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Roosevelt Island

Roosevelt Island was once known for its prisons and asylums, but it is now regarded as a fashionable place to live, situated in the middle of the East River, right between Manhattan and Queens.

The island is best known as the site of a number of prisons and asylums. The prisons, including Welfare Penitentiary, housed a number of infamous personalities, including actress Mae West, who in 1927 was arrested for lewd behavior; mobster Dutch Schultz; and blues singer Billy Holliday, who was incarcerated after she was caught soliciting.

Roosevelt Island sits directly under the Queensboro Bridge but is not accessible from the bridge, and much of the island remains automobile-free, as was originally intended. To get around, residents can hop the Roosevelt Island Tram. The aerial tramway was created in 1976 as a shuttle between the island and midtown Manhattan. Built by a Swiss company, the tram is able to hold 125 persons. The tram rises to a height of 250 ft (76 meter) from where passengers have a great view over Midtown.

Alternatively you can take the subway from the island (it's the deepest subway station in New York) to Manhattan or Queens. In addition, a small inexpensive shuttle takes residents from a number of apartment buildings to the subway or tram stop.
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