Main Street USA on Roosevelt Island

Did you ever play with the Fisher Price Little People when you were a kid? Or Lego village sets? Did you ever notice how every store was simply named for its purpose, and there was zero competition? For example, the market was called "Market," the barber shop was called "Barber Shop," and the pet store was called "Pet Store"? Apparently, Roosevelt Island is modeled after this revolutionary idea!

Though Roosevelt Island has its share of interesting sights, its Main Street has to be one of the most depressing places in New York City. Lined with ugly, box-shaped brown buildings that block out the sun, it seems to exist in perpetual darkness.

Main Street is the commercial district for the island, and consists of about ten or fifteen shops, all of which I noticed the other day seem to be named like the Fisher Price Main Street. Want your nails done? Go to "Nail Salon" at #570!

Looking to brighten your girlfriend's day? Perhaps a trip to the "Flower Shop" is in order!

Of course, it's nice to get a discount once in a while, and for that you need go no farther than "The Thrift Store."

Need a new hammer? Looking to rent that silly mall cop movie that recently came out? You're in luck - on Roosevelt Island, you can do both at the same establishment.

Sure, most churches are named after a particular saint or martyr...but not on Roosevelt Island!

Finally, when you need to send your children to school...well, you get the idea.

The most creatively named place is the "Cards 'n' Gifts" shop across the street, the quirky yet satisfying reduction of the word "and" to a single letter suggesting a level of creativity far superior to that of their neighbors:

And lest you think these are ancient holdovers from a bygone era, I happened upon an island sign putter-upper hanging a brand new "Senior Citizens Center" sign.

I'm being a bit facetious - some of these stores sort of have actual names hidden in the shadows of Main Street's alleyways. But I get the sense that, with such little space available, perhaps the island designated each storefront for a particular purpose, and regardless of the current tenant, say, #570 will always be "Nail Salon." Ha, I always liked the idea of the perfect archetypal Lego Main Street, but now I'm not so sure...