Tell Us Your Favorite Roosevelt Island Tram Story To Celebrate The 40th Anniversary Of Riding The Tram - You're Invited To May 17 Commemoration
Image From Roosevelt Island Historical Society
In honor of the 40th anniversary of the Roosevelt Island Tram taking riders back and forth over the East River between Roosevelt Island and Manhattan's Second Avenue,
Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) President Judy Berdy asks you to share funny or memorable stories about the Tram.Took a ride on the Roosevelt Island tram today. It's more about the journey there than it is about the destination. pic.twitter.com/6EDWqiQjEd— Parksy (@recreationareas) May 8, 2016
According to Ms. Berdy:
Soaring above the East River on a four-minute ride in the aerial tram, residents of Roosevelt Island have seen marriage proposals, deer as passengers and celebrity sightings. Tales of unusual guests and events will be shared as the community gathers to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Roosevelt Island tram’s maiden voyage on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 1:00 pm at Tram Plaza.Ms. Berdy described plans for the Tram's 40th Anniversary Celebration during the May 4 Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council Public Session.
Launched as a temporary transportation measure until the F subway line would be routed to the newly residential island, the Roosevelt Island tram soon became an icon of the fledgling community. As the nation’s first commuter aerial tram, it carries thousands to work and school on Manhattan and then back home to their Island residences daily, initially for 25 cents.
The tram brought everyone together, in close quarters. It was a terrific way to socialize and build connections with neighbors, all of whom were newcomers and eager to meet people.
“Over the years, the tram became a tourist destination. Travelers from around the globe ride the tram to see the skyline of the Upper East Side, the spires of the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings, and the United Nations Secretariat. You can hear the buzz of excitement from the international visitors, no matter which language they speak,” said Jeffrey Escobar, President, Roosevelt Island Residents Association.
Anniversary festivities include speeches and a reception on Tram Plaza sponsored by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation. Children living on the Island have been invited to decorate small tram-shaped boxes for display and the band of local school PS/IS 217 will perform. The event is FREE and open to the public.
The Roosevelt Island Tram has seen weddings,
jenny + wes wedding vows on the Roosevelt Island Tram from Stylish and Hip Weddings on Vimeo.
movie shoots (remember Sylvester Stallone's Nighthawks?),
Nighthawks Tram Hostage image with Stallone and Hauer from Mr. Peel's Sardine Liqueur
TV shows (White Collar),
Image Of White Collar Episode Shot On Roosevelt Island From You Tube
Fear Factor stunts,
a reindeer riding the Tram.
“Only in America, only in New York,” read the caption alongside this December 1977 photo by @nytimes photographer Chester Higgins Jr. “A reindeer on a tram? What's so strange about that? One New Yorker thought nothing of it as she traveled, undisturbed and unimpressed, to Roosevelt Island on the Manhattan tramway. Her fellow passenger was going to the island to be the star attraction at a Christmas party for children.” It seems to us that the #reindeer — not Dasher or Dancer, but “Richard” — had his wits about him. Why haul a sleigh when you can simply take the tram? We found this photo in our newsroom #archives, known as the “morgue.” #tbt
and much more.
Greg Paravati has been operating the Roosevelt Island Tram since it began service in 1976. He has watched generations of Roosevelt Island children grow up and even attended some of their weddings.
Mr. Paravati says the Tram is a wonderful way to travel. He tells us about it in this 2012 interview.
Tell us about your favorite memory of riding
the Roosevelt Island Tram.
UPDATE 5/11 - In 2010, filmaker Ovidiu Opresco and musician Jonathan Kalb collaborated on this tribute to the joys of Crossing The East River On The Roosevelt Island Tram.
Sort of like Roosevelt Island's version of a Jimmy Buffet song about Key West.