Summertime in New York City is the best! There is so much free/cheap stuff to do that every weekend is like a new adventure. I never understand people who say that it’s “so expensive” to go out in New York- if you seek things off the beaten path and plan ahead it can be a total steal! Our entire day trip to Roosevelt Island cost less than $10 for two people, all we had to do was pack a lunch, and then use our metro cards for the air tram and subway! The fella and I have wanted to explore Roosevelt Island for a long time, it’s a small island in the East River (bordered on the west by Manhattan and on the east by Queens). The sky tram connects the island to Manhattan (and costs the same as a ride on the subway) and offers incredible views. It was a little tricky getting a clear(ish) shot because of the glass, but this is the view leaving from Manhattan on the tram. One of the coolest parts was getting to see all the fancy rooftop gardens that we always wondered about. Swanky! The history of Roosevelt Island is bizarre. There is a “historic walk” that goes around the entire island, but the visitor’s center does not provide maps- I think the entire time we were on the island we saw maybe one sign informing us that we were in fact on the “historic walk”. Despite it’s lack of advertisement/organization, the loop around the island definitely hit all the creepy landmarks and provided incredible views of both Manhattan and Queens. We started our walk on the Manhattan side taking in the incredible view (and the rich people at play on their boats). Then we continued on to one of the two parks on the island, which brought us to creepy landmark number one. This historic lighthouse called the Blackwell Island Light was built by prison inmates who once inhabited the island. Then we passed the incredibly unnerving entryway for “The Octagon”, which is currently an upscale condo complex, but was originally part of the New York City Lunatic Asylum. Roosevelt Island is filled with creepy things like this randomly placed disabled air tram.
And here is one of the many shots I took through a fence. This huge hospital complex is set to be demolished soon. It. Is. So. Creepy. The previous hospital on this spot burned to the ground, they rebuilt it on the exact same plot.
Then we saw this, the oldest ruin in New York City and previously a Smallpox Hospital.
Gradually various groups of prisoners, asylum patients and hospital patients were moved to Ward’s Island. Now Governor’s Island is a strange combination of creepy ruins from its dark past (when it was called Welfare Island), and large brand new luxury high rise apartments. Probably the strangest place I’ve been in New York City- cost of a whole day of fun for two: $10.