blaneyphoto (blaneyphoto) wrote,

Adventures in Staten Island... a lost episode of the Twilight Zone?

Kathy and I set out today on a scouting mission of Rossville boatyard . I've been wanting to go shoot there, and since the studio is closed for February, today seemed like a good day to go check it out. Another visit will be needed, since good access can only be had via illegal means... We avoided that today. photo one. photo two.

We headed out from the Blazing Star Burial Ground, which is right off the road. Its a somewhat neglected, but interesting and OLD graveyard. Worth visiting for the local history alone. No creepiness here - just cool stones and good view of the decaying boats. photo one. photo two. photo three. photo four.

After determining that future visits would involve a canoe and Kathy soaking her boots in god knows what that makes up the shoreline along Arthur Kill Road, we headed down the road a short ways to a really uncomfortable, creepy cemetary that left us both feeling uneasy - totally unlike the previous one. photo one. photo two. So, thoroughly weirded out - we headed back in the other direction to Historic Richmond Town

We still had the wierd vibe left with us by the cemetary, so that laid a foundation for the oddness of our visit. Being the dead of winter (technically, but the weather says otherwise, I guess...) there were few visitors to this mostly outdoor site. Much like Old Bethpage or Colonial Williamsburg , its a historically correct, tour oriented place. Our guided tour ( which we didn't expect) was led by a fast talking, lisping college age girl who was enthusiastic but has NO future in public speaking. She had clearly memorized the script and felt was ok to improvise - which is fine if you know what you're talking about, but she was not well spoken and even less well educated... so WHO knows how she landed the tour guide gig? Weird. What really made the tour a bit stranger was the deaf/mute woman, the Hasidic family of ten, and the inappropriately friendly-drug addict-covered with tattoos guy who clearly was taking his 8 year old for a tour on his custody day. I'm ok with talking to people you meet on tours like this, but wow. This guy thought he was our new best friend... scary.

All in all, a potentially interesting site to visit - just do it on your own, without the tour and in the spring/summer. photo one. photo two. time flies. We finished up by visiting the nearby church/graveyard - depressing, but interesting stones. photo one. photo two. photo three.

Leaving here, we decide to seek out the land locked LIGHTHOUSE that we thought we saw on the approach to Richmond Town... we thought it must be something else, but no... it is a lighthouse. I guess its high enough to have been effective when it was in use. But still, weird. photo one. photo two. Oh, and the lighthouse is in someone's back yard... photo three. (quickly and poorly stitched panorama)

Ok... so on the map, there was listed the Tibetan Museum right near the lighthouse (which oddly, was not on the map...) We're not particularly interested in Tibetan art, but decided since it was on the way... why not? Well... this was about as odd as it gets. Located on a hillside, with only a tiny almost invisible door as an opening, the stairs down led through someone's back yard and into what amounted to little more than an excuse to have a gift shop. Still, we happily paid our 5 bucks thinking we could wander through then be on our way. No such luck. "Laura." The woman at the counter shouts, looking back into the office... "LAURA!" and now she's pounding on the counter, screaming... we don't need a tour THAT badly... Anyway - this girl must have been doing community service or something, because she rambled, mumbled and acted stoned throughout her incoherent 15 minute monologue. She ended with the greatest line, which loses a lot without the visuals, but... " Yeah. So now you've got two choices. I can either keep talking or you two can just read the signs for your self." I was quick to affirm that we could in fact, read the signs on our own. Laura just walked away. Clearly she's got to work on that whole Buddist Enlightenment thing.
photo one. photo two.

But, despite the weird episodes I'd recommend a field trip to SI....

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