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Archive for the ‘urbex’ Category

High-Rise Cul-de-Sac

Posted by Týr on February 4, 2009

A few weeks ago Maja and I spent a good chunk of an afternoon on Roosevelt Island, just walking around. I’ve always wanted to go, ever since I realized that the Renwick Ruin was actually part of the same island. I mean, who wouldn’t want to walk around a ruin in NYC?? So we took the subway there, got out of the station into a completely overcast day. As we started on our way south to the Ruin, I noticed that the Queensboro Bridge didn’t look as hideous as it usually does. If the sky is a lovely, clear blue, the bridge is anything but. Its hideous brown-and-yellow paint job just reminds you of your  less appealing bodily functions. If the bridge’s backdrop is grey, however, it does look quite nice.

Our destiation out of the subway was the Renwick Ruin. It does look quite cool. Too bad it was fenced off, so I couldn’t get up close and do some UrbEx, but then again, that thing looks like the next stiff breeze could knock it down. Still, I may want to hop the fence in the future, but only with my running shoes. The fence gets in the way of most good shots.

After that, we started wandering north on the island. And really, there’s nothing there. Absolutely nothing. It always looks like an appealing place to live when you’re on the FDR Drive and all you see is that small island, filled with modern high-rises. But the island is annoying to get to at best: either you take the one subway line that goes there, or the Tram (which is totally inconvenient on the Manhattan side), or the Roosevelt Island Bridge and then go through god-only-knows where in Queens. While walking down the one street on the island I got the feeling of the space being designed to feel like a small-town Main St, but trying to accomplish that goal using the tools of Midtown Manhattan: high-rises. As you might imagine, it fails utterly. It does succeed in feeling like a dead-end, albeit a cul-de-sac with fine housing.

A few hours spent on the island was more than enough for me. Still, I think I’ll head back there sometime when the weather is nicer to take a closer look at the Ruin. That thing is quite awesome, and I want to get up close and personal with it.


Posted in architecture, Uncategorized, urban design, urbex | 1 Comment »