Sunday, June 6, 2010
Be careful when you use a swingset, because you might not be in good enough shape to handle it. You need to warm up to it. Work at it a little bit each day, and then go for those super-high swings.
I swingset-swung today for the first time in at least ten years. I was not physically prepared, and now I am paying the price, with my life. Or, at least, an aspect of my life has been exchanged for swingset-swinging: my physical comfort.
Let me explain. My girlfriend and I took a bike adventure out to Governor's Island. We used the ferry and everything. After we debarked, we walked our little bicycles over to a big map of the island, where a nice young man, who worked for the Park Service, helped us figure out where in the devil to go for a couple of freakin' hot dogs or maybe a cheeseburg. The guy gave us all sorts of information about the historical military buildings on the island: Fort Jay; Castle Williams; The Barracks. He also told us about how the garrison that was garrisoned on the island helped keep the enemy away from New York City, back in the day (the War of 1812?). But there was something strange about the map. There was one whole part of it, in the middle, which was completely grayed-out, like there was something secret in there, or something ignominious. So I asked, "Hey, what's that big gray area?" And he responded, "Oh, that's just some baseball fields that are rented out to little league teams 'n' stuff." Then I said, "Oh. Huh," but I knew something was amiss. What were they concealing? All I knew was that these people, with their lies, needed to be stopped, and I was going to be the one to stop them.
We went to Fort Jay first. The lawns were nicely mowed, and there are probably ghosts in that place. I fear ghosts, especially demons. We capered through the fort for a spell, then we went to the castle.
The castle sucks. You can't even go inside of it, and it doesn't even look cool. The most pathetic part about the castle is that it took four years to build. The sign says, "Commenced 1807, Compleated 1811." C'mon. You can't come up with a better castle than that after four years? The Empire State Building was constructed in just over a year, and that thing is world famous. I don't understand the logistics of building a castle during the early nineteenth century, but I know they could have done better. There aren't even any towers. How do you build a castle with no towers? There was one mini lookout tower, but it looked like it was just for decoration. Bunch of crap. "Wait, this is a castle? Where's the portcullis? Oh yeah, I forgot, this castle sucks!" Try building that castle in Wales, pal. Ha! It'll be the laughing stock. That castle stinks. I should have peed on it. Then at least it would have had a moat.
So then we went to the concession stand. We got hot dogs and cheeseburgs that were wrapped in foil paper. We people-watched (great people-watching on that island, by the way). We disposed of our trash.
Then we left the "Historical District." I was excited to uncover the mystery of the gray area. As we pedaled along on the bike path, I suddenly felt as if I were in rural North Carolina, not because carports were being sold straight off the lot for $699.99. No. 'Twas because we had entered the land of the forgotten. Run down, defunct, overgrown military housing was everywhere. It looked like a long-abandoned college campus. Tons of broken down apartment buildings and housing developments occupy about 45% of the land on the island. Actually, no. They occupy less land than that, but it seems like that, because they are all that you see for half the time. There is even one part of an apartment complex that has been blackened and blown-out by fire. The informational sign says that the abandoned apartments were used to test new fire equipment. New fire equipment, indeed! We all know that something strange and scandalous happened on that island in the 1960's. We all know about the zombies, perhaps?
In all honesty, I love the fact that Governor's Island has a post-apocalyptic theme. I think it looks cool. It totally makes up for the disgrace that is Castle Williams. I don't know why they highlight Castle Williams on the map and obscure the I Am Legend part. It should be the other way around. "Oh. Yeah. Up there, in the gray, is Castle Williams. It sucks and doesn't even have a drawbridge. But, see here in this big red area that takes up 45% of the map? That, my friends, will make you feel like you're in a zombie movie."
Anywho, let me get back to the swingset. We Mad-Maxed ourselves through the wasteland on our dusty, matte black bicycles, and eventually arrived at the picnic area, which is totally sweet. They did such a nice job with the picnic area. It's impressive. Picnic tables. Comfy chairs. Hammocks. Freakin' pristine. And then, Pow! A huge swingset zone that faces the water and the Freedom Statue. We swung and laughed and our heads got dizzy and we felt nauseated, but it was fun and we did it for a while. Now, at 1:50 AM, I still feel nasty from that damn swingset session, combined with the cheeseburg. Next time I'm stretching first.
By the way, Governor's Island is shaped like an ice cream cone that's holding a melting scoop of ice cream. Good thing flight wasn't invented yet, during the war of 1812. That would have been embarrassing. You know what was invented, though? Dungeons and trap doors. Two things Castle Williams doesn't have, for some reason. That castle is stupid.