This past Saturday I had a 6- to 7-mile training run for the New Orleans Jazz Half and, inspired by my very own post, I set out to explore some new ground. Roosevelt Island has always fascinated me so I figured I'd plan a run around the perimeter of the island. Supposedly people actually live there, which would totally creep me out. The place feels lost in time, probably because of the decaying buildings, lack of cars and roaming elderly population (not kidding). It's also fairly difficult to access unless you like to swim, aren't afraid of heights, or enjoy taking the F train.
Besides a cool lighthouse, there are tons of old, abandoned structures on the island. Like most idiots, I assume any old abandoned building used to be an insane asylum, which is exactly what I thought about the decaying building on the south end of the island. I was only sort of wrong. There actually was an insane asylum on the island, but it now functions as a residential building. FUN TIMES! The creepiest building on the island was actually New York's smallpox hospital turned historical landmark. It's a beautiful structure battered by storms and wrapped in ivy. Apparently it was open to the public to explore until a big storm in 2007 made it too dangerous to enter. Who needs floors, amirite?
Beside the cool buildings, the run around the island provided awesome views of Manhattan and Queens. I'd recommend spending a few hours there during the warmer months and taking in the East River sites. This weekend I'm planning to see the city from the Hudson River during my run in Liberty State Park!