This past Sunday I visited Roosevelt Island, a narrow island that lies between Manhattan and Queens in New York City's East River and is accessed by a tramway. It takes about 5 minutes to get to the island on the tramway and you get a wonderful view of the city from high above the bridge. It was especially chilly that day, and I managed to stay out taking photos for an hour and a half before getting pain in my hands and needing to go inside. But the good part about going at this time of year on such a cold day is that there was hardly anyone there. At the southern tip of the island there is an abandoned hospital called Smallpox Hospital which opened in 1856 and closed 100 years later. It has been designated a New York City landmark and is going through a 4.5 million stabilization project, which upon completion will then be open to the public. The hospital was featured in the first Spider-Man movie, when the Green Goblin brings Spider-Man down to fight in the old hospital. A highlight of the day was getting to photograph a family of squirrels. I think I counted 6 of them and they were very tame, coming very close to us. Strangely enough, there was also a cat in the garden with the squirrels.
Roosevelt Island makes a fun day trip to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. The tramway is free with your unlimited metro card.