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First hotel opening on NYC island with Lunatic Asylum history

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From historic hospitals to hospitality.

An island long known for its hospitals, prison and Lunatic Asylum is getting its first hotel. 

Located in the middle of New York City’s East River, between Queens and Manhattan, Roosevelt Island spent the 19th and much of the 20th century primarily as a penitentiary, workhouse and quarantine before becoming a residential neighborhood and, beginning in June, also boasting a hotel. 

“Graduate Roosevelt Island is now accepting reservations for stays beginning June 1st, 2021,” stated a press release for the 224-key hotel. The lodge was initially slated to open in July 2020, a date which was belated by a year as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

The 18-story building is located at the entrance of Cornell Tech’s campus on the island and features a ground-floor restaurant, 24-hour fitness center, indoor-outdoor rooftop bar and lounge with skyline views, and 3,000 square feet of meeting space. Rooms start at $219 a night and are pet friendly — adding a furry friend to a booking, however, does cost an additional $25 a night. 

Graduate Hotels’ in-house team designed the hotel to blend “Old School and New Age, taking inspiration from both the rich history of Roosevelt Island and the future of technology that the Cornell Tech campus embodies” according to the release. This includes a 13-foot statue of the artist Hebru Brantley’s Flyboy character and 5,000 square feet of  floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. 

The island is accessible by the F train, NYC Ferry, car and its iconic red tram.  

COVID-19 proved a boon to Roosevelt Island’s real estate, with numerous families recently relocating to the isolated, 147-acre neighborhood. 

The island’s Octagon, formerly the New York Lunatic Asylum — made infamous by journalist Nellie Bly’s 1887 exposé “Inside the Madhouse” — was turned into a 500-unit rental building in 2006.

“The building has a magical vibe, and you fall in love with it the minute you step into the lobby,” one resident told The Post in January. 

Detail of Roosevelt Island Tramway in New York.

Roosevelt Island is accessible by train, ferry, car and its iconic tram.

Alamy Stock Photo

New York City, New York, USA. 19th Aug, 2016. The Small Pox Hospital on Roosevelt Island. The ruins are are landmark and thus protected. Credit: Sachelle Babbar/ZUMA Wire/Alamy Live News

The remains of Roosevelt Island’s former smallpox hospital.

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Suspect arrested in fatal Brooklyn stabbing

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Police have apprehended a suspect in the fatal December stabbing of a Brooklyn man, cops said on Saturday.

The suspect, John Headley, 32, also of Brooklyn, was taken into custody Friday and charged with murder and weapons possession for the Dec. 12 knifing of Ken Baird, 37, police said.

Baird was stabbed multiple times in the chest following a dispute on Crown Street near Utica Avenue in Crown Heights at about 6:40 p.m., police said.

EMS transported Baird to King County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, cops said.

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Man dies after jumping from Staten Island Ferry

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A 53-year-old man died Saturday after jumping from the Staten Island Ferry into the chilly waters of New York Harbor, police said.

NYPD Harbor launch officers pulled the man out of the water after responding to reports of a jumper near the Whitehall Ferry Terminal in Manhattan at around 2 p.m.

“He jumped off the ferry as it pulled away from the dock,” an NYPD spokesman told The Post. He jumped off the Ferryboat Andrew J. Barberi, police said.

The unidentified victim was removed to Pier 11 and transported to New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 3:10 p.m.

A newsstand worker said there were “about 50 or so emergency people” at Pier 11 following a valiant effort — which included CPR — to save the man’s life.

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An NYPD spokesman says the 53-year-old man “jumped off the ferry as it pulled away from the dock.”

Michael Dalton

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The 53-year-old man was transported to New York-Presbyterian Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Michael Dalton

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Kemp Lashes M.L.B. as Republicans Defend Georgia’s Voting Law

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Mr. Kemp, who is gearing up to run for re-election in 2022, has striven to re-enter the good graces of Republican voters after becoming a central political target of former President Donald J. Trump because of his refusal to help Mr. Trump overturn the state’s election results last year. A former secretary of state of Georgia who has his own record of decisions that made voting harder for the state’s residents, he is again a key G.O.P. voice leading the charge on the issue.

On Saturday, he repeatedly tried to paint the league’s decision as driven by Stacey Abrams, the voting rights advocate and former Democratic candidate for governor in Georgia who is seen as likely to challenge Mr. Kemp again next year.

Ms. Abrams, one of the most prominent critics of Georgia’s voting law, has pushed back on calls for sports leagues and corporations to boycott the state. She said on Friday that she was “disappointed” baseball officials had pulled the All-Star Game but that she was “proud of their stance on voting rights.”

In defending the law in Georgia, Mr. Kemp singled out two Democratically controlled states, New York and Delaware, and compared their voting regulations with the new law in Georgia. Those states do not offer as many options for early voting as Georgia does, but they have also not passed new laws instituting restrictions on voting.

“In New York, they have 10 days of early voting,” Mr. Kemp said (New York actually has nine). “In Georgia, we have a minimum of 17, with two additional Sundays that are optional in our state. In New York, you have to have an excuse to vote absentee. In Georgia, you can vote absentee for any reason.”

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