Explore Roosevelt Island

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On a lovely April day, after living in New York for 4 years, I decided I would finally take the gondola to Roosevelt Island.  How could I live here for so long without going?  I’m glad you asked; It was the scene from Spider Man that scared the living daylights of me and kept me from it.Gondola Long View

But the day was sunny, I was feeling on top of the world, so I thought, I’m going to do this.  I’m going to ride in this gondola and beat my fear.  Luckily, nothing like what happened to the passengers in Spiderman happened to me.  For those of you visiting New York, I could say it’s a place to skip unless you want to get a different view of the city for only a swipe of your metrocard!


Once you arrive on the island, it feels like you’ve gone farther away from New York than a strip of land between Manhattan and the borough of Queens.  It’s quiet.  You can hear birds chirp instead of fire truck sirens screaming. Right when you leave the gondola terminal there’s a lovely visitor’s center.

Visitor's Center

Along the west side of the island is a riverwalk where the cherry blossoms are starting to bloom.  It makes for a great picture spot.

Cherry Blossom Tree

Manhattan from Roosevelt Island View of Queensboro Bridge

Another view of Manhattan

As I meander, not having to get to improv practice till 4, I find myself in front of this house. Blackwell House, according to Wikipedia, the sixth oldest house in New York.  As you can see from the pictures, it’s still well kept.  I couldn’t go inside.  I’m not even sure you’re allowed to go inside.

Blackwell House - Sign

Blackwell House - Front

Blackwell House - Back

I love the porch in the back.  I stare at it, picturing a antebellum scene where young ladies are dressed in voluminous hoop gowns, drinking iced lemonade, flirting with the debonair men in their suits, nary a thought for the impending Civil War.

Whew!  I guess I let my Gone with the Wind daydream take over a bit too much!  No, I wasn’t imagining myself as Scarlet O’Hara, in the middle of a group of boys, in my hoop skirt.  Not at all… much.  HA!

After I break free of that day dream, I continue down the main street until I almost walk past this stone church, the Good Shepherd Church.  I’m surprised because it reminds me of churches I’ve seen in England.  As I walk around the church, I can hear singing coming from inside.  I didn’t enter, but stood outside, basking in the bright sunlight and enjoying the beautiful music.

Chapel of Good Shepherd - sign Chapel of Good Shepherd - Back

Chapel of Good Shepherd - front Chapel of Good Shepherd - one door Chapel of Good Shepherd - looking up

Since there was still more of the island to explore, I was off again.  This time down the main drag, aptly named “Main Street.”  I love the obvious.  Huh.  There aren’t a lot of places that are still doing business.  Is it because I’m here on a Sunday and everything shuts down then?  Or is it a downturn on the island?  The only places I saw that have any sort of life in them are a Chinese fast food place and a wine shop.


Most buildings are apartment or condos and high rises.  They all are named and look exactly the same as the other.  There are no brownstones with personality, or quirky buildings that are only two windows wide — not here, just buildings that remind me of a prison.  But in order to combat that, they do have a lot of parks.  Only… your dog can’t play on the grass of any of them, squirrels can!  Lots of rules on this island.



This wasn’t a waste of time by any means.  I had a lovely day out, in the middle of New York, but feeling miles away.  I might go back when it grows warmer.  It could be a cool place for a picnic.  Here are just a few more pics to admire!  Most from the Gondola ride back to the mainland!

East Side of Manhattan East side of Roosevelt Island


View 3 - Manhattan

Cars exiting Queensboro Bridge Buildings

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