There is not much to see on Roosevelt Island except Queens to the east and Manhattan to the west. There is a little lighthouse in the north and a park in the south. The main attraction however is the Roosevelt Island Aerial Tram connecting the small island to the bigger one – Manhattan.
It’s pretty easy to get to Roosevelt Island. The F train stops there and the Q102 bus connects the island to Astoria. I however walked most of the way. From my place I walked down to Broadway and followed it all the way to the East River. That’s where Socrates Sculpture Park is. I planned to pay it a visit on my way to the island. Socrates Sculpture Park is tiny but it took me a while to get there. Astoria is a huge neighborhood.
The park features a couple of sculptures. All types of sculptures. Those showing clearly what they are, those showing something and you don’t know why and those that could mean anything.
From there I had to walk down 21st Street to catch the bus right at the bridge to Roosevelt Island. I got off at the northernmost stop and walked to the lighthouse first. The lighthouse is tiny and it is fenced off because the ground in front of it is broken. Sandy?
The walkway along the East River offers views of the Upper East Side and the FDR. Nothing spectacular though.
In the center of the island there is a little park with an exhibit of artwork, paintings in different styles. My favorite was one of the island in impressionist style.
Between the two shores there are high rise apartment buildings and Main Street runs through them. On Main Street there are some shops and a café where I got a Pumpkin Spice Latte and a slice of walnut coffee cake. The latte was not as good as what I got used to. The slice of cake was huge. I sat down on a bench with a view to Queensboro Bridge and the tram. Finally I walked along the eastern shore to Southpoint Park and back along the western shore to the tram.
The tram can be used with a Metrocard and there are the same turnstiles as in a subway station. The ride is short but the view over the East River is nice. I should do it again one day at night. It comes down on 2nd Avenue and 60th Street.
Having arrived there I called Soh Ang who had asked me to come to her office because her colleague wanted to meet me. We had a little chat there and then walked to Lexington Avenue for a little shopping trip because it was still too early for dinner.
Our dinner plan took us to Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria to have Greek food. Outside Taverna Kyklades there was a long line. We were not in the mood to wait so we walked east to Loukoumi at 45th Street. There we easily got a table and shared some appetizers. We had smoked eggplant, Greek sausage, fried Calamari and mussels in tomato and cheese sauce. Everything was delicious and our waiter was very friendly and happily explained the difference between calamari and octopus to us. Hardly able to move because of all the food we walked down Steinway towards my place. On our way Soh Ang spotted an illuminated house in a side street. A ouple of wagons were parked around. We had a look and were told that a new TV series is filmed there.
At my place we waited for Soh Ang’s husband to pick her up and deliver my luggage. This was a very comfortable solution for me instead of picking it up in Jamaica. But I still have to finally get rid of what I don’t need around any more.
What I learned today:
Riding the Rooseelt Island Tram is fun.