By Jared Chausow
By Katie Toth
By Elizabeth Flock
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
Location: The East River, between the Upper East Side and Astoria, Queens
Boundaries: Coler Hospital at the island's north end, Goldwater Hospital at its southern point
Main Drag: Main Street was the only street on the island for 14 years until River Road was developed in 1989, and it remains the center of all Roosevelt Island life. The island's only deli, dry cleaner, bank, church, pizza parlor, liquor store, diner, and sports bar are found there.
Ethnic Makeup: 48 percent white; 27 percent African American; 14 percent Latino; 11 percent Asian
Mass Transit: Tramway located at 59th Street and Second Avenue, F train, Q-102 bus
Noted For: The Tramway, promenades, the meditation steps at the center of the island, parks, accessibility to the handicapped, and low crime rate. The Center of Urban History and Ecology designated the island "Tree City" this year.
Average Rent: Studio, $700 to $850; one-bedroom, $950 to $1150; two-bedroom, $1200 to $1500. The Eastwood building offers housing at a base rate or 30 percent of the renter's income (whichever is higher) starting at $513 for a studio, $741 for a one-bedroom, and $914 for a two-bedroom. Waiting lists are long all over the island, but many renters sublet to young tenants at reasonable prices.
Average Price to Buy: Rivercross, a Mitchell-Lama co-op located at 531 Main Street, is the only building on the island that offers apartments for saleand they are gorgeous and cheap. Here, the waiting list is also long, and owners can't sell for more than a 10 percent profit.
Cultural Institutions: The Roosevelt Island Historical Society; the Main Street Theater and Dance Alliance, at 548 Main Street; and the Roosevelt Island Visual Arts Association, at 527 Main Street
Landmarks: Blackwell House, a 250-year-old farmhouse at 500 Main Street; the Chapel of the Good Shepherd, built in 1889, at 543 Main Street; the Octagon, the 160-year-old ruin of the Paupers Insane Asylum, at the northern end of the island; and the 130-year-old lighthouse, located at the northern tip
Notable Events: On the Fourth of July, 4000 chairs are set up on south point for one of the best views of the Macy's fireworks.
Famous Residents: Kofi Annan, Al Lewis (Grandpa Munster on The Munsters), and Buddy Hackett. In 1927, Mae West was incarcerated for 10 days on the island, then called "Welfare Island," for "crude improvisations" in her first play, Sex, produced on Broadway.
Best Restaurant: The Capri Pizzeria and Italian Restaurant at 532 Main Street offers what may be the city's lightest, thinnest-crusted, nice and saucy slice.
Best Bar: Julie's Back Page sports bar at 513 Main Street, owned and operated by Julie Palermo, president of the Roosevelt Island Chamber of Commerce
Local Politicians: Councilman Gifford Miller, Manhattan Borough President Virginia Field, Assemblyman Pete Grannis, State Senator José M. Serrano, and Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloneyall Democrats
Crime Stats: As of June 31, detectives at the 114th precinct reported no homicides for this year nor for this time last year; 1 rape, up from 0 last year; 2 robberies, down from 5 last year; 6 felonious assaults, compared to 7 last year; and 5 burglaries, up from 3 last year.