QUEENS, N.Y. (PIX11) — In the summertime, it is all about finding a place to get away, and getting there can be part of the fun.
Roosevelt Island is part of Manhattan, but it can feel as if it’s a world away. It takes a MetroCard swipe to get a lift on the Roosevelt Island Tram, which tracks along the Queensboro Bridge.
The F train, Q102 bus, and NYC Ferry also transport neighbors and visitors to the spot in the East River.
A bridge connects Queens at Vernon Boulevard and 36th Avenue.
“It’s like a hidden gem. It’s an oasis in the middle of the city,” said Paul Krikler who has lived in Roosevelt Island for years. There’s an old smallpox hospital that treated patients beginning in the 1850s.
Now new buildings are rising at Cornell University. Also, there is an animal sanctuary tucked away off South Loop Road.
The island is 2 miles long and a free red bus makes the loop around the island.
The southern tip features The Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park. There’s also a 150-year-old lighthouse at the northern tip.
New apartments, restaurants, and businesses have been moving in, including the Panorama Room on the top floor of the Graduate Hotel.
“We like to focus on New York producers and craft distillers,” Devin Kennedy the beverage director said.
The tram was the first commuter aerial tramway built in the United States in 1976. It helped transform the island, which had been known as a place that housed prisoners and the sick for hundreds of years.
The F train stop connected the island to the subway system in 1989.