Roosevelt Island, Randall and Ward Islands, Rikers Island, North Brother Island…you may have heard of one or all of these NYC islands, but do you know what they have in common? Today, the Jump Streeters learned that all these islands historically hosted (in some cases, still host) marginalized populations. We asked the Jump Streeters what kind of people they think would be marginalized. The answers given ranged from sick to dangerous to just plain bad—all are correct! For example, we learned that Rikers Island is still the city’s main jail complex. Or that Typhoid Mary was quarantined (a great vocab word offered to us by the oh-so intelligent Saije Ferrer) on North Brother Island.
As interesting as all the islands are, our focus today was Roosevelt Island. Previously known as Hog Island, Blackwells Island, and Welfare Island, Roosevelt Island was known for hospitals, a prison, and an asylum.
Word of the Day:
Marginalize (verb): to confine to a lower or outer limit or edge, as of social standing
A good way to think about it, when you write on a piece of paper, you avoid writing outside the MARGIN!
Once we learned all about how interesting the islands are, we grabbed our bikes and headed to the East River. We got an awesome Jump Streeters group shot, mounted our bikes, and headed North to the Triboro Bridge. Once we got across the bridge, we were in Queens! You know what that means—everyone got their Queens Badges today! We rode by Socrates Park and took a quick water, bathroom, and carrot break before heading to the Roosevelt Island Bridge. We were pumped to finally be on Roosevelt Island! We were already relatively North on the Island, so we headed to the North-most tip to check out the Lighthouse and have some lunch with a view. On our way, we made a pit-stop by The Octagon and learned a little bit about it. The Octagon, as the name suggests and the Jump Streeters correctly identified, is an 8-sided building that started out as an island retreat frequented by the great Charles Dickens before becoming a hospital and later an abandoned hospital. Only recently (in the last few years) was it renovated into housing. After lunch, rejuvenated but tired after a long day, we headed back to Stanley Isaacs. Big shout-out to our old pro, Mr. Steven Henriquez, for being at the front the whole time—those legs of steel! This time, we took the Queensboro Bridge and came up 1st Avenue. The bridges were hard and tiring, but the Jump Streeters saw some beautiful views and everyone was a trooper! Only thing missing was our fearless leader who was away in Rochester today, but his equally fearless cousin Justin stepped in.
Leaders: Emily Bai, Torin Barnes, Justin Downs, Roni Kobrosly, Janet Lee, Dani Niderman, Rob Pecchia, Juleon Robinson, Abi Rosenberger, Itai Sengre, Jess Wygoda
Miles Walked: 0.4
Miles Biked: 12.73
Programming Time: 6 Hours
Ride Time: 4 Hours