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Thread: Roosevelt Island

  1. #1

    Post Roosevelt Island

    I was looking for apartment prices in Manhattan (not for now, at this moment it is a long-term plan to live in NYC, probably in 5 years) and I have to say woah!!!!!! but I found a website that divided Manhattan into neighborhoods and I clicked on Roosevelt Island and I saw some good things, not too expensive and it has the advantage of being one station away from Midtown...

    I haven't been to Roosevelt Island so I would like to hear opinions....Is it a nice place? Does it has "the essentials"? with this I mean supermarket or convenience stores, atm's, restaurants, , bars, roads in and out, etc...

    Thanks for the info....

  2. #2


    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.

  3. #3

    Default Roosevelt Island

    Hi Everyone!

    My lease is almost up on my university housing and it is time to start the apartment hunt!

    Does anyone live on Roosevelt Island or have any opinions on it? I was out there this weekend and really liked it - especially all the green space - which will be great for my dog.

    I know that there is NO nightlife or party scene - but I'm really not into that anyway.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated!

  4. #4

    Default Living on Roosevelt Island

    Living here on Roosevelt Island means you need to determine what you are looking for in a community and how you feel about commuting. The island is very much a small community and what you make of that is up to you. As opposed to a college campus this place may seem quite slow.

    There are no bars, social halls etc. There are a few places to sit and eat (Trellis and Nonnos) and take out (China One). An art gallery. Plenty of green space including a few landmarks. A public library branch. Basics including two cleaners, a deli, Starbucks, a card store, a combo hardware / video rental place, a few houses of worship etc. We also have a Gristedes, a liquor store and Duane Reade among other retailers. We also have SportsPark and a Racquet Club.

    One of the key factors for many moving here is the commute. THe father North you move from the subway and Tram the longer you will need to build into your commute and for many that is key.

    Check out my blog and that of my fellow blogger to learn a bit more about life here. Also check out several of the back issues available on line of the Main Street WIRE, the community's local newspaper.

    Good luck,


  5. #5


    I just read the articles you posted Eric and one of them said good luck getting a cab there. If i was in the city and wanted to go to roosevelt island, is it not easy to get too? I really like roosevelt island (from what i've read, never been) And it seems better in price and more quiet for my dogs also but still so close to the best city in the world!


  6. #6

    Default Getting to Roosevelt Island

    I think the posts about the cabs was on the Roosevelt Islander and not my RI 360 blog. But in truth if you hail a cab and you get in they have to take you where you want to go. Between the F subway train and the Tram getting to the Island is not really a problem.

    It's getting off the Island to get into Manhattan or Queens which s sometimes a problem. For the folks that live at the North end of the island and the Octagon or Mahhattan Park they have to build in extra time to just get South to te subway and the Tram. For those of us in the middle sometimes Red Buses pass us by filled. For everyone the subway and Tram are getting crowded. Many Manhattan bound trains come into the station filled with Queens residents and you need to let a train go by before you can get in.

    But as with anything if you leave enough time and leave early enough the commuting issues are not as drastic. If you leave at 830 am for a 9am mtg it does not always work depending on where you live and where you work.

    For folks that live in the newest buildings at Riverwalk by the subway half the battle is eliminated and its only getting on the train or subway. Two more bldgs are under construction and three more are slated to be built. That's at least 1000 to 2000 more folks by most of our estimates. So who knows what it will be in a year or so.

    And just be aware that the Tram will be offline for most of 2009 due to its rehab and reconstruction.

    But again cabs to the island have to take you. Getting cabs off is quite rare.

    Last point I should bring up. Usually during the Summer we lose subway service in one direction about every weekend. The Tram usually picks up the slack. But this year 2008 we have lost service in one direction in 6 or 7 of the total 8 weekends so far. Annoying but liveable due to the Tram.

    How's that for a transportation recap.

  7. #7


    Wow, thank you so much! That's a great recap, I definitely want to visit this island when I go this summer, possible make it a home! I just hope I can afford it I have looked into the Octagon online, looks like a really nice place, have you ever been there? are the pictures deceiving?

