Roosevelt Island, although administratively part of Manhattan, is a different place, with different advantages and disadvantages. It definitely does not have the Manhattan "buzz" - but that can be a good thing at 3 AM. It's much more quiet, much more open space, and it has great views of Manhattan all over the place. It's one stop away from Lexington Ave. on the F train, and the Tram is the best ride in town. It has a fair number of historic landmarks but no historic building fabric at all - no brownstones, no tenements, no walkups whatsoever. It's all developed according to an early 1970s plan done by Philip Johnson, and there's a lot of pretty dismal concrete brutalist architecture from that time (some used in the forthcoming movie "Dark Water" to symbolize hopeless decrepit NYC high rises.) It has most of the services you mention - Gristede's, pizza, Chinese, drycleaning, deli - but only one of each, mostly not of stellar quality. Since the whole island is about 10,000 people, there's a nice small town feel to it - there are a lot of families and international people attached to the U.N. You should just go check it out sometime.