Image of Octagon Building from Urban Baby Daily
Image of Main Street buildings from Forgotten-NY
Image of Riverwalk buildings from NY Times
I often meet people who when they learn that I live on Roosevelt Island ask if it is really as creepy and spooky as portrayed in the Jennifer Connelly movie Dark Water. I usually respond with a definitive "it depends".
If you are thinking of moving to Roosevelt Island don't worry about Dark Water, but this recent message thread on Live Journal describing life on Roosevelt Island represents a point of view worth considering. The thread began:
Roosevelt Island?Some responses:
I checked the tags but couldn't find anything about Roosevelt Island. Can anybody give me any testimonial information about living there?
I live at The Octagon which is at the north tip of the island, the furthest stop on the red bus.And:
I'm currently in negotiations to break my lease because I want to get out of here that fast. I've lived here for 2 years, basically since it opened. The first year I had a car so it was easier if I wanted to pick something up to eat, or goto the store since I could just hop in my car and drive over the bridge to Queens where there is tons and tons of shopping on Steinway.
There is nothing here. The Gristedes is DISGUSTING. I really mean it... you should go there and check it out... my favorite place is near the dairy, it actually smells like shit so they put an air freshener there to make it smell a little better. Not to mention in the summer or maybe early fall when I was in there I heard the manager say right in front of me and other customers "Wow, I really can't believe we passed that health inspection!" Since that day I have not shopped there.
Food shopping here is very bad, unless you are the kind of person who can buy every kind of food you want at Duane Reade, but otherwise you'll have to take a subway or the Tram over to Manhattan and lug your stuff back. That is especially fun since you will get to carry it on the red bus and then everyone will give you dirty looks!
Pick up an issue of The Main Street wire, there's an on going battle between residents here and it's pretty stupid and annoying, people bitch here on a daily basis and the atmosphere is a little dismal to me. You can bank on someone bitching about the red bus daily, each way you go to work and it kind of wears you down a bit.
The food options here are pretty weak, very weak. The diner, Trellis, doesn't really have the best food and for what it is I would say it's a little over-priced. There's a chinese food place, too and not just recently in the last month a Italian/Pizza place which is pretty good. Sometime you can order food from Queens but not very many places deliver.
Be prepared for it to take you about 45min/an hour to get home, be prepared to deal with the crappy red bus, the occasional Manhattan bound train not running or the occasional Queens bound train not running (which makes it hard to get somewhere or go home either way).
I do not like living here, obviously, but from what I hear living in the new buildings near the Tram is a real pleasure - they live above a Duane Reade, the pizza place, soon a Japanese restaurant, a Starbucks, and I think some kind of salon as well. Living there would take away from the extra 15/20 minutes tacked on to your daily commute for waiting for the bus and for it slowly crawling up and down the Island.
Otherwise, I would strongly strongly urge you to really check it out before you move here. This is the right place for some people but for people like me who like to go out and be able to goto 20 different restaurants outside of my apartment within walking distance this is NOT the place us.
... I lived in Manhattan Park for a year, and while our apartment was amazing, I had to split a 3br between 5 people to afford it lol. Our view was incredible, but I cant imagine living there again. The gristedes was the bane of my existence. They're horrible, rude people and always out of everything. And Fresh Direct is ok but like the above poster said, there's something to be said for having the ability to actually walk into a grocery store. Also there's nothing more depressing than spending 45 minutes getting home only to have a 15 minute walk ahead of you or take your chances waiting for the red bus, which never runs on any kind of schedule. I dunno if you're much into the night life, but when all your drunk ass wants do is just crawl into bed and that daunting commute is ahead of you, it's really depressing hahha.Opinions vary, different people like different things. Remember Italy loves Roosevelt Island.
Though also like the above poster said, if you managed to get into one of the places by the subway that'd solve a lot of your problems. I do miss my amazing view, jogging around the island was really nice, and the tram was always good fun. But for day to day livability it's a little isolated.
After 6 months of life on R.I. I still believe that this place is the best place to live in NYC. No doubts about it.My opinion from earlier post when I was considering the classic Clash question "should I stay or should I go" concerning Roosevelt Island and ultimately decided to stay and move to Riverwalk:
Despite the bus, R.I. is still the best place in NYC
... 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.I think this is a reasonably fair summary of life on Roosevelt Island. Dark Water, it's not- Maybe.
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.