April 19, 2006

Nightmare in New York

Have you ever ridden the tram that goes from New York City to Roosevelt Island? If you're not from New York, you may not know it but there is an island in the East River called Roosevelt Island. It's been around for a long time and has gone through many incarnations. Right now, it's a combination of apartment buildings, private residences and convalescent homes.

Jon and I took a tour of the island with Forgotten New York back in November.

We learned that for a long time to get to Roosevelt Island you had to take a boat. Then a small bridge was built connecting it to Queens. For a long time, that was the only way you could get on and off the island. About thirty years ago or so, the tram was added to ferry commuters to New York City and most recently, the subway.

If you're not familiar with the tram you've probably seen it. It looks like this.
Back and forth across the East River, it takes four minutes each way.

I've been on the Tram several times and there hasn't been one time that I've taken it, that I haven't thought about what a nightmare it would be if the tram got stuck one way or another.

Well, it happened today and all I can say is thank goodness I wasn't on it.

At the time I'm writing this entry, the rescue operation is underway. It involves a small basket that can move people 10 at a time. The one closest to Manhattan, suspended over either 1st or 2nd Avenue, will be the second to be rescued because the one heading toward Roosevelt Island is stuck in the middle over the water and is presumably the scarier one to be on.

The scariest part, aside from having to hold your pee for 8 hours, has to be climbing out of the tram and into that little basket 200 feet above water. To get out of the tram you have to climb out through the roof. It's not a simple rescue.

I hope it goes well.

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