Roosevelt Island, New York City
Helicopter-like views for just $2.25? Sure, on the Tram, which runs parallel to the 59 St (Queensborough) Bridge. Look down onto the rooftop playgrounds of real New Yorkers. You'll get unobstructed northern views (as the Bridge is directly south of you, of course, throughout the 6 minute ride) of 1 Ave, the city at large, and the mighty Hudson River. It costs 1 swipe of the MetroCard for each trip, so that, when you board at 2 Ave & 60 St, you swipe. Six minutes later, when you get off on Roosevelt Island (don't stay; there's nothing to see there!), you exit the turnstile, then swipe again to re-board the same gondola. The gondola holds maybe 6 seated passengers and 15 or so standees? It's about the size of a Paris hotel room, but without the bed in it! Make sure you camera battery is fully charged. 5/27/10 WARNING: Tram is closed for at least the summer.
For something a bit different take the cable car from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island (and back) for views of the city that not many tourists get to see. When I went me and my wife were the only passengers and all for a couple of dollars. Access is at 59th street and 2nd Avenue or if you head for Bloomingdales and then head east you'll come to the Queensboro Bridge and the cable car runs from there.
Roosevelt Island, in the middle of the East river between Midtown Manhattan and Queens, is an interesting place to say the least. It's both charming and a bit, well... creepy. Don't expect much traffic here - there's just Main St and West Rd which run across the whole length of the island, and an eastern and western side walking promenade. From the latter your have great views along quite a long stretch of the Manhattan isle, which makes for great photo shooting opportunities. You can go stand right underneath the Queensboro bridge if you want, too, or turn to the northwest and see the skyline of the upper east side. Some great views here.
This has been a residential area since the 1970's, so there are no real attractions or landmarks on the island, but you can go check out the ivy-covered remains of the 18th century Smallpox Hospital, or the Ocatagon, which previously was a mental asylum. Near the tram station are the remains of the Blackwell farmhouse which stood there from 1796 to 1804 and gave the island its name until the 1920's. On the northern tip of the island there's an 1872 lighthouse which was built by an asylum inmate.
Enjoy the madness ;)
The tramway really is a *must do* with some stunning bird's eye views of midtown, you may have seen it already in the movies "Nighthawks" and "Spiderman". Take a ride from or to the island for a mere single subway fare, with your Metrocard. The cable car runs along the Queensboro Bridge which connects Manhattan and Queens. You can get to Roosevelt Island by subway Train F to Roosevelt Island Station, as well.
I have included the Roosevelt Island Tram and some more information in the "must see activities" section already, so check there for more information as well, and on the official Roosevelt Island web site.
The tram ride to the Roosevelt island should be a great fun but also a little bit scary for a person who are afraid of hights. Round-trip is 4 dollars (September 2005). The tram to Roosevelt was full of tourist and tennis players but the tram leaving Roosevelt island was full of local people.
8/12/08 SEE MY NEW ROOSEVELT ISLAND PAGE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Besides Hoboken and Brooklyn Heights, another place to have a great view of Manhattan is Roosevelt Island. If you take the F train towards Queens, it is the first stop after Lexington Avenue. You can also take the tram at 59th and Second Avenue.
Taking the tram to Roosevelt Island takes just a few minutes, and although there isn't anything to do once you're there, the view is great and ride is fun, although the locals riding will probably look at you strangely as you pose for pictures. Or maybe it was just me...
On my last visit to NYC Labor Day weekend 2007, the Roosevelt Island Tramway reopened after a long closure. I highly recommend taking a ride on this. You get a great view of the East side of NYC and the United Nations. Highly recommended!
One of the best kept secrets in New York City and more affordable tourist acitvities is a visit to Roosevelt Island.
This 147-acre secluded island is located on the East River, just off Manhattan's East Side.
You can take a short tram ride over the river to the island (from 60th Street and 2nd Ave, which will afford you spectacular views of the river, buildings, and at night, the magical feeling of being suspended in space as you are transported in a tram cab high above the city.
You can take a bicycle to the island and ride on the path, from the south end, which has a small undeveloped park, to the north end, which houses a tiny lighhouse. Take a picnic lunch and sit by the water, visit the island's art gallery, enjoy a slice of pizza, and on Saturdays, wander with the locals through the farmer's market.
When you get off the tram, take the little red island bus (cost 25 cents) to Main Street.
Located in the middle of the East River. between Manhattan proper and Queens, you get a small strip of relative peace and quite.
Connection with Manhattan is either via subway (F train) or the mis-named Roosevelt Island Tramway (it's really a cable car). Just riding the tram there is fun. If you have a MTA MetroCard, you can use it to pay your fare. The Roosevelt Island Bridge provides vehicle traffic access via Queens, but there is no direct vehicle connection with the rest of Manhattan.
The red shuttle bus runs a circuit around the island and the charge to use it is $0.25. While there are cars on the island, it does not have the hustle and bustle of the rest of the city.
A nice little break from the rest of NYC!
Roosevelt Island Tram ...take it at Midnight. A few fellow travelers who really live or work there will be along for the ride. The Tram has its own web page..check it out. It goes quickly, but look back for a wonderful view of the city, and before it returns you can zip around the island itself on a bus. You have a sense of the sleeping city belonging to you that time of night.
Tram car to Roosevelt Island. Dangling 250ft above the East River in a Swiss Gondola car is something many people miss. Why??? It only takes a subway token (well, 2 if you want to get back) or Metrocard and you get a great view of the Upper East Side. Tram can be caught on 2nd Ave @ 60th Street or if you're less adventerous the B,Q,or S subway goes there. Walk around the island for a different perspective on Manhattan. One of NYC oldest buildings is on the island, Blackwell House, a 1796 farmhouse. Roosevelt Island is like a small town smack dab in the middle of the East River with amazing views of NYC. Years ago, it used to be called Welfare Island because of the housing projects, now it's like the rest of NYC-unaffordable.
Take the tramway to Roosevelt Island. It runs right along the Queensboro Bridge. From the island you have a great view on Manhattan's East Side including the Chrysler building with its remarkable top. You can find the tramway at 59th and 2nd Ave. A one way ride costs US$1.50.
Manhattan's other island, easy to get there and you can also get there by cable lift, gas is much to see and do there, the suggestion from me, not many people know about the procedures island in the middle of New York, check out more at procedures link:
If you're a tourist in New York and have a 7 day subway pass, I highly recommend that you take the Roosevelt Island Tram from Manhattan and back. With the 7 day subway pass, access to it is free of charge. It's purpose is to drop off residents who live on Roosevelt Island. As a tourist, although there is nothing to do on Roosevelt Island, you are given free picturesque opportunities of seeing Manhattan and the East River from a tram. At sunset, you'll see wonder views of Manhattan.
Note: When you arrive at Roosevelt Island, you will have to exit the tram and re-enter the station to get back on the tram.
Go take the tram to Roosevelt Island if you have time. The views on the 4.5minute 3100 foot long ride are great and then the island itself is a excellent way to getaway from everything that Manhattan is without really leaving. There's a self guided waking tour of the island that can be done in a little more then an hour and the views of the Manhattan skyline leave little to be desired......