Have you ever been out to Randall's Island?? You know, that chunk of land below the mess of Triboro bridge loops and between East Harlem, Queens and The Bronx? I find that most people have a vague idea of where it is or they think it's Roosevelt Island ("thats the one in the east river?" is what I usually hear). I've been there once before to Icahn Stadium where my team that I coach had a track meet, but we took a bus from their school and went right to the stadium, missing all of the "good stuff".
I had a soccer game out there this week to help out a friend whose team was short players, and wow that was an experience. I found it to be a very bizarre bus ride out there with the bus full of adult soccer players and mostly ragged people looking either homeless or on the verge. I figured out why once I got there, Randall's Island houses a HUGE number of homeless men at a shelter there and is also home to Manhattan Psychiatric Center and Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center (which serves the criminally insane). There were actually a ton of homeless men sitting on the porch of the shelter watching and cheering for our game. A friend who is a social worker in the city said that the shelter there is often a first-stop for homeless men and has a reputation as a pretty gruesome place.
The funny thing is, while riding the M35 around the island I felt like it was a pretty unsafe place for a girl my size to be (the island, not the bus) because of what appeared to be homeless men everywhere and yet if you do a google search for Randall's Island you're likely to come to the conclusion that it's a lovely greenspace where you'd like to run and play sports. It took some searching to even find the name of the psychiatric facility there. I guess my point is, don't be fooled by the Parks Dept. website and head there for a scenic run, but if you do want to explore, I'd personally go as a group and during the daytime.
Well we didn't win our game that night, but it was an eye opening experience.
Sadly the zogsports soccer league that plays at Baker Field ended last night with my team taking 2nd place overall. Bummer. We rocked the first game of the playoffs at 7pm and had a rest while the next 2 games battled it out. Our second game at 9pm was not so pretty and we lost in the final round. :( It was brutal though because on Co-ed Zog teams you have to have at least 3 females on the field and we only had 3 females last night so the 3 of us played both games with no breaks! Whew. Anyhow, now you know why I haven't updated lately.
It's time to stop typing, the cat is walking on the keyboard and I can't take it any more!
*image from mbpo.org