David Stone
The Gantries. Ships once docked under the structures to transfer cargo from railroads to ships.
The Gantries. Ships once docked under the structures to transfer cargo from railroads to ships.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

Spring's warm opening invites you outdoors. Short forays into nearby places of interest beckon. A trip to Gantry State Park in Long Island City by ferry, making time for a great meal in a relaxed setting, can be just the thing to smooth the edges of the city's frictions.

The NYC Ferry hop across the East River's narrow channel is cheap at $2.75 ($3.75 to bring a bike) and quick. You barely have time to appreciate Cornell Tech's architecture among rolling meadows and Four Freedoms Park's mellow slope before drifting past the Trump countdown clock into Gantry State Park.

Another piece of local history, the Pepsi-Cola sign is right off the ferry landing.
Another piece of local history, the Pepsi-Cola sign is right off the ferry landing.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

With the historic gantries a quarter-mile away, you step off into a park well-stocked with benches and lawns where you can relax and take in the skyline dotted with cranes as Manhattan stretches even taller.

One of the pleasures of Gantry State Park is its being a genuinely urban park snugged up close to new residential towers and surrounding streets with welcoming local restaurants.

Gantry State Park's boardwalk with abundant seating with skyline and river views.
Gantry State Park's boardwalk with abundant seating with skyline and river views.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

And because it's Long Island City, recently reimagined as a place to live, not just work in low-slung factories and small businesses, it feels all new, fresh and clean.

Roosevelt Islanders are probably not aware that, 25 years ago, their community's success proved for LIC's leadership that people would be willing to live a single, gentle stop away from Manhattan's bustle.

Views so popular wedding parties gather for group photos. Can you tell which one's the groom?
Views so popular wedding parties gather for group photos. Can you tell which one's the groom?
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

As with Roosevelt Island, the contrast is striking.

Stroll down the boardwalk, take a load off your feet and enjoy. Once you finally reach the gantries, you can walk inland for some food or a bit of shopping or you can walk on through a wide open patchwork of recreation and dog runs.

Lawns spread out to separate you from the growing neighborhood.
Lawns spread out to separate you from the growing neighborhood.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

It's family friendly, and all ages will find something to do.

Hungry? Finish your visit with a pizza or full meal at Maiella, outdoors if the weather's nice. It's located right behind the Pepsi-Cola sign.
Hungry? Finish your visit with a pizza or full meal at Maiella, outdoors if the weather's nice. It's located right behind the Pepsi-Cola sign.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily