Thursday, November 21, 2013

Now You Can Sit on Roosevelt Island-Shaped Benches

Roosevelt Island is sometimes referred to as "Little Manhattan," in part because its long, narrow form makes it look like a pint-sized version of our larger neighbor. (Both places — along with Governors Island and Randalls Island — are in the borough of Manhattan.)

Still, I'm not sure people here spend much time thinking about the shape of Roosevelt Island. That is, until this week.

New benches have been installed along Main Street that resemble our magnificent isle. I think they're delightful and one of the biggest strokes of design genius since the iPhone.

Not everyone agrees. After the Roosevelt Islander blog posted pictures of the benches, commenters began complaining about their "odd shape" and worried that they looked uncomfortable. (One critic posited that the benches resembled marijuana-stuffed cigars, known as "blunts".)

Some people didn't appear to understand what the shape was even supposed to mean, while others felt the benches didn't actually look like Roosevelt Island.

I admit, they're not an exact replica. But they seem close enough. And keep in mind that most New Yorkers probably only know the shape of Roosevelt Island from the subway map...

...or maybe Google.

On Google, the island definitely tapers more at the southern tip. And it isn't as rounded on either side.

But I'm not sure having pointy benches would have been practical. You don't want people on smartphones impaling themselves because they aren't looking down.

The bottom line: People should just revel in this bit of whimsy and not worry so much.

Or as the Fonz used to say, "Sit on it."