It is straightforward typically, significantly when one is afoot in the valley of Manhattan’s skyscrapers or dodging visitors on busy streets in Queens, to overlook that this hulking concrete metropolis of ours is nearly totally made up of islands.
With the exception of the Bronx, New Yorkers are islanders: Manhattan, Staten Island and Long Island, the place Brooklyn and Queens sit at the far west nook. But past them are numerous different less-visited islands which are value trying out.
Though New York’s waterways hardly ever echo the sun-dappled panorama of the Mediterranean or azure waters of the Caribbean, they nonetheless supply treasures for those who’re prepared to discover. So this weekend — or anytime this summer season — attempt island-hopping.
Looking for seaside vibes? Consider heading to City Island in the Bronx. Straphangers can seize the Bx29 bus at the Pelham Bay Park subway cease.
When you disembark, you’ll be in a metropolis neighborhood with a small-town marine village really feel and killer views of Long Island Sound. Enjoy the fried seafood (the widespread Johnny’s Reef, at the island’s southern tip, has the finest water view), try the City Island Nautical Museum and cease in the handful of artwork galleries on City Island Avenue.
If a panoramic journey is what you’re after, head to sixtieth Street and Second Avenue and seize the tram to Roosevelt Island, which sits between Manhattan and Queens in the East River. For the price of a subway swipe, you’ll soar about 250 toes above the metropolis, supplying you with glimpses of the East Side (and past) not typically seen.
There usually are not a ton of points of interest on the island, although it has plenty of inexperienced area to loosen up or picnic, and it’s obtained a strong bike loop. On the north facet, you’ve obtained Lighthouse Park, named for a 50-foot-high lighthouse at the island’s tip. If you head south, try the spooky ruins of a long-defunct smallpox hospital that was featured in “Spider-Man” and Four Freedoms Park, a memorial to Franklin D. Roosevelt designed by Louis Kahn.
Farther up the East River, you’ll discover Randalls Island, linked to the metropolis by walkways over the Harlem River and the Bronx Kill. Stroll by means of stunning gardens as you gaze upon the metropolis. Or get nearer to your meals at an urban farm that includes rice paddies and a small inhabitants of chickens — neither of that are steadily seen in the metropolis. (Aspiring mixologists, take notice: Next Friday, the farm is internet hosting a free night cocktail class.)
Easily reached by ferry from each Brooklyn and Manhattan is Governors Island, the place there’s free kayaking on Saturday afternoons and public artwork installations. The island is now open late on Fridays and Saturdays, supplying you with time to observe the sundown.
Staten Island is a world in itself, clearly, however for those who’re after island seashore life, you’ll discover it right here. South Beach, with views of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge and a boardwalk, tends to be the busiest. Midland Beach has a enjoyable sea turtle fountain that the youngsters will love, and it tends to be much less filled with folks. City buses run to each seashores; you may catch the S51 and S52 at the St. George Ferry Terminal.
The metropolis can be residence to a brand new man-made island, Little Island. The park, in Hudson River Park close to 14th Street, presents spectacular views of Manhattan and New Jersey and an eye catching design (Michael Kimmelman, our structure critic, says it’s “begging to be posted on Instagram”). It additionally options an amphitheater that may host performances (together with a music competition this weekend that’s already offered out). The park is open to the public, however you’ll need to reserve a ticket for those who’re planning to go to after midday.
What about Coney Island, you would possibly ask? It truly grew to become a peninsula in the Nineteen Twenties and ’30s, when the creek separating it from Long Island was crammed in. It’s nonetheless a enjoyable, family-friendly journey, in fact!