Monday, July 26, 2010

Thinking Of Moving To Roosevelt Island's Manhattan Park Complex - Here's What It's Like From Current Residents

View Larger Map of Roosevelt Island's Manhattan Park

A post last week linked to recent Wall Street Journal article about Roosevelt Island's new Riverwalk luxury rental and condo buildings in Southtown. But what about some of the other areas of Roosevelt Island - for instance, what is it like to live at the Manhattan Park complex in the northern section of Roosevelt Island?

That question was posed by a potential new Roosevelt Island resident to the Manhattan Park Residents Google Group last week. Here's the original question by the potential new Roosevelt Islander and some background information:

Hi everyone,

I am deciding on whether or not to move onto RI and Manhattan Park in particular. Can you give me some feedback? Do you like RI----what about the commute into Manhattan. I am moving in with my wife and kids.

Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

and some background information about the family:
I am moving from the suburbs. My kids are 20, 17 and 14. The older ones are in college but will be home from time to time
A current Manhattan Park resident (#1) responded:
Roosevelt Island is great for kids. Hardly any traffic or any noise for that matter. Depending on where your going to work, your commute shouldn't be that bad. Currently the tram is out of commission but only for a few more months.

We do have the F train that stops here as well. We live in Manhattan Park and I like it a lot. I'm not sure about the other places. There are many other newer buildings that have gone up in the 4 years since I have moved here. Good luck with your searching.
Followed by another resident (#2):
It is extremely crowded on the F in the morning. I sometimes have to let a couple trains pass by before I can get on. It's not bad on the way home though.
A third resident (#3) adds:
Actually it depends. If you get on the train any time before 8:15, it's usually not bad at all. I got on the F this morning about 8:10 and it wasn't crowded, there were even some seats.

Kids: with kids that age, I'd say the value of RI turns more on the amount of apartment space you get for your money. You won't be interested in all the playgrounds, playing fields and other things that make the island great for small kids.

Amenities: Your mileage may vary, but I suspect you'll find RI much less convenient than the suburbs. The island retail situation is very poor, with the exception of the Saturday farmer's market, which is great (although technically not a true farmer's market). The restaurants are mediocre at best and the variety is weak. There are no other decent shops to speak of, no florist, no specialty food vendors, no liquor store/wine shop, possibly the worst hardware store in the history of the western world, etc. I could go on but won't. If you have a car, you'll be using it a lot. If you don't, you'll be traveling at least 30-45 minutes one way to get shopping done every single time. That Manhattan experience of walking out your door and having the vast array of retail within 5 blocks simply doesn't exist here.

What you will get is quiet, terrific air quality, good views. A tremendously diverse populace. A creaky and dysfunctional bureaucracy. Simmering resentment between long-time islanders and newcomers. Some fun community events.

Just my $.02
The potential new Roosevelt Islander replies:
I guess thats all true, but you do have to give a little to get a little. A similar apartment on the other side would be double.
Resident #1 goes deeper into quality of life on Roosevelt Island:
True that there isn't much here on Roosevelt Island, I find it a very nice, quite, safe feeling place to live. I agree with (name deleted - #3) on his feeling about the lack of retail here. There just isn't any. A handful of restaurants all of them just ok but good enough to go to on one of those I just don't feel like cooking nights. (except the Trellis Diner it had issues last summer and seemed to be shut down by the health department a few times I won't go there anymore). The only grocery store on the island is a Gristedes. If you have to shop there be very careful. I have bought things that were expired. Bad me for not looking but now I do. I only go there if I need something. I think the Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings is great but not as good as the big Farmer's Market in Union Square that one is fantastic.

I have a car so I go into Queens to shop there is a Costco, Stop and Shop and Pathmark very close by. I occasionally use Fresh Direct. They are an online grocery service and they deliver right to your door. I also recommend signing up with Netflix if you like to rent movies.

If you do have a car, I want talk about the parking garage on Roosevelt Island. It costs about $200 a month to park your car. There is no security in the garage. We have had our car vandalized, tires slashed and our gps stolen out of it. 2 separate times. There are zip cars right on Roosevelt Island if you need to use a car and don't have one.

If you're able, you should come visit the Island before you move but if you can't, I think you will be happy here. It's just a matter of figuring out what will work for your family. There are so many options for you to choose from.
Manhattan Park's representative to the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Ava Dawson writes:
I don't think the morning commute is "extremely crowded" - it does depend on what time your morning commute starts. What time do you need to be at work? If you have to get on the train at 7:30/8, like I do - it's fine, I think its the people that get on the train at 8:30 - 9:15 that wind up getting squished. 8:45 is the worst of it (in my opinion), but even then I've only let one train at most go by before getting on.

My husband and I have lived here for two years and we love it (mostly that it's quiet at night and I can see water from my apartment). Feel free to ask any questions (that goes to anyone).
I would add that the cost of electricity seems to be an issue at Manhattan Park. There's also an outdoor swimming club and tennis courts only steps away.

Also, in regard to comment about the restaurants. I think the Riverwalk Bar & Grill is a pretty good neighborhood restaurant that provides a nice place for the community to relax, socialize with friends, meet new people and have a good time. More thoughts regarding living on Roosevelt Island from prior posts.

Thanks to the members of the Manhattan Park Residents Google Group for permission to post their exchange. There are Google Groups for all of the other Roosevelt Island Buildings as well. For those interested in joining their building Google Group, links to them are at the top of the middle sidebar.

UPDATE 3:35 PM - Resident #3 comments on the Riverwalk Bar & Grill:
dude... it's a sports bar. and fine for that, but...


Anonymous said...

These comments are more positive than the usual complaints.

Anonymous said...

Re Riverwalk:

I think their prices have gotten a little out of control lately. Every time I go there, they seem to have increased again. Then again, they're better than Trellis...

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