New York City: The final destination of this three-week mad-dash around the North East US. It’s quite pleasant knowing that I’ll be staying put for the next three nights and that it’s just me, free to run around and do whatever I want to, in this huge metropolis. Of course, I’ve run around this metropolis before… My parents are very good tour guides, and the fact that their wallets are considerably fatter than mine has made for very enjoyable visits, eating good food and doing all the expensive touristy stuff. As this time I’m alone, and not exactly financially flush, the aim of the trip is thus to see as much of the city as possible without maxing-out my overdraft! Bring it.
First then, is somewhere I’ve always wanted to go: Roosevelt Island. It’s a long, thin island in the East River between Manhattan and Queens, mostly residential, with some old abandoned psych hospitals/smallpox facilities. It wasn’t the derelict healthcare facilities I was there for though, or even the island itself really… It’s all about getting on to the island! Two of my favourite (top 10 at least) things in this world are bridges and superhero movies, and here, whether you’re a Marvel or a DC person, there’s a way on to the island for you!
SPOILER ALERT: You might remember in Spiderman (2002) when the Green Goblin is holding Mary-Jane in one hand and a cable car full of people in the other and it’s all very stressful until Spidey swoops in and fixes everything? Okay, so it wasn’t the best superhero film of the 21st century, but I was 12 when I first saw it in the cinema and I loved it. Anyway… said cable car was none other than the Roosevelt Island Tram, and That’s how we’re getting to the Island.
Here it comes!
As you depart, you get nice views of some urban sprawl (Side note: You swipe your MetroCard to get on, so it doesn’t even cost you any more than a subway ride!)
And Crossing the East River’s not too bad either.
On arrival, the island itself is, as expected, rather anticlimactic. It’s not altogether unpleasant, though, and I take advantage of one of the cooler days (see above clouds) of the trip to go on a nice brisk stroll through a grassy, albeit seemingly under-construction, park without experiencing any of the early stages of a heat-related death. I met some local geese, too.
And gazed at Manhattan from across the water (note the UN Building on the far left. We’re going there next).
I did also locate the inevitable Starbucks.. and consumed the inevitable Lime Refresher (it’s all about the free wifi, really).
The island is also an excellent vantage point from which to view our next superhero-movie-related-island-access-option. The Queensboro Bridge. Also known as the 59th Street Bridge (yeah, like the song), and officially re-titled the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge in 2011 after NYC Mayor Ed Koch, I like to call it by the catchier and more appropriate Batman Bridge.
SPOILER ALERT: You might remember in The Dark Knight Rises (2012) when they’re on Gotham Bridge and there’s a bus full of orphan kids and a lot of bad guys with explosives telling everyone to make their peace and someone shouts “they’re children, they have no peace to make!” and it’s all very stressful until Batman and his trusty not-yet-a-sidekick swoop in and fix everything?
Yeah, that’s this bridge.
Recognise it? Good.
And that, my friends, is my way off this island!
Neither my journey to nor from the island was particularly perilous. But it is always comforting to know that, if shit starts to go down here… your friendly neighbourhood superheroes will always save the day. It’s a good commute to have.
This post is dedicated to all the masked crime-fighting vigilantes out there who make our cities safe.