Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

06 February 2013

An Island After The Storm: Following Virginia

The past couple of days have been insane.  I must say, though, that apart from a computer malfunction, it's been good.

Along the way, I took a detour onto Roosevelt Island, a place where I hadn't been since Superstorm Sandy.

At least it's still there. However, I was disappointed--though  not surprised--to see this:

The park at the northern end of the island has been closed off.  That means you can't go to the lighthouse (I'm sorry, Virginia!) at the point where the East River opens into Long Island Sound.  

You can't see it in this photo, but some of the promenade on the other side of the light house broke up like a window struck by a brick.

About half a kilometer south of the lighthouse, on the Manhattan-facing shore, an observation deck shaped like the bow of a ship was also closed off:

I stopped there anyway because, when I looked to my left, I saw visual proof that renaming the Queensborough (59th Street) Bridge after Ed Koch was a terrible idea:

I don't think he had the emotional complexity to appreciate, much less reflect, the light and color of this vista.  Besides, he only went to Roosevelt Island--over which the bridge passes--and Queens under great duress. 

Here, I believe, is a more fitting monument to him:

It's called "The Marriage of Real Estate and Money". Tom Otterness made it, I'm sure, with his tongue at least somewhat in his cheek.  Still, it is an apt expression of Koch's real legacy.

On the island's southern end--just below the shadow of the bridge--a monument to Franklin D. Roosevelt, for whom the island was named  (Previously, it was known as Welfare Island) has been built.  It opened just a few days before Sandy struck.  It fared a bit better than the park around the lighthouse.

You can't bring your bike into it:  You can leave it at the gate and a Parks employee will watch it for you.  However, it's a rewarding dismount:

Once you pass the obelisk, you can descend steps that are like the rows of an ampitheatre and share a view with the birds perched on the rock:

After taking that in, I turned around and walked back to my bike.  As I have a lousy sense of direction, I needed something to light the way out:

If I didn't know any better, I'd think that the leaves left their color when the fell off those branches.  However, I know those trees are newly-planted.  I almost wish that they won't bud and bloom this spring.

I don't think the season makes much difference to this denizen of the island:

If that photo were the frame of a comic strip, this avian creature's though-bubble would probably read, "Silly Humans!"


  1. Thanks for the tour. So much to see and explore where you're at.

  2. Hi Randy--You're welcome. My pleasure.