Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Biking to Roosevelt Island

Less Hate, More Love Part III


In celebration of one full week since my commuter bike was stolen (and my inability to get over it and just replace it) I'm posting another of my favorite local rides - across the bridge to Roosevelt Island.

View from the Southern tip of Roosevelt Island

The very fact that Roosevelt Island exists is a little strange. A product of the Urban Development Corporation, it was supposed to be a suburban, car-free utopia in the center of NYC.
Over the years, I've known a number of people who've lived there, and they all did enjoy it to a certain extent.

The thing I enjoy most about it are the spectacular views and the fact that you can be completely and totally alone.
Past the ruin of the old smallpox hospital (BikeDummy, Sept. 2007) all the way at the tip of the island, is a spot to view the complete panorama of the East River - from the United Nations to LIC.
And it's almost always empty.

The United Nations to the West

Long Island City to the East

To get to Roosevelt Island by Bicycle - either take the tram from 60th street in Manhattan, or bike across the bridge at Vernon Blvd and 36th Avenue in Queens.
The surface of the bridge is metal grating so I wouldn't ride across it unless you've got a mountain bike. It's also currently under construction, so on windy days the dust is really awful.
The path is very narrow and is used by pedestrians as well, so you may need to dismount and walk your bike.
Once across, just follow the roads. The island is a closed loop so it's not like you can get lost.


If you're in the area - drop by the Socrates Sculpture Park or the Isamu Noguchi Museum for a bit of culture.


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