NYC Guide

A walk on Randall’s Island, in New York

Last weekend, I wanted to record some videos to my YouTube channel, and as we like to record outside, Thiago suggested Randall’s Island as a location for this time. I already knew the place, but as the day was beautiful, I took some photos for this post. I believe many of you may have never heard of this island. It is located in the north of Manhattan, between Harlem and Astoria. It’s also where Governor’s Ball, famous music festival, takes place every summer. It is one of the city’s main recreation hubs! The Island’s 480 acres once comprised two separate islands, Randall’s and Wards, which for hundreds of years were used not as a public park but as a location for a range of public facilities including a boys’ home, a hospital, and a home for civil war veterans. Manhattan Psychiatric Center is still there.

One of the nice things about the island is the green area and a wonderful view. Your tour starts by Wards Island Bridge, a bridge for pedestrians and cyclists, linking Manhattan to the island. And for me, a bridge lover, Randall’s Island could not be a better place! It provides views of the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, which connects Manhattan Queen and The Bronx, and also for the Hell Gate Bridge, which connects the Randall’s Island to Astoria, Queens. As if that is not enough, there is still the view of the East River, to the buildings of the Upper East Side, to the Queensboro Bridge and the Roosevelt Island.

Randall’s Island features Icahn Stadium, an IAAF-certified track & field facility, which was followed by a renovated golf center, nine acres of restored wetlands, a 20-court tennis center, more than 60 playing fields and miles of waterfront bike and pedestrian pathways. The park has hosted major events including Lollapalooza, the Vans Warped Tour, Cirque du Soleil, Panorama, Governors Ball, and the Electric Zoo; since 2012, the Island is home to the first North American installation of the international Frieze Art Fair.

There are also facilities like barbecuing areas, baseball fields, Baseball, bicycling and greenways, cricket fields, dog-friendly areas, football fields, kayak/canoe launch sites, running tracks, soccer fields.

To get there, take the 6 train to 103rd Street and walk east along 102nd Street to FDR Drive. Then, walk one block north directly onto the crossover leading into the Footbridge. Another suggestion is to take the 4, 5 or 6 train to 86th St and walk east along 86th St to Carl Schurz Park – a beautiful park with a view to East River. This way, you enjoy the park and then you keep walking uptown until Randall’s Island access bridge.


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