  8. #8

    Default The Octagon Residents Website

    If you want to learn about the Octagon you might as well ask the folks who live there now. Here is a link to their website / bulletin board:

    Read through past posts, register and ask your own questions etc.

    For my own purposes the pictures are fairly accurate although glossed over. I have only visited one apartment and the rooms to NYC standards are not bad but still small to my liking.


  9. #9


    Roosevelt Island

    Seeking to Give Power to the People, at Least Symbolically

    Librado Romero/The New York Times
    “I wanted the opportunity to have a say in our future,” one resident said.

    Published: February 24, 2008

    PAUL SOKOLOFF, a 51-year-old bartender with a small earring and a smoker’s rusty chuckle, is a blunt-spoken man, not the sort one expects to talk like a civics textbook. But that is how he sounded a few days ago when he described the vote he had cast in his local schoolhouse on the day of the New York primary.

    “I wanted the opportunity to have a say in our future,” Mr. Sokoloff said during a smoking break outside the Trellis, a diner and bar on Main Street, the primary thoroughfare on Roosevelt Island. “I wanted to vote for the people who make all the decisions in our lives.”

    Like 2.3 million other New Yorkers statewide, Mr. Sokoloff had voted for a presidential nominee in the Feb. 5 balloting. But that is not the vote he was describing. Immediately after pulling the lever, he had walked to the hallway outside the school cafeteria and entered a booth rented from Election Machine Service Company, of Woodside, Queens. There, he voted to place up to six of his neighbors on the board of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, the state agency that runs the island.

    Mr. Sokoloff’s vote was a symbolic gesture, but it was the culmination of an audacious civic experiment. Roosevelt Islanders have grumbled for a decade about the way the island is governed.

    Although the island is city property, it is leased to the state until 2068. The governor appoints all nine members of the operating corporation’s board, which manages an annual budget of $32.5 million. Legislative efforts to amend the system so that members are directly elected have repeatedly failed in the State Senate.

    Nonetheless, the Roosevelt Island Residents Association, a community group, spent $8,000 to hold an independently supervised, nonbinding election for six spots on the board that are either vacant or occupied by members whose terms have expired. The residents’ association is gambling that it will be able to shame or cajole Gov. Eliot Spitzer, a Democrat, into appointing the election victors to the board.

    On Feb. 12, the island’s city and state legislators, along with Representative Carolyn Maloney, whose Congressional district includes the island, wrote to the governor urging him to appoint the candidates. They would then require approval by the State Senate.

    “The ball is now in the governor’s court,” said Assemblyman Micah Kellner, one of those lawmakers. “He can do the right thing by appointing these six people if they pass the vetting process, or he can ignore the wishes of the people on Roosevelt Island.”

    Erin Duggan, a spokeswoman for the governor, said that Mr. Spitzer’s office would “give consideration to all the potential appointments in the way that we consider any recommendations from local leaders and community organizations.”

    Back on Main Street, Mr. Sokoloff ticked off various issues he hoped the prospective new board members could address: protecting parkland, preserving affordable housing, and easing overcrowding at the island’s subway stop. But mostly, he said, he just wanted to see the proposed candidates in office. “I’d like to see them get appointed,” Mr. Sokoloff said.

    “Just get them appointed.”

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company.

  10. #10


    Besides the Octagon - does anyone know what other buildings allow dogs?

  11. #11

    Default Buildings Allowing Dogs

    I believe the Riverwalk buildings allow dogs. But please confirm this.

    As a related aside there was once a movie filmed about dogs not being allowed on the island called:


    Click the movie still from my blog to view the movie.


  12. #12
    Forum Veteran Tectonic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    New York City


    What are the names of the two buildings being built close to the Queensboro bridge?

  13. #13

    Default Riverwalk Buildings - Southtown

    405 Main Street is not yet named and 415 is Riverwalk Court. The picture provided is from a rendering of the full complete complex and the labels are my own.

  14. #14

    Default Updated Riverwalk - Southtown Photo

    Sorry I deleted the photo in the prior reply as it needed adjustment

  15. #15


    Is it physically impossible to put a decent looking building on Roosevelt Island? Roosevelt Island is one of the greatest if not the greatest missed opportunities of the last century!

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