Travelgram from Roosevelt Island

The Roosevelt Island – A narrow, 2-mile long sliver of land in the East River nestled between Manhattan and Queens! Another item checked of my NYC bucket list! 🙂

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The most awaited part of my trip to Roosevelt Island was the tram ride! The 3-minute aerial ride departs from Second Avenue and 59th Street and takes passengers high above the East River, peaking at 250 feet, all for the cost of one MetroCard swipe. The views of Manhattan’s East Side, the East River, and the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge are spectacular.

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The first impression: The overall vibe of the island is urban, but there are open spaces perfect for rambling. Self-contained, it has its own school, newspaper, and library. It has a red bus which takes you around the northern side of the island for free from the tram station. The southern part is just a few minutes away from the tram station.

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We took the red bus and started our trip from the north side of the island. Our very first stop was the Octagon – an asylum turned residential building. They have a beautiful spiral ‘flying staircase’

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Next we headed to the northernmost tip of the island, the North Point Lighthouse – a lonely Gothic-revival lighthouse, built in 1872 by the city to help light a nearby insane asylum. a very unique vantage point in New York!

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We then walked from the north point of the island towards the south point to Southpoint Park, roughly around 35 city blocks! On our way checking out the art galleries, city views, art installations and taking a small break on the wooden staircase, right by the waterfront!

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A smallpox hospital, built by James Renwick Jr. (the architect of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan) in the 1850s still stands on the tip of the island. Known as Renwick’s Ruin, it’s fenced off so that visitors can’t come too close to the dilapidated structures now inhabited by cats 😛 , but they still make a beautiful, ivy-covered sight.

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We participated in a design-your-own-kite for peace festival and then flew the kite at the four-acre Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park located on the southernmost tip of the island. Designed by Louis Kahn, the park’s granite monument looks like a Greek Temple without a roof 😉

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We spent a quiet time, basking in the sun at the southernmost tip of the island, before we headed home!  And of course, I was looking  forward to that awesome tram ride back home. 😀

The Roosevelt Island is said to be a beautiful site during Cherry Blossoms festival, so hopefully our next visit to the island would be then! Can’t wait to take the tram 🙂 🙂

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