Manhattan’s most overlooked neighborhood is a two-mile-long stretch in the East River known as Roosevelt Island. Its history dates back to 1637, when Dutch governor Wouter van Twiller purchased Hog Island (as it was called then) from the Canarsie Indians. Today, it is known as a quiet, residential community and for the Roosevelt Island Tramway, the first aerial tramway in North America.
Roosevelt Island is owned entirely by the city and leased out to New York state’s Urban Development Corporation. In addition to the tramway, transportation options include the F train, which connects the island to the west side of Manhattan and to Queens; and the Astoria Ferry, which connects the island to East 34th Street in Manhattan and to Long Island City in Queens. Roosevelt Island is also home to Cornell Tech, an elite graduate school that occupies 2 million square feet of space.
The neighborhood’s character feels more similar to Queens than Manhattan. Those considering Queens neighborhoods like Long Island City and Astoria will definitely appreciate Roosevelt Island. Real estate values here are generally more affordable than the rest of Manhattan.