New York is not only Manhattan. Between Manhattan and Queens, a group of islands divides the East River. I will talk about three cases in this post: Randall Island, Roosevelt Island, and Belmont Island. Randall Island is located between Bronx, Harlem, and Astoria. Two bridges fly over the island. The railroad bridge creates an interesting passage from an architectural point of view: Hell Gate. With almost 2 km, a bike and running path run under more than 70 arches or piers from the bridge. This is a nice place for an Instagram photo. Also, the island counts with numerous parks, fields, and recreational areas. From the south, you will have an amazing view of Harlem and Midtown skyline during the sunset.
Roosevelt Island is the narrowest of the three. The island is under the Queensboro Bridge, but you can arrive with a cable car and subway. There are amazing views from the cabin of the cable car. The north part is a residential area and a lighthouse. Cornell Tech is located in the middle of the island. In the south, you will find the Roosevelt Park, designed by Louis Kahn.
Without any doubt, the most incredible story is for Belmont Island. This is an artificial island also named U Thant Island. It was created with all the extracted dirt and soil from the construction of the Steinway Tunnel (subway, line 7), built in the early XX. This is the smallest island of the city and it is positioned in a curious spot, in front of the United Nations Headquarters and Roosevelt Island. During the seventies, some activists occupied the island because they wanted to protest against one of the UN speeches. In 2004 during a republican convention, Duke Riley (a filmmaker) proclaimed the independence of the island, as a sovereign nation for some hours.