Sarah Jessica Parker: her New York City history

Above: the sun comes out for Sarah Jessica Parker New York City usually spends the summer movie season being destroyed by aliens or scarred by car chases. So despite what you may think of the upcoming Sex And The City movie, consider this — not only does the Big Apple make it out alive, it… Read More

Wild Boys: New York’s Brother Islands

Above: North Brother island and its lighthouse The Brother Islands, two almost forgotten islands in the channel between Queens and the Bronx, have finally gotten some respect. Over the years North Brother, the big brother, has been used for a host of unusual purpose, home to the wounded, the drug addicted and the diseased. South,… Read More

Ruins even more ruined!

Ugh! The City Room reports a crisis on Roosevelt Island for its most dramatic landmark, the Renwick Ruins. The remains of Blackwell Island’s smallpox hospital are to be the centerpiece to the Roosevelt’s new Southpoint Park. However last week, part of the north wall completely crumbled to the ground. Plans to stabilize the ruin, which… Read More

History in the making – 1/5

Pizza in Park Slope Jeremiah gives us a (wonderful but depressing) rundown of all the New York history destroyed by redevelopment in 2007. [Vanishing New York] Roosevelt Island’s super-spooky Renwick Ruin, New York’s former smallpox hospital turned haunted mansion, is falling apart. [City Room] Corona, Queens’ Jewish community may get landmark status bestowed on its… Read More

Mysteries of Roosevelt Island: Jailhouse jitters

We’ve got some more on that wacky, wonderful place called Roosevelt Island. We highlighted some of the spookier stuff last week. Read it all here. I mentioned earlier that Roosevelt Island was named for a Franklin Delano Roosevelt memorial that was never built there. Perhaps the reason that doesn’t bother anybody is that’s a far… Read More

Mysteries of Roosevelt Island: The Madman’s Lighthouse

We’ve got some more on that wacky, wonderful place called Roosevelt Island. We highlighted some of the spookier stuff last week. Read it all here. After the Renwick Ruins (which on most days aren’t open to the public) and the tramway (which takes all of five minutes to enjoy), the landmark which people associate with… Read More

Mysteries of Roosevelt Island: Terror on the tram!

We’ve got some more on that wacky, wonderful place called Roosevelt Island! We highlighted some of the spookier stuff last week. Read it all here. One of the more intriguing aspects to Roosevelt Island is the notion of even getting there at all. For most of its existence, people used ferries to get to and… Read More

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“Horrors” of Roosevelt Island: Lunacy!

Is there anything more frightening than a insane asylum on fire? Nope. Welcome to America’s first municipal lunatic asylum, its home — you guessed it — is on Roosevelt Island in the 19th century. The 1839 facility was designed by Alexander Jackson Davis, one of the most influential architects of his day and best known for… Read More

“Horrors” of Roosevelt Island: Lunacy!

(ABOVE: Metropolitan Hospital, at the turn of the century, the former site of Blackwell Island’s asylum) Is there anything more frightening than a insane asylum on fire? Nope. Welcome to America’s first municipal lunatic asylum, its home — you guessed it — on Roosevelt Island in the 19th century. The 1839 facility was designed by… Read More

“Horrors” of Roosevelt Island: Grampa Al

Before going any further, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention its most famous monster man, the godfather of Roosevelt Island and one of the most original New Yorkers who ever lived – Al ‘Grampa Munster’ Lewis. Perhaps these days it’s difficult to understand a man like Al. He’s a crusty mix of old… Read More

“Horrors” of Roosevelt Island: Renwick Ruins

With apologies to the people who reside there, I must admit that Roosevelt Island has always freaked me out. Which is why I like it actually. Over the next few days, I’ll highlight some of my favorite Roosevelt Island places and people, some familiar to New Yorkers who have never ventured there. The “little Apple”,… Read More