When I was a kid, my family used to take us out to Roosevelt Island once in a while.  Like taking the Staten Island Ferry, it was an inexpensive adventure that would fill up a big chunk of the day.  I don’t remember seeing that much of the island, but I do remember taking the tram both ways and getting to walk around, hang out, and enjoy the view by the water.  I’ve been back several times as an adult, on a walking tour and on my own, and I’ve had a chance to explore more of the island, including the lighthouse, the ruins of the Smallpox Hospital, and Four Freedoms Park.  Since my boyfriend had never been to Roosevelt Island at all, his knowledge consisted of the stories and photos I shared with him, as well as the stories of Nellie Bly spending ten days in a madhouse here, a very creepy story about Jennifer Connelly being haunted by a ghost, Spider-Man having one of his more memorable fight scenes, and that time that Rutger Hauer took hostages on the tram and Sylvester Stallone had to save them.

Since we were both free on Veteran’s Day and the weather was great for walking, we finally decided to visit and make up for lost time.  Most of what we saw was scenic and/or historical.  We did notice an unusual number of signs telling us not to feed the wildlife, but we had no idea that they might be signifying a larger problem.  More on that in a moment.  Anyway, let’s start with the scenic stuff …

 

OK, so you see that sign about the designated food area?  Well, that was a new addition since the last time I’d visited, and I thought it was a great idea.  So we walked all through Four Freedoms Park, got back to the food area, and sat down to enjoy some snacks we’d packed.  And that’s when we had a surprising visitor …

 

 

First we were surprised by how quickly the squirrel had leaped from the ground to the chair to the table.  Then we were even more surprised when it ran right over to our (as-yet unopened) Compost Cookie, GRABBED IT OFF THE TABLE AND RAN AWAY WITH IT.  While we were still reeling from the shock of what had just happened, my boyfriend walked over to see what had happened to the cookie (the squirrel had carried it over to the other side of the Smallpox Hospital fence and was eating it over there).  As that was happening, another squirrel came running over to the table to investigate if we had anything else:

 

 

Not pictured: the squirrel jumping on my purse, climbing on my lap, and CLIMBING UP MY ARM.  Also not pictured: me screaming my head off and yelling for my boyfriend to rescue me.

All in all, this was an alarming, fun, and unexpectedly educational day.  So, in conclusion, I definitely recommend visiting Roosevelt Island, but I ALSO recommend keeping a tight grip on your food if you want to eat it!

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