Saturday, September 1, 2012

Staten Island? Or Formosa?

So, I'm heading off to Taiwan in just a couple of days, and I decided that I needed to prepare myself.  I had a conversation with a friend of mine yesterday, and she said something that gave me an idea.  "Staten Island kind of looks like Taiwan, doesn't it?"

Yeah, it kind of does, doesn't it?  Maybe you have to squint a bit, I don't know.
So what I thought was, why not take a trip to Staten Island to get an idea of what Taiwan will be like?  It makes sense right.
I took the subway down to South Ferry and got on the Staten Island Ferry.

 Here we are pulling up to the unknown wilds of Staten Island.  Note the tension in the shoulders of my fellow ferry-riders.  None of us really know what to expect when we land.
Once I'm on the island, I get on the "Staten Island Railroad".  It's a strange little railroad with modified subway cars, perhaps brought over to the island from NYC in the 1950's, kind of like the US cars in Cuba.
The view below is pretty much what one sees from the railroad the whole way when one isn't submerged in an ugly trench.  There are a couple of places where it's at road level, and even some where it's elevated, but for much of the route it's about 10 feet below the ground level of the surrounding area.  This is not conducive to photo-taking.
 Here's the train at the final station, Tottenville.  This is it.  This is the end of NYC.

 There's nothing here.  Nothing.
 The station house is cute, though I think mostly unused.  The SI Railroad doesn't actually have any tolls aside from when you get on OR off at the ferry terminal.  They just don't even bother charging anyone else.
 Seriously, it's the end of everything.

 So let's get out of here.
 Oh, that's a neat structure.

 Here's the grass again.

 Finally I got back to the ferry and headed back to civilization.  On the way, I got some nice views of Governor's Island.

 Poor souls boarding the ferry to make the trip I just made.  Good luck!

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