Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Rat Island Can Be Yours (or Mine, If You'll Lend Me a Few Hundred Thousand Dollars)!!!!
(Map borrowed from one of my favorite websites, Ephemeral New York.)
This is my dream. I'm at a cocktail party somewhere in New York. The conversation turns to the subject of vacation homes. Everyone else has a fabulous holiday pad. Do you have a second home? someone asks me. Oh, it's really just a little cottage, I reply. On my private island a few miles outside of the city. Maybe you've heard of it? It's called RAT ISLAND.
Rat Island is a two and a half acre chunk of rock in the middle of Long Island Sound. (Just north of NYC.) And I want it. It's going up for auction soon, and though it's estimated to be worth over $425,000, it may end up going for a song.
According to a NY Times article:
Much of [Rat Island's] history is lost and shrouded in folklore; the name is said to relate to prisoners, called rats, escaping from Hart Island, swimming with cardboard boxes over their heads to look like bobbing trash, but it is not clear if that is true. Legend also holds that the island was used as a so-called pest house in the 19th century to quarantine people infected with yellow fever, but Bronx and City Island historians have said that was unlikely because the city already had a quarantine hospital on Hart Island, now known as the site of the city’s potters field.
Rat Island, said to have served as an artists and writers colony, has supported at least one cottage; the remnants of a stone foundation still sit on a peak. Within its perimeter on Thursday was a lone rubber glove and a single green-and-gray Aldo men’s size 42 deck shoe with socks scrunched inside. Whether they had been discarded there or washed ashore was not entirely clear.
It sounds so lovely!!!