Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Roosevelt Island Clash - Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Blogger Daily Exhaust is a former Roosevelt Island resident who is thrilled to have returned to civilization in Carnegie Hill.

Goodbye Roosevelt Island, hi Carnegie Hill.

I have to tell you, my wife and I feel great being back in civilization. We didn't realize how much we missed Manhattan. No more red bus, no more Tram. Do you understand how good it feels to take the 6 train straight to work with no transfers? Via Roosevelt Island 360
As someone who has lived in that area, I agree that Carnegie Hill is a wonderful place to live. Within walking distance to Central Park, museums, bookstores restaurants etc. Six months ago I was ready to make the same decision to move back to Manhattan or to an area in Brooklyn that has a real neighborhood feel to it with the accompanying services and amenities one expects from living in New York but which has been terribly lacking on Roosevelt Island.

Last summer I decided to give life on Roosevelt Island another chance and moved into the new Riverwalk building in Southtown. To date, I am very happy with that decision. My building has some great amenities, a wonderful staff and is 2-3 minute walk to the Tram and the F Train. I can be on Second Avenue in 7 minutes, Central Park in less than 17 minutes, the Upper West Side, Union Square and Greenwich Village in 20 minutes as well as Williamsburg in 25 minutes while enjoying the benefits of a relaxing waterfront community that has begun see the arrival of more retail stores.

Had I spoken with the Daily Exhaust blogger prior to his move away from Roosevelt Island I would have told him the same thing that I recently said to two women who were unhappy living at the Octagon and actively looking to move that was the subject of a prior post summarizing my thoughts on the differences between living on the North and South areas of Roosevelt Island. Here is an excerpt from that post:
They explained that they lived in the Octagon building and could not stand the distance, time and effort involved in going back and forth to Manhattan. They spoke of the difficulties with the Red Bus transportation system but most of all were disappointed by the sense of isolation and disconnectedness from the City (Manhattan).
...I told them that I understood their feelings and felt much the same way when I lived in Manhattan Park but since moving to the Riverwalk buildings in Southtown my view of living on Roosevelt Island has changed completely.

...There are many attractive benefits to living at either Manhattan Park or the Octagon on Roosevelt Island. Both have gorgeous waterfront locations with great views of Manhattan and beautiful green park grounds each with adjacent swimming pools as well as an outdoor tennis court facility and ball fields. However close proximity to Manhattan with access to any city life amenity is not one of those benefits. At Manhattan Park there is at least a significant Roosevelt Island discount, as compared to Manhattan, on rent but that is not the case at the Octagon.

The moral of this story is that if living within 15-20 minute walk of a movie theater, bookstore, museum, good restaurant, bar, nightlife and the buzz of the city is very important to you then perhaps the Octagon and Manhattan Park are not the right place for you to live, but Riverwalk may be. If the benefits of tranquility and recreational activities described above are more important and/or you have small children, then Manhattan Park and Octagon would be great places to live.
The answer to the question posed by The Clash "Should I Stay or Should I Go" as it relates to living on Roosevelt Island all depends, as do most things, on knowing what you are looking for.

Here is You Tube video link to the Clash singing "Should I Stay or Should I Go.
Here is Tony Bennett's answer. You Tube video link to Tony Bennett singing I'll Take Manhattan.


Anonymous said...

The biggest problem on Roosevelt Island right now is overcrowding and the strain that is putting on the always inadequate transportation system. If someone is unhappy living here, by all means go someplace else. One less person competing to get on the subway or the tram.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why anyone who can afford to live elsewhere stays here -- the only neighborhood in the city thrilled to get a Duane Reade and a Starbucks.

Anonymous said...

The reason why people come to RI is because they cannot afford the same space anywhere else in Manhattan. There is no way that you can rent a 3BR apt for less than $5000 across the river. Here on RI you can get a flex-4 at Manhattan Park or a really nice 3BR at the Octagon for that "little" money. Riverwalk's rent are quite a bit more but probably still a tad below market rent.

RI is very attractive to new families who need more than one bedroom or even more than two.

Unknown said...

It saddens me to see what has happened to "our" beautiful RI. Once an oasis, now indescribable.