Pros and Cons of Living on Roosevelt Island

Roosevelt Island, with its captivating blend of urban living and natural beauty, offers an enticing lifestyle for residents. With an impressive 84% of the island dedicated to green spaces and waterfront parks, it's no wonder that many are drawn to its stunning views and recreational activities.

However, living on the island does come with its challenges, particularly in terms of transportation and accessibility.

In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of calling Roosevelt Island home.

Key Takeaways

  • Convenient location between Manhattan and Queens
  • Easy access to vibrant energy of Manhattan
  • Diverse and inclusive community
  • Stunning views and natural beauty

Location and Surroundings

One of the main advantages of living on Roosevelt Island is its convenient location and attractive surroundings. Situated in the East River, between Manhattan and Queens, this narrow strip of land boasts a close proximity to the bustling heart of New York City.

Residents of Roosevelt Island enjoy the best of both worlds: the tranquility of a residential community and easy access to the vibrant energy of Manhattan. The island's location makes it an ideal place for those who work in Manhattan but prefer to live in a quieter neighborhood. A quick tram ride or subway trip connects residents to the city, allowing for a seamless commute. Additionally, the island is well-served by public transportation options, making it easy to explore other parts of the city.

In recent years, Roosevelt Island has also become a hub for urban development plans. The area has seen a surge in new residential and commercial developments, including luxury apartments and modern shopping centers. These developments not only enhance the island's aesthetic appeal but also provide residents with a wide range of amenities and services.

Community and Sense of Belonging

Located in the East River between Manhattan and Queens, Roosevelt Island offers residents a strong sense of community and belonging. Here are four reasons why:

  1. Social events and gatherings: The island hosts a variety of social events and gatherings throughout the year, bringing residents together and fostering a sense of camaraderie. From outdoor movie nights on the waterfront to community picnics in the park, there's always something happening to connect neighbors and create lasting friendships.
  2. Diversity and inclusivity: Roosevelt Island is known for its diverse and inclusive community. People from all walks of life, cultures, and backgrounds call this island home. This diversity creates a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere where everyone feels accepted and valued.
  3. Community organizations and clubs: There are numerous community organizations and clubs on Roosevelt Island that cater to different interests and hobbies. Whether it's a gardening club, a book club, or a sports team, residents have plenty of opportunities to get involved, meet like-minded individuals, and contribute to the community.
  4. Neighborhood support: The close-knit nature of Roosevelt Island means that neighbors look out for one another. Whether it's lending a helping hand during a move, offering advice on local services, or simply sharing a friendly smile, residents know they can rely on their neighbors for support and assistance.
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Stunning Views and Natural Beauty

The breathtaking views and natural beauty of Roosevelt Island captivate residents with their picturesque landscapes and serene surroundings. One of the main attractions of living on the island is the abundance of hiking trails that allow residents to explore the stunning scenery and immerse themselves in nature. These trails wind through lush forests, along the waterfront, and offer breathtaking panoramic views of the city skyline. Whether residents are avid hikers or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll in nature, the hiking trails on Roosevelt Island provide the perfect opportunity to connect with the outdoors.

In addition to the hiking trails, the island is also home to a diverse range of wildlife. Residents often have the opportunity to spot various species of birds, squirrels, and even occasional deer sightings. The presence of wildlife adds an extra element of wonder and excitement to daily life on the island. It isn't uncommon to come across a family of ducks swimming in the river or a majestic hawk soaring through the sky.

Living on Roosevelt Island offers residents the chance to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse themselves in the stunning natural beauty that surrounds them. The hiking trails and wildlife sightings provide endless opportunities for exploration and connection with nature, making the island a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Recreational Activities and Amenities

Residents of Roosevelt Island have a wide range of recreational activities and amenities to enjoy. Here are four examples:

  1. Outdoor spaces: Roosevelt Island is known for its beautiful parks and green spaces. Residents can take advantage of the island's expansive waterfront promenade, perfect for walking, jogging, or simply enjoying the stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. The island also offers several well-maintained parks and playgrounds, providing ample space for picnics, sports, and outdoor relaxation.
  2. Cultural events: Roosevelt Island is home to a vibrant arts and culture scene. Residents can attend various cultural events throughout the year, including art exhibitions, music concerts, and theater performances. The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) organizes a range of cultural programs and events for residents of all ages to enjoy.
  3. Sports facilities: For residents who enjoy sports and fitness activities, Roosevelt Island offers a variety of sports facilities. The island has a state-of-the-art sports complex that includes tennis courts, basketball courts, and a soccer field. There's also a modern fitness center equipped with a range of exercise equipment.
  4. Community centers: Roosevelt Island has community centers that provide a wide range of amenities for residents. These centers offer recreational activities such as swimming pools, gyms, and fitness classes. They also host community events and provide spaces for residents to socialize and connect with their neighbors.
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Transportation Challenges and Accessibility

Residents of Roosevelt Island face transportation challenges and have limited accessibility due to its unique location and limited transportation options. The island, located in the East River between Manhattan and Queens, is only accessible by the Roosevelt Island Tramway, the F train, or by car via the Roosevelt Island Bridge. While these options provide some form of public transportation, they come with their own set of difficulties.

Public TransportationParking Difficulties
Roosevelt Island Tramway: Aerial tramway connecting the island to Manhattan.Limited parking spaces on the island.
F Train: Subway line that serves the island, but with limited frequency.Limited street parking available.
Roosevelt Island Bridge: Allows vehicular access to the island, but can be congested.High parking fees in residential areas.

The limited options for public transportation make commuting to and from the island challenging, especially during peak hours when the tramway and subway can become crowded. Additionally, residents face parking difficulties, with limited street parking available and high fees for residential parking spaces. These challenges can make it inconvenient and costly for residents to own and maintain a car on the island.


In conclusion, living on Roosevelt Island offers a unique blend of advantages and disadvantages. The community and sense of belonging are strong, with stunning views and natural beauty surrounding the island. Recreational activities and amenities are abundant, providing a fulfilling lifestyle.

However, transportation challenges and accessibility can be a drawback. Despite this, living on Roosevelt Island is like living in a hidden paradise, where one can escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a tranquil and picturesque environment.

living on roosevelt island benefits and drawbacks