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 … (more…)