Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Roosevelt Island: Land Without Dogs - Now Online !

Dogs Movie Still

A few months ago I saw a YouTube short featuring clips from various films Jefrey Powers had worked on. One of these films was "Roosevelt Island: Land Without Dogs". I had only heard about this film from other island residents who had seen it at local film festival sponsored by the RI Historical Society. Well after a few e-mails and the pleading of this bloggist the film has been brought into the digital age. Enjoy the fun and let us know back here what you think and to thank Mr. Powers (photography & producer)and Mr. Jeffrey Pickett (writer, director, and producer)for digitizing the film and making it available here.

Times have changed and we now see plenty of pooches on the Island but once there was a dark age when man's best friend was not welcome. Double Click the above still photo to link to the film. Did I mention that the film is great travelogue for the Island.

Description from the film's creators: 16 min 2 sec - May 25, 2001

"This film examines a peculiar place that remains surprisingly anonymous despite its location in the heart of the most talked-about city in the world. Roosevelt Island sits just a stone's throw from New York's Upper East Side, nestled in the East River between Manhattan and Queens. What makes it so peculiar is not only its anonymity but its by-law stating that no dogs are to be allowed on the island at any time, for any reason. The absurdity of this issue is eclipsed only by the impassioned feelings of many of Roosevelt Island's citizens concerning the specter of canine rights, or, in this case, an acute lack thereof."


  1. I don't think it's true that no dogs were allowed on the island. The housing company rules for the original buildings didn't allow tenants to have dogs, except seeing eye dogs, of which there has been at least one for a long time. There were a few other people who had dogs, and the rule wasn't strictly enforced, because it involved going to housing court and was a long, involved process. People visiting the island could bring their dogs. The Southtown buildings allow dogs, which accounts for the dogs we see on the island now.

  2. And the Octagonians are allowed to have dogs, too (and there are a LOT of them up there). Even in Manhattan Park I've seen the occasional dog in the elevators but I am not sure if they were visitors or if the concierges are getting very good holiday tips from the owners.

    I actually enjoyed the dog free times immensely. It is a pet peeve of mine to see many owners let their dogs run around without a leash.

  3. I watched the movie. It's funny. I like the humor. Checkpoint Charlie of Roosevelt Island, eh?

  4. "Trellis has the best burgers in the world!" HA!

    Also hillarious is the "doggy police call"

  5. Hamburger, Cheeseburger, Mushroomburger, Salsaburger, Italianburger...

  6. when i explored the ruins here in the 80s, there were VERY few dogs visible - in fact, the bridge still has signs stating 'no dogs in public parks.' and while i have a dog (and moved in to an overpriced building because it had a vacancy and allowed dogs, and no other unit met both conditions at the time!), i sometimes wish the ban were still in effect: there is a TON of dog crap on every inch of the island now. public safety needs to hammer the bejabbers outta some folks with multiple poop tickets.