This was Catherine’s second trip to The Big Apple. Just two years earlier, we took to the streets of New York with a rush of excitement to explore new sights and take in fun events. This second trip was very different. We went to help her sister, Christina, settle into her new home. Our journey took us on a delightful, tranquil excursion to Roosevelt Island, New York.
Roosevelt Island is a 2 mile narrow island in New York City’s East River, within the borough of Manhattan. It lies between Manhattan Island to its west and the borough of Queens, on Long Island, to its east. It is affectionately known as the suburbs in the city.
Catherine had unique, ordinary experiences with a blend of New York flavor. Take a look at some of the highlights from her trip:
The Graduate (Fun Accommodations)
We stayed at The Graduate, the only hotel on Roosevelt Island, located on Cornell Tech’s Campus. This eclectic space offered a glance of the island’s history, a pop of color and interesting decorum. The rooms were airy and fun with a beautiful view of the East River and Manhattan.
The Red Bus (Relaxed Transportation)
Walking is a way of life in New York and for one week we took to the streets of Roosevelt Island. We also journeyed on the Roosevelt Island Red Bus that runs free of charge and exclusively on the island almost 24 hours on most days. This allowed us to pop in and out of shops, run an errand, sight see or just take in the beautiful view. Catherine really enjoyed her rides and would run ahead to sit at the back of the bus to take in the scenery.
The Tramway (Spectacular View of the City)
Catherine took her first ride on a tram while on the island. It was a bit daunting at first as she held tightly to my arms. We traveled 250 ft. above the East River on a 3 minute ride to Manhattan. We had a beautiful view of north side of the Queensboro Bridge. The Roosevelt Island Tramway is the oldest urban commuter tramway in the US.
The Farmer’s Market (Different in the Ordinary)
Catherine visited the farmer’s market at home in Dallas many times but this ordinary activity was very limited during COVID. We took full advantage and found fresh fruit and vegetables, homemade jam, fresh cheese and our favorite – homemade banana bread. She made interesting selections and enjoyed the comfortable pace. The Farmer’s Market on the island is located next to a national treasure built in 1888 – The Good Shepherd Community Ecumenical Center.
Sylvia’s Harlem Restaurant (Culinary Must)
Established in 1962 in the heart of Harlem, Sylvia’s is known for authentic soul food. This is always on our list when we travel to New York. Merle and I made our first visit in the early 90s with college friends and had a great time. We took some time away from Roosevelt Island to take our girls to a place that is special to us.
Eleanor Roosevelt (Courageous Strength)
The island was known as Welfare Island and was used primarily for hospitals. It was renamed Roosevelt Island (in honor of Franklin D. Roosevelt; 32nd President and former Governor of NY) in 1973. His wife, Eleanor Roosevelt was a women of service that worked tirelessly for the underserved and marginalized communities. She chaired the United Nations Human Rights Commission and played an instrumental role in the development of an international milestone document to support the freedom and rights of all human beings. Article 25 states
“Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”
I captured an image of Catherine standing in front of a photo of Eleanor Roosevelt. It is a poignant reminder of how her diligent efforts almost 75 years ago serves Catherine and supports her right to enjoy the liberties that life has to offer.
We had an awesome time and look forward to many more visits to this fun tranquil retreat. I hope you found Catherine’s highlights interesting and consider Roosevelt Island on your next visit to The Big Apple!