Saturday, September 1, 2007
Roosevelt Island and the Diplomat
Roosevelt Island,formerly known as Welfare Island between 1921 till 1973, and Blackwell's Island between 1686 till 1921 is a narrow island in the East River of New York City. In 1973, the island was renamed again in memorial to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It lies between the island of Manhattan to its west (on the left) and Queens to its east (on the right). Running from Manhattan's E46th to E85th Streets. It is about 2 miles(3km) long, and maximum width of 800feet. Picture on the left was taken in 1985. During the 1980s and 1990s, the island was developed as a residential community and currently it is filled with its own private amenities such as a fire station, a big car park in the middle of the island, schools, hospitals, shops, a subway station and a tram station(cable car). Walkway pavements around the island make walking easy and very relaxing while watching the amazingly beautiful skyline of Manhattan and Queens in the evenings. Cool breeze from the river would refresh any tired minds and bodies returning from the ever busy commercial and financial cities on both sides of the island. There are two long-term medical care facilities located at opposite ends of Roosevelt as if to validate the number of disabled and old people whom we saw on the island. Roosevelt had a population of 9,520 in 2000 according to the US Census. I guess by now the island would have a slight increase in its population. The lighthouse on the northern tip provides a spot for fishing and picnic-ing. Although Roosevelt Island is located directly under the Queensboro Bridge, it is not directly accessible from the bridge itself. The Roosevelt Island Tramway and the Roosevelt Island Subway Station at the southern tip provides access to Midtown Manhattan for most of Roosevelt's inhabitants. Located over 100 feet below ground level, the Roosevelt Island Subway Station is one of the deepest in New York City's subway system. The on-island shuttle bus popularly known as the Red Bus, provides service from apartment buildings to the subway and tramway for a fare of 25¢. Seniors and disabled are only charged 10¢. We can buy Metro-card at any subway or tramway stations. Kad ni boleh kita top-up & boleh di gunakan untuk tram(cable car), train & bus. One 10 dollar card (worth of 12dollars) allows 4 free transfers between the three means of transportation. One ride cost US2 per person & buses only accept the metro-card or coins. So make sure exact change kalau nak naik bus sebab they don't accept duit kertas. Kalau tidak ada yang kena tinggal kat bawah! If travelling in groups, plan your way first. Have a rendezvous place in case of anybody getting lost...but these days travelling is easy... semua ada cellphone, kan? Most of the residential buildings on Roosevelt Island are rental buildings. Many foreign diplomats live on Roosevelt Island because of its close proximity to United Nations Headquarters and Consulates on the East Side of Manhattan. Thank you to one who has shown us what great Sarawakian hospitality is like.