Has it been a week already?
The last seven days have been packed full of new experiences. Not only did I get to see the sights of New York and experience one of the most iconic locations on the planet, but I met Sam's family and spent plenty of time getting to know them. I was fed well and have been crazy spoiled up here. Tomorrow, I get on a plane and return to the regular world. But first, I had one more day up here, and I spent it in the city.
This time, Sam's mom joined us as we trekked to several locations throughout the city. We had lunch first thing: we went back to Schnipper's. Even though Sam and I ate there on Monday, it is one of their favorite places thanks to their delicious Sloppy Joe's. I didn't mind another burger, for sure. After refueling, we hopped on the subway and headed for Roosevelt Island. Sam had shown me an article that had a few lesser-visited locations in the five boroughs and our first stop came from that list. On Roosevelt Island, there is an old, abandoned smallpox hospital. How could I resist?
It originally opened in 1856 and was open for one hundred years. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in the early 70s, but has remained ruined. Although there is a restoration project underway, the fenced off building is very skeletal. There is scaffolding everywhere to stabilize the structure, since parts of it are so worn away it would have collapsed otherwise. In fact, after doing some research, I discovered part of it HAD collapsed in 2008. As it is, there are many angles and broken shards of the building that make for interesting photos. Roosevelt Island itself was pretty deserted, too. The three of us walked the southern half of the island, looking at the ruins and city across the river. I was particularly enamored with the 59th Street Bridge overhead. It carries two levels of traffic and is over half a mile long. Even though there was snow on the ground and it was below freezing, the warm sun and lack of wind made the entire experience on the island very enjoyable.
The sun was already starting to set behind the tall buildings as we descended into the Subway once more. The last place I wanted to hit while the sun was up was the Brooklyn Bridge. We arrived at the perfect time and the entire East River was bathed in warm light. An American flag waved proudly from the bridge as I snapped photos below. To the south, Lady Liberty held her torch. I could see the new Trade Center across the water. It was a lovely spot that served as my last wide vision of the city. On our way back to the subway, I even hopped up to the main deck of the bridge to get a shot. We didn't have the time (or energy, for that matter) to walk across the bridge, but I made a note that I would definitely have to do that when the weather was warmer.
Another long day; another good day. I loved seeing more of the city and spending it with wonderful people. The entire last week has far exceeded my expectations. I will sleep tonight with a happy ache in my feet and my heart.