Roosevelt Island in New York City

Old Nov 20th, 2002, 06:50 AM
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Roosevelt Island in New York City

We are traveling to New York City on Thanksgiving and we will be staying with relatives who live on Roosevelt Island. Anyone have information on this area? We already asked our cousin, just wondering what others thought about parking, the tram, etc.?! Thanks!
Old Nov 20th, 2002, 06:51 AM
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Cool little island.
Old Nov 20th, 2002, 07:28 AM
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When the community was conceived in the 1970's ( The island was previously known as Blackwell's island, and it was home to an insane assylum), it was hailed as an innovative approach to urban design. The design of the first phase emphasized smaller buildings that created a kind of cozy, 'main street' feeling, to encourage socialization and interaction amoung residents. The design was in contrast to past urban renewal efforts, where large, rectangular apt. towers sat alone amoung barren, grassy parks. Although the'apt tower in the park' concept seemed ideal wihen first proposed, most residents in those types of developments always felt isolated from one another. That's why Roosevelt Island buildings where designed to re-created a small European village.
Subsequent buildings veered away from the original design concept, and appear more conventional in design.
The tram was supposed to be a temporary transportation solution, until a subway stop was built on the island. The NYC fiscal crisis in the 1970's delayed that project, and the subway stop wasn't built until almost 20 yrs later. There were plans to tear down the tram, but island residents protested, stating that they preferred the tram over the subway.
The island never developed to the full potential that the original designers had envisioned. Now it is a akward place to live; not Manhattan, and not really one of the boroughs; there really isn't enough services on the island to make it the self-sufficent community that once was envisioned.
Old Nov 20th, 2002, 07:30 AM
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Communist living at it's finest.
Old Nov 20th, 2002, 09:21 AM
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I've been there a couple of times by car. There is a parking garage where you enter the island (from Queens).

It's a strange place....very much a bedroom community. There are very few restaurants and no apparent nightlife. There's a hospital or two on the island, and some kind of athletic center, and some big grassy fields where kids play soccer. The most interesting thing on the island is the ruins (of the old asylum?). It seems like it would be a nice place to walk & bike around for a few hours, but there's not much more to do! You take a shuttle bus from the residential buildings to the tram & train stations, which will bring you across to Manhattan around 59th Street...a much more lively area.
Old Nov 20th, 2002, 10:40 AM
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The ruins on Roosevelt Island are of the city's smallpox hospital. Perhaps closed too early???
Old Nov 22nd, 2002, 04:41 AM
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