Roosevelt Island Attracts Visitors

By Jenny Liu ’19

A tramway in the sky, amazing views, a calm vibe, and an abandoned hospital. Roosevelt Island is where you need to be if you want a nice place to enjoy the spring weather.

As the weather gets warmer, flocks of people flood to Roosevelt Island to take pictures with the cherry blossoms that occur once spring and warm weather roll in.

“It’s such a nice place to chill and relax,” said Willia, a visitor.  “I often come here to draw the scenery and walk my dog.”

“I love coming here with my friends to chill and sit by the water,” said Janet Yu. “This place makes you want to have long talks with your friends and deep thoughts about life.”

The island has many hills and a nice view of both Long Island City and the Upper East Side of Manhattan. There is also a view of the United Nations Building.

There is a tramway that can take you from the Upper East Side of Manhattan to the island. The tramway can fit at most 110 people, and an average of 5,550 to 6,500 people ride the tramway a day. It is only a five minute ride, and there is an amazing view over the East River. The tramway is very reliable because not only can it survive horrible weather conditions, it is also backed up by an additional power motor.

“The first time I went on the tramway I was so amazed,” said Michael Huynh. “But the ride is so short, I was actually kind of disappointed.”

If the tramway is not available, there is also the option of taking the F train to Roosevelt Island Station.

An average of 2.7 million people visit the island every year during the spring and summer. There are actually residential apartments on the island that make the island seem very lively. People usually walk their dogs, play with their kids by the hills, and enjoy the view.

Further south of the island is a four acre memorial to honor former President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the “Four Freedoms” presented in his State Address. It is a state park that is open all year round to tourists. The island is also named after the former president because he was also from New York.

Right next to the memorial is a abandoned smallpox hospital that shut down in the 1950s due to the building’s not being used or being rarely used. In 1875, the smallpox hospital was to keep in smallpox outbreaks due to the wave of new immigrants coming in at the time. However, that was unfortunately not a big success, so the hospital became a training school for nurses. But then they relocated, abandoning the former smallpox hospital. The hospital still stands today in ruins and is protected with gates and cameras.

“It’s pretty creepy, but I love how it’s stationed right next to the memorial,” said Amy Cheung ’19.

It is recommended that you brings your own food when going on a picnic because there are very limited places to buy from on Roosevelt Island. However, a very good place to grab food on the island would be a pizza place called Piccolo. The pizza is pretty tasty and they have indoor and outdoor seating.

“They seemingly have the pizza game locked down on Roosevelt Island,” said a local guide, Dimitrios D,  who reviewed the restaurant. “So if you want pizza and you’re in the area, you will probably have to come here.”

Seemingly far, the experience on the island is so worth the traveling.  Perfect picnic place, amazing views, calm breeze, and unique structure is what mainly attracts tourists every single year.

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