the summer there are free concerts at the Good Shepherd Church.

New York, NY
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4. Re: Roosevelt island

I was there recently. The tram ride from Manhattan gives great views. There's also a pretty park near the tram from which you can see Manhattan. There's a cute lighthouse on the northern end (you cannot go inside). Also a really nice neighborhood garden about a 5 minute walk south of the lighthouse.

There is some type of tourist booth at the point near the tram, but it was closed at the hour that we got there. (I think it is open Thurs-Sun noon-5, but I'm not 100% sure.) We really didn't see much of the history, although if we'd had more time, I would have wanted to see the smallpox hospital.

In short, there are great views on the tram, and rest of the island is a cute self-contained, neighborhood that makes a very quiet contrast to Manhattan, but it is not a major tourist attraction. We used it as a starting point to walk into Queens and see parts of LIC, Astoria, and Jackson Heights.

staten island
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5. Re: Roosevelt island

NooYawkuh, If I remember correctly, from last week, you were going to do the Jackson Heights tour (Guggenheim). Did you end up doing that and if so how was it?

New York, NY
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6. Re: Roosevelt island

georgiaStaten - Yes we did! Totally worth it (although not for everyone). I think it's on for another 3 weeks or so, and they're already planning this type of activity for another location in the city.

Basically, there's a kiosk where they give you a map of the area, including about 6-7 locations that are near or inside local buildings. It is NOT a guided tour. You can pick four (or possibly 5). At each of those locations is a reader who reads you a story (written by?) somebody who lives in the area. The locations are spread over a relatively wide area, so you really do get to wander and explore the neighborhood, and possibly see some areas off the beaten track. The ticket also gives you a discount at some local eateries, so we also stopped at Espresso 77 for a quick bite.

The four locations we went to were (1) the garden outside a church, (2) the roof of a Jewish center, (3) inside somebody's apartment, and (4) a pedestrian path surrounded by South Asian stores. The stories we heard were about somebody who grew up in the area and was noticing the changes in the neighborhood, a story about somebody appreciating all the ethnic foods and flavors, and two stories about immigrants.

We had a good time and enjoyed exploring the neighborhood. This is definitely not an activity for young children, but adults who enjoy exploring a non-touristy neighborhoods and listening to essays written by residents about their experiences will have a good time.

staten island
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7. Re: Roosevelt island

Good to know info! Thanks!

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8. Re: Roosevelt island

that tour sounds like an interesting concept for sure! it is always nice to hear what other people enjoyed.

thank you for everyones input.

Brooklyn, NY
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9. Re: Roosevelt island

I did a bike to Roosevelt Island last Fall and really enjoyed riding around the island. At its southern tip there is a picturesque ruin of the old Smallpox Hospital. Really atmospheric as the sun goes down. I also loved the Tom Otterness sculptures along the island's East River Shoreline - The Marriage of Real Estate and Money. You can visit the Lighthouse on the northern tip of the island. I also enjoyed the lobby of the Octagon, especially looking at the pre-renovation photos.

Roosevelt Island does have sort of a weird vibe to me. With huge hospitals on either end of the island, there are always large numbers of folks rolling around in wheelchairs. But the thing that gets to me is that, like so many planned communities,there is little organic life. Few restaurants, bars and whatnot. Main Street is dark and shrouded by the closely encroaching buildings.

New York, NY
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10. Re: Roosevelt island

I totally missed the Tom Otterness sculptures!! Where were they? I just love the ones in the 14th Street/8th Ave subway station...