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Roosevelt Island? 
22nd-Jan-2008 09:45 am
I checked the tags but couldn't find anything about Roosevelt Island.  Can anybody give me any testimonial information about living there? I need to get out of my current roommate situation and would like to live alone, and I've heard it's mysteriously possible, there. I currently live in the Village (trust me, it's that bad that I'm considering giving up this apartment) and I'm afraid I'm going to really miss the ability to walk out and run into 10 great places to eat.

22nd-Jan-2008 03:01 pm (UTC)
I live at The Octagon which is at the north tip of the island, the furthest stop on the red bus.

I'm currently in negotiations to break my lease because I want to get out of here that fast. I've lived here for 2 years, basically since it opened. The first year I had a car so it was easier if I wanted to pick something up to eat, or goto the store since I could just hop in my car and drive over the bridge to Queens where there is tons and tons of shopping on Steinway.

There is nothing here. The Gristedes is DISGUSTING. I really mean it... you should go there and check it out... my favorite place is near the dairy, it actually smells like shit so they put an air freshener there to make it smell a little better. Not to mention in the summer or maybe early fall when I was in there I heard the manager say right in front of me and other customers "Wow, I really can't believe we passed that health inspection!" Since that day I have not shopped there.

Food shopping here is very bad, unless you are the kind of person who can buy every kind of food you want at Duane Reade, but otherwise you'll have to take a subway or the Tram over to Manhattan and lug your stuff back. That is especially fun since you will get to carry it on the red bus and then everyone will give you dirty looks!

Pick up an issue of The Main Street wire, there's an on going battle between residents here and it's pretty stupid and annoying, people bitch here on a daily basis and the atmosphere is a little dismal to me. You can bank on someone bitching about the red bus daily, each way you go to work and it kind of wears you down a bit.

The food options here are pretty weak, very weak. The diner, Trellis, doesn't really have the best food and for what it is I would say it's a little over-priced. There's a chinese food place, too and not just recently in the last month a Italian/Pizza place which is pretty good. Sometime you can order food from Queens but not very many places deliver.

Be prepared for it to take you about 45min/an hour to get home, be prepared to deal with the crappy red bus, the occasional Manhattan bound train not running or the occasional Queens bound train not running (which makes it hard to get somewhere or go home either way).

I do not like living here, obviously, but from what I hear living in the new buildings near the Tram is a real pleasure - they live above a Duane Reade, the pizza place, soon a Japanese restaurant, a Starbucks, and I think some kind of salon as well. Living there would take away from the extra 15/20 minutes tacked on to your daily commute for waiting for the bus and for it slowly crawling up and down the Island.

Otherwise, I would strongly strongly urge you to really check it out before you move here. This is the right place for some people but for people like me who like to go out and be able to goto 20 different restaurants outside of my apartment within walking distance this is NOT the place us.


Edited at 2008-01-22 03:05 pm (UTC)
22nd-Jan-2008 03:16 pm (UTC)
cant you just use fresh-direct?
22nd-Jan-2008 03:33 pm (UTC)
I have and it was alright, but they don't really have that large of a selection with produce and a lot of other things. I can also find it cheaper else where. Also, I kind of like to shop for my groceries and look at different brands and things like that, and with freshdirect theres only so much you can do. Also things like if I need an onion or some bottled water the same day, I couldn't do that. I could go on and on. etcetcetc
22nd-Jan-2008 04:11 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm so glad I asked - the Octagon is where a friend is moving and he is trying to get me to do the same. I'll definitely stay away and pass this info along!
22nd-Jan-2008 05:21 pm (UTC)
I basically second this post. I lived in Manhattan Park for a year, and while our apartment was amazing, I had to split a 3br between 5 people to afford it lol. Our view was incredible, but I cant imagine living there again. The gristedes was the bane of my existence. They're horrible, rude people and always out of everything. And Fresh Direct is ok but like the above poster said, there's something to be said for having the ability to actually walk into a grocery store. Also there's nothing more depressing than spending 45 minutes getting home only to have a 15 minute walk ahead of you or take your chances waiting for the red bus, which never runs on any kind of schedule. I dunno if you're much into the night life, but when all your drunk ass wants do is just crawl into bed and that daunting commute is ahead of you, it's really depressing hahha.
Though also like the above poster said, if you managed to get into one of the places by the subway that'd solve a lot of your problems. I do miss my amazing view, jogging around the island was really nice, and the tram was always good fun. But for day to day livability it's a little isolated.
22nd-Jan-2008 08:56 pm (UTC)
I just want to say that this post and and your username just filled me with such glee I could explode.

Also, to the original poster, if you move to Roosevelt Island and you have a daughter, you might have to drown yourself to save her life when the little ghost girl tries to kill her.

Pay that last bit no attention. I have nothing constructive to add.
22nd-Jan-2008 05:55 pm (UTC) - Living on RI
There are definitely positives and negatives to living on the Island. I have heard from a number of residents living at the North end who have gripes about transportation and the lack of retail including issues with Gristedes. Some have moved down to the Riverwalk complex by the Tram and subway where most of the recent retail growth has occured as discussed above / below. You really need to check it out and ask questions regarding the building you have an opportunity in.

Check out my blog about the Island:


as well as that of another resident who lived in Manhattan Park and is now at Riverwalk:


Good luck!

22nd-Jan-2008 05:56 pm (UTC)
I have a friend who lives there, and she hates it. For all of the reasons listed above, plus the fact that she can't ever convince anyone to come hang out with her.
22nd-Jan-2008 06:57 pm (UTC)
So friends-hanging-out-wise, it's like living in the outer boroughs, but worse, since you can actually spit out your window at Manhattan?
22nd-Jan-2008 07:07 pm (UTC)
Yea, I definitely think so. It's so close yet "so far away" there. lol.
22nd-Jan-2008 07:15 pm (UTC)
Also, that's where the creepy movie Dark Water took place. Murderous ghost children = major hint.
22nd-Jan-2008 07:30 pm (UTC)
Disclaimer: I haven't lived on Roosevelt Island, but couple of my coworkers did so here's what I heard them talk about:

* it took them a while to get there and back into Manhattan, especially if there were not right next to the train station

* there isn't much to do or see (there's one Gristedes supermarket and 2-3 restaurants)

* it's still not that cheap, compared to other places that will get you as cheap (or even cheaper rent) and about the same time in commute
23rd-Jan-2008 12:02 am (UTC)
it's just apartments, schools, and parks. you go there to sleep only. i assume it's pretty depressing in winter - i moved off the island after the summer. it's an easy commute to midtown but the red bus can get overcrowded/bunched. my apartment was huge and beautiful but the rents keep going upppppp and they're building new buildings so it's getting to be too much for the F train to handle. oh right, if you need to be in manhattan by 9am good luck. often you end up waiting for a few full trains to pass before you can squeeze into one.
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