Posts Tagged ‘roosevelt island’

FDR Four Freedoms Park

September 20, 2013

This relatively new park is dedicated to one of our great presidents, Franklin D. Roosevelt. The “Four Freedoms” bears some explaining because most people alive today probably were not around when it was first introduced. In a nationwide speech that Roosevelt gave in 1941, he imagined a world based on the following four attributes – freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. It is sad that 72 years later, these freedoms are still lacking in much of the world.

Dropped onto the southern end of Roosevelt Island, the park has views of both Manhattan and Queens. Aside from the views, the park itself is what I would call “earnest,” with a symmetrical severity punctuated by cold concrete. The park was designed 38 years ago, when the city budget didn’t allow for it.  Some might say it resembles a Soviet-era monument.

FDR Four Freedoms Park

FDR Four Freedoms Park

FDR Four Freedoms Park

FDR Four Freedoms Park

A nice view of Long Island City!

FDR Four Freedoms Park

Despite all that open grass, you are not allowed to picnic on it.  No food is allowed.  It doesn’t really give off the vibe of a casual place to hang out.  Given that, I would only recommend coming here if you happen to be on Roosevelt Island anyway.  The park is a 15 minute walk from the train station if you’re coming by subway. If you’re driving, you will need to park near the station. (The only parking closer to the park is limited to visitors and staff of the nursing facility nearby.) The park is open from 9 to 7 every day except Tuesdays.  No bikes or dogs are allowed.

Roosevelt Island

June 4, 2010

Roosevelt Island is a contradiction.  It is Manhattan but not on Manhattan.  It is part of the city but looks nothing like the city.   The Island, named for Franklin D. Roosevelt, has a sordid history of housing mental patients, prisoners, and the destitute.  Today, it is better known for its new luxury condos and rentals, many with sought-after views of the Manhattan skyline.   Not a surprise in such a city like New York, where neighborhoods reinvent themselves again and again to suit the needs of its citizens.   Why should you visit Roosevelt Island?  Well, the sweeping views of Manhattan also come with trees overhead and grass underfoot.   It’s a beautiful place to have a picnic or BBQ.

Views of the skyline
Roosevelt island

Roosevelt Island BBQ

In the middle of the island is a communal garden that the residents tend.

Roosevelt island

Here are some views from the BBQ area on the northern end of the island, called Lighthouse Park.  This is your view to the west.

Roosevelt Island BBQ

This is the view to the east.  There is a lot of grass for people to put down picnic blankets.  This immediate area has benches and grilling stations.

Roosevelt Island BBQ

And this is the view to the north.  Interestingly, this lighthouse was built by a mental patient.

Roosevelt Island BBQ

The easiest way to get to Roosevelt Island is by taking the F to the Roosevelt Island station.   For a more scenic view, you should take the air tram, which takes Metrocards.   However, the tram is currently being upgraded and will be out of service until September 2010.   You can also drive to Roosevelt Island.  Click here for directions.

For those interested in BBQ’ing, grills are located at Lighthouse Park, West Seawall near the Octagon, Octagon Soccer Field, and the East Seawall South of Queensboro Bridge.   During weekends when the weather is good, those grills go fast, so get there early to claim a spot!