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Roosevelt Island

Roosevelt Island is a narrow island in New York City’s East River, within the borough of Manhattan.

It lies between Manhattan Island to its west and the borough of Queens, on Long Island, to its east.

Total are of 147 acres and it is about 2 miles long.

It was purchased from Canarsie Indians by Dutch Governor which started Island history of different names as Hog Island.

It changed since into Manning’s Island and Blackwell’s Island.

Island hosted The Smallpox Hospital, opened 1856 and the New York City Lunatic Asylum opened 1839, including the Octagon Tower.

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.

In 1872, the Blackwell Island Light, a 50-foot (15 m) Gothic style lighthouse later added to the National Register of Historic Places, was built by convict labor on the island’s northern tip under Renwick’s supervision.

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.

One of the biggest and most popular was 1976 when introduced ‘tramway’ – a two way gondola that connects Manhattan and Roosevelt Island. Lack of transit connections result with subway service in 1989 – being introduced with F train subway station.

“The Marriage of Money and Real Estate” – A sculptural commentary on capitalism pokes up from the East River. The piece was created by Brooklyn-based artist Tom Otterness, who specializes in public art, and tends to feature such adorable figures in his sculptural work

One of the many quirky finds on Roosevelt Island is this boat prow that juts out into the West Channel of the East River.

It sits in Octagon Park and faces out towards Manhattan.

The Roosevelt Island Bridge is only direct connection with island from Astoria, Queens.

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.

Roosevelt Island is one of New York City’s best-kept secrets – now it’s a peaceful getaway from hectic city life.

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.

The Roosevelt Island Tram

Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park

Smallpox Hospital on Roosevelt Island

You know you want to :D