While not a traditional neighborhood, Roosevelt Island sports an eclectic collection of apartment complexes, landmarks, parks, and even some bars and restaurants. Resting in the East River between Manhattan and Queens, Roosevelt Island marches to the beat of its own drum.
Roosevelt Island in the 1600’s and 1700’s was largely private property that would change names depending on who owned it. One of the last private landowners of the island was Jacob Blackwell, who built the Blackwell House that still stands today as the 6th oldest house in NYC.
New York City bought the island in 1828 and used it for various purposes like hospitals and prisons. One of the many historic projects that’s still standing is the Blackwell Island Light, a lighthouse marking an end to the prison and asylum construction. The last inmate left the island in 1935.
Access to the island was improved in 1930 when bridges connecting Manhattan and Queens finally added exits for cars and trolleys. Bridges opening in 1955 continued the trend. The island was named for Roosevelt in 1973, which prompted the city to fund residential properties on the island. Now, Roosevelt Island is a fun, historical place with a healthy number of residents.
There isn’t much uniformity to the structures here. The apartment complexes are mid to high-rise, there are a ton of historic sights and hospitals, and even abandoned buildings still haunt the island.
The vibe of Roosevelt Island is unique. It encourages tourism, yet it isn’t a tourist trap. People live here, but it’s not your traditional residential neighborhood. It's almost as if the island is a historical preservation sight that people are allowed to live in.
There’s not much of a nightlife here unless there’s an event on the island. There are several restaurants and bars, but even then, things are quiet by ten or eleven. The island is almost never crowded, which is a big plus for the residents here, who are mostly younger professionals.
The crime rate on the island is incredibly low. There’s even access to schools and a large hospital here too. That said, families might want to look elsewhere if they want an island home. The apartments that are here aren’t built for larger families. It’s a great spot for people to visit. However, families living here might be left wanting more.
The New York City subway provides access to Roosevelt Island via the F train. The island is also accessible via the Roosevelt Island Tramway and Ferry.
Biking is not very popular here. The island is very walkable, so it’s not really necessary.
Driving is not recommended on Roosevelt Island. The island wasn’t designed for cars, and many locations simply don’t allow driving.
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Roosevelt Island is located within New York County, New York. This area currently has 1,634,989 residents in 753,385 households. Out of the total population, 40.12% of the residents speak another language at home instead of English. The majority of the inhabitants in this county are currently unmarried and have a median age of 37.
When looking at residents older than 25, around 12.55% have graduated from high school, 31.80% have a bachelor's degree, and 28.64% have obtained their master's degree or above. Employment rate is typically around 62.9% and the median income in this county is $75,513.
At least 76.86% of those living in this county are renting their homes. Most residents will commute to work by public transportation with an average commute time of 31 minutes.
Geographically, New York County, New York is a part of the New York - Newark, NY - NJ - CT Urban Area. This county is currently home to 18,812,161 residents, or 6,707,347 households with a median income of $68,319. the New York - Newark, NY - NJ - CT Urban Area residents have a median age of 38 and 50.07% are currently renting their homes in the area.