Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sing Sing Singin' The Incarceration Blues

Today we visited Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York. According to the Wikipedia entry, it was named after the Native American Sinck Sinck tribe from whom the land was purchased in 1685.

We heard a rumor about a museum they were constructing and thought we'd go look for it but wound up at the front gate of the prison. We stopped at the gate to read the countless signs telling us we couldn't take pictures, etc. when we saw the guards coming out of their towers to look at us....a little unnerving. Then a guard came walking toward us. We stood right where we were because we figured binoculars weren't the only things they were carrying.

We talked for a few minutes with the guard, finding out that it was a maximum security prison and as far as she knew, there wasn't any museum. She was pleasant but a little scary. We told her we'd be on our way and skulked away from the gate knowing we had a minimum of five pairs of eyes on us.

Interestingly, the prison sits on what one would think is a prime piece of real estate (even if it is in Ossinging), situated on the banks of the Hudson River with a beautiful view, one of which is the Tappan Zee Bridge (which you can see in the background). If you enlarge the photo, you can see the guy in the tower...I swear he's looking at us and not over that vast expanse of water.

Read more about Sing Sing here.

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Gil said...

Thanks for this story as I again learned something. I always thought that Sing Sing got its name from a play on the the name of the town (Ossining) it is located in.

Evil Pixie said...

I would have been more than a little intimidated standing at the gates of that place, knowing guards (no doubt heavily armed) were watching my every move. That said, great photograph. I love how the tower is almost a silhouette and the bridge and water are in such focus. Well done!

june in florida said...

June in florida

Beautiful pics in previous posts, once you get out of the city upstate New York is one of the most beautiful places in the country.I drove a cab out of Hyannis Ma and once drove someone to Bridgewater State hospital.I could not get out of there fast enough, such an overwhelming oppressive feeling, must be all the unhappy spirits.

Hedon said...


That is sooo something Stace and I would do. I can see us now standing at the gate asking the guard how to get to the museum. :)

I once delivered a load inside a maximum security prison in OK and that was slightly creepy. The (rather too complete) frisking by the female guard before I entered the facility was one thing. Having to stand next to a shotgun-toting guard while the prisoners unloaded my trailer five feet away from me was... well... a little unnerving.

all things bradbury said...

you know, i've crossed that bridge many times and never realized that the prison was right there... ...that's an awesome pic! hedon, i delivered once to the correctional complex in canon city, pull thru two gates and then they xray your truck...and then you stand with the guard and watch the inmates unload your trailer....i like bein an ornery old woman, i just don't wanna get ornery enough to ever end up unloading trucks in maximum