Yesterday – April Fools Day, of all things – the Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossoms show for this year went into overdrive. Cherry blossoms along the East Promenade have brightened late winter for a month. But this is the main attraction as the row beginning at the Mediation Steps flows south.
by David Stone
The day started gray and rainy, but by early afternoon, the clouds shifted east. A bright sun brought out the first full pink buds on Roosevelt Island’s most popular cherry tree.
The current expression of opening buds will be followed by more in this grove as the trees grow fuller and brighter.
Walk south past the Queensboro Bridge, and over the next few weeks, you will find a continuing outburst of cherry blossoms. This year, dozens of new trees planted by RIOC in coordination with Judith Berdy and the Historical Society enhance earlier, legacy attractions.
In Riverwalk Commons, directly behind the F Train station, late sunlight brushstrokes the blossoms.
Whether by accident or design, the presence of multiple species means the Roosevelt Island cherry blossom show is peppered with highlights throughout the spring.
The Cherry Blossom Show: Important Information
Make your visit more pleasant by keeping these things in mind:
- If visiting by Tram, fill up your MetroCard in advance because the Tram does not have OMNY. Lines at MetroCard machines are more time-consuming than those for boarding a cabin.
- Roosevelt Island is a public restroom desert. Understandably, restaurants are for customers only. So, buy something quick and relax. But depending on local government consideration, portable toilets may appear at their whim. The nearest available restrooms are on the first floor of the Bloomberg Building on the Cornell Tech campus. But a half-dozen decently kept toilets await near the entrance to Southpoint Park, just south of Cornell Tech and the last cherry trees.
- Lots of refreshments are available from local businesses: Granny Annie’s and Fuji East in Riverwalk Commons behind the subway station; Cornell Tech Cafe with great coffee, fresh food and refreshments; or take a quick walk into town and, amid historic sites, chow down at Nisi or ME (Mediterranean Eatery) in the center of town.
Most of all, enjoy the Roosevelt Island cherry blossom show. If you need information, directions or souveniers, stop by the Visitor Center Kiosk in the Tram Plaza. The team there can help you and speed you along where you want to go.