In 1971, Welfare Island was renamed Roosevelt Island in honor of Franklin D. Roosevelt. An appropriate name, given that he was the first President who dealt with the social welfare of the people as the ‘New Deal Coalition’ arose out of the Great Depression and World War II crisis of hunger and unemployment. He was also the first crippled President and one of the richest born not far away from Roosevelt Island in Hyde Park, New York.
Originally an Island for the less privileged in society and prisoners, Roosevelt Island residents now enjoy the lush greenery, quiet escapes and views of Manhattan across the Hudson River. A marvelous position to view fireworks on the Fourth of July with the new FDR Park opposite to the United Nation on the southern tip.
The island is one of the few with eighteenth century buildings like the Octagon Tower which once housed Lunatics (built by convict labour) have become rental buildings housing some of the over 11,000 residents; the” Smallpox Hospital, Renwick’s City Hospital (renamed Charity Hospital in 1870); the Blackwell Island Light, a 50-foot (15 m) Gothic stylelighthouse later added to the National Register of Historic Places,( built by convict labor on the island’s northern tip under Renwick’s supervision); and the Chapel of the Good Shepherd are a must see.
An Island originally disconnected by lack of vehicle access and no subway has buses, cars and a subway with the ‘F’ train and a highly functional Tram taking you back and forth. So, take a day trip or rent accommodations – enjoy being a part of one of the lucius Parks of the city evidently shared with New Yorkers and their pets, tourist and residents, themed by one of the most considerate Presidents of our time – Franklin D. Roosevelt.
If we knew then that this Tramway had two breakdowns in 2006, I don’t know if we would have taken this 4 minute ride over to Roosevelt Island. However, if we didn’t we would have missed out on the beautiful city views only affordable at a peek of 250ft high above NYC for the cost of only Metro or free with your metro card transfer.
Besides, this was before it’s $25 million dollar renovation in 2010. Now, the 110 people capacity cars are equipped with blankets, water, food, and a toilet with a privacy curtain. Car attendants will carry cell phones with their radios.
This aerial tramway was one of the first in the world and was featured in over 15 films and TV shows including opening credits of City Slickers (1991).
The most popular scene was “a climactic battle in the 2002 film Spider-Man, in which the Green Goblin throws Mary Jane Watson off the Queensboro Bridge, and Spider-Man must choose between saving her or passengers on the tramway. Shooting of this movie caused the Tram to be out of service for weeks.
If you are planning a trip to NYC Roosevelt island has 1201 hotels in its area with ’98 5-star hotels with an average price of $194 per night’ or for a budget of under $100 you can choose from over 600 hotels.
While you are there you can enjoy the escape from NYC Highrises only an eye throw across the East River while experiencing a ‘A Day Away from the City Without Leaving the City’ or take the ride across to visit some museums, parks (Central Park), shopping centers like Macy’s, Barney’s, Tiffany & Co., Time Warner Center and Macy’s. Visit them before they close down like the famous Toys ‘R’ Us Times Square.
Some top places to visit in the area include: