joy magnetism: Seeking asylum

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Seeking asylum

Magnet #519 - RIHS Visitors Center Kiosk

I've been playing tourist again in town. I swear, there's always something to do in town, and even if you're doing the same thing you've already done a few times, seeing it through a new pair of eyes is fun. Plus, I totally saw some of Manhattan today that I've never seen before.

Like - the back side of the Holocaust museum downtown. Just above and behind that? Is a freakin' Disney-esque set of docks. Who. Knew!

Like the lines for the Statue of Liberty. Ahem. Anyone coming to visit me - I've done the crown pre-9/11. Ya'll wanna visit the old green lady? You're on your own - those lines were insane!

And, speaking of insane...I've sort of taken Roosevelt Island off the east side of Manhattan for granted. There's a skyway to get there - you'll know this tram, because it's the one that got stuck in the air in the first Spider-Man, and Spidey had to go save Mary Jane in mid-air?

I've been to the island a few times, and I'm totally going back at some point soon - just to visit every darn landmark they have over there! I can't believe it's taken me this long to look up what's over on that island! Sheesh.

I found out today - having read all the literature on it on their site - that apparently, both Boss Tweed and Mae West did stints there. And, Nellie Bly and Charles Dickens both came here to investigate and visit and write about the lunatic asylum housed on this island.

Hell yeah. Lunatic. Asylum. Dudes, I love that I read and am using (in the right context) the phrase lunatic asylum today. Hahaha.

But, besides the nuthouse, there's a house there from before the Revolutionary War! It was owned by the Blackwell family for something like 150 years. Dude. That's old. But, apparently, they renamed the island from Blackwell to Roosevelt Island in honor of FDR.

Oh! And at the southern tip of the island, they're trying to building memorial to him. I didn't read that part all too carefully, but apparently, Louis I. Kahn designed it. Intriguing - I'll be rooting around for more information on that shortly.

I think it's been a while since the last time I went, because this little kiosk right outside the entrance of the tram wasn't there before. It's supercute! And I won't lie, the only reason I actually stopped in, was because there was a little sign in front that mentioned "books and souvenirs." Fun!

In the end, I ended up with this giant magnet - the magnet that should have had the tram in the background. But, I guess you can't have everything. You should take a look at this cool video that explains where this kiosk is from - but they were in use for the trolley system back in the early 1900s. And, it's had a long trip to get where it sits today. Anyway, check it out.

So, if you have a spare few hours in town, definitely head over to Roosevelt and the visitors center kiosk, via the tram. Though in the summer there's too many people and too many people raising their arms to hold on to the handles (phew-y), so keep that in mind.

Still. A fun time.
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