Day 5. Riding the Roosevelt Tramway and walking the High Line, New York City

Following breakfast in Champs Deli we took the subway to the Upper East Side to ride the aerial tramway across the East River to Roosevelt Island.  The tramway is actually a cable car carrying up to 110 passengers every 15 minutes and the journey is included in the Metro pass.  The tramway reaches a height of 76 metres following the route of the Queensboro Bridge.

Franklin Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, New York City
The Franklin Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park

At around 9.00 am when we boarded the cable car was almost deserted as commuters were travelling into town from the Roosevelt side,  this extra space made taking photos much easier.

Franklin Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, New York City
Franklyn Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park

Strolling through Franklin Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park we enjoyed good views across to Manhattan and apart from the occasional dog walker, we had the park much to ourselves.  We came across the former Renwick Smallpox Hospital in the nearby Southview Park,  it’s now in ruins and designated a New York City landmark. After riding the cable car back across the river we took a look inside Bloomingdales department store and preferred the shopping experience there to our recent visit to Macy’s.

Former Renwick Smallpox hospital, New York City
Former Renwick Smallpox hospital

Finishing shopping, we headed to Hudson Yards by subway, this is the newest station on the New York subway system, only opening its doors in September 2015.  The reason for coming here was to walk the High Line.  This is an elevated, disused freight rail line now transformed into an urban park and walkway running from West 34th Street to Gansevoort Street in the Meat Packing District, a distance of 1.45 miles.

The High Line, New York City
Walking the High Line

It was bright and sunny but bitterly cold as we strolled along the elevated walkway which has been attractively laid out with wooden seats,  raised flower beds and art work, the path winding its way between the high rise buildings and bordering the Hudson River at its start.  There are access points at varying intervals, some with lift access.  We stopped off at Chelsea Market where we warmed up with mugs of hot chocolate before looking in the small but interesting shops within the market.  It’s not a ‘market’ as such, but rather a collection of small boutiques, craft shops, bookstores and deli’s.  Leaving the market from the far exit we came across the offices of Google and walked along smart tree lined roads of historic terraced houses.  Rejoining the High Line, we continued the short distance to its end in the Meat Packing district.

The High Line, New York City
Walking the High Line

It had been our plan to eat lunch in Gansevoort Market but as we had only just had a snack in the nearby Chelsea Market, we just looked around instead.  Again, a very attractive setting with mostly deli type eateries.  Exploring further on foot we ate lunch in a delightful cafe tucked away on Jane Street and then took the subway to Union Square where we spotted a branch of Marimekko, the Finnish retailer.  Noticing the Flatiron building on the corner we paused to take photographs, I just loved the shape and beauty of this building when viewed from an angle.

Flatiron Building, New York City
Flatiron Building

From there we were also able to view the Empire State Building and the landmark Metropolitan Life Insurance Tower with a handsome clock face on each of its sides.  Returning to our hotel late afternoon we found various film crew vans parked outside filming in the building opposite.  After a short rest and a welcome coffee in the Club Lounge we raised the energy to walk along to the South Ferry terminal where we boarded the 6.00 pm Staten Island Ferry.  This ferry is completely free and passengers do not need to possess a Metro card to travel on it.  The journey takes 25 minutes to the Whitehall ferry terminal on Staten Island.  For passengers wishing to return aboard the same ferry it is necessary to disembark and walk through the waiting room to return.

Staten Island ferry
Riding on a very quiet Staten Island ferry

Our outward crossing was busy with commuters but we had no difficulty finding seats and on our return to Manhattan it was almost empty affording us good night time photo opportunities of both the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline.   For the best views remember to sit on the right hand side of the ferry when travelling towards Staten Island and on the left for the return journey,  the ferry being double ended and therefore it does not turn round.

Night view from the Staten Island Ferry
Night view from the Staten Island Ferry

Leaving the ferry we took the subway to Court Street over in Brooklyn where we walked down to the DUMBO district (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) where we tucked into delicious burgers at Shake Shack.  This branch, overlooking Brooklyn Bridge was much nicer than the one near the American Museum of Natural History.  The interior is created from reclaimed wooden factory beams from the local neighbourhood and a corner fireplace made it warm and cosy on a cold January evening.  We returned to the hotel feeling tired after another fun day exploring New York.

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49 thoughts on “Day 5. Riding the Roosevelt Tramway and walking the High Line, New York City

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  15. My whole family is from New York so it is fascinating to see another perspective. We would never go to Roosevelt Island yet took the bus from Astoria to the Manhattan around it every St. Patrick’s day for years. I don’t know how many times I have seen that gondola. It took me a long time to start over as a tourist and go back to so many of those sites and truly experience New York. I am so glad you found the Highline. We stumbled upon it looking at old family history. The architecture along it is amazing and I have been back in all seasons and it is just as amazing each time. The Flatiron Building is my favorite building in the city. I have a picture on my wall from a photographer selling his photos on the street. It is an inspiration whenever I set out to photograph. Hate to say, I have never been to Staten Island. Glad to see your photos and realize what I am missing. Have fun in New York.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Another great post, Marion. Despite visiting all the states (except Alaska), I’ve only ever driven up through NYC without stopping as I was in a rush to get to Boston. I feel NYC deserves a proper visit and your posts are a mine of information and I know how time consuming it is to get all the facts in as well as the photos……so well done you !

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Love your picture of the Flatiron – it’s fantastic. Never been to Roosevelt Island in all our times in NYC but it sounds great and the cable car looks like fun. I’m also so keen to go back and walk the High Line – making lots of notes from your post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The cable car and walk along the shoreline at Roosevelt Island were great and you will definitely enjoy walking the High Line. It’s good to return to a favourite city and explore new places as well as returning to old favourites. What’s so nice about blogging is that we can learn so much from like minded travellers that we might not find in guide books!

      Liked by 1 person

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