Beatles, Bocce, and the Surprise House

Head to Governors Island this weekend for lawn bocce, a Vintage VW car show, and the Surprise House, a new installation in Nolan Park.

Recess: Bocce

Recess New York began in 2009 hosting fun recreational sports with a competitive spirit around New York City. Earlier this summer, Recess NY came to Governors Island brandishing badminton rackets and birdies.

They are back today with bocce balls on Colonels Row. Take part in some lawn bocce and enjoy the special food vendors Recess NY is bringing with them, including piping hot pizza from Neapolitan Express, delicious snacks from The Chia Co, and a wine and Tiger beer tent.

Join Recess New York for bocce on Governors Island Saturday the 23rd!

Join Recess New York for bocce on Governors Island Saturday the 23rd! Image courtesy of Recess New York.

The Surprise House

Something special is happening in House 7a in Nolan Park. Surprise Industries, a group that specializes in creating surprise, has taken over the historic house and transformed the interior. The group was able to create the installation with the help of their Kickstarter backers. In case you were wondering, you will not find any spoilers here! The exhibition is open weekends and is free to the public. Be ready to be surprised!

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Surprise Industries has transformed a house in Nolan Park with a unique purpose: to surprise the visitor! Image courtesy of the Trust.

 

 The VW Traffic Jam

This Sunday, the annual VW Traffic Jam is back on Governors Island. Proud owners of the vintage VW cars will be displaying their beautiful vehicles along the Liberty Promenade overlooking the Statue of Liberty. Spectators will judge the car show, which features nearly 100 Beatles, buses, dune buggies, and more. Come out tomorrow to picnic, explore Governors Island, and enjoy this free car show.

The VW Traffic Jam is an annual VW car show hosted on Governors Island and is free to attend.

The VW Traffic Jam is an annual VW car show hosted on Governors Island and is free to attend. Image from the 2011 VW Traffic Jam, courtesy of The Trust.

 

 

 

 

 

Coming up on Governors Island

The Civil War Sesquicentennial

This weekend, come to Governors Island to celebrate the 150th year anniversary of the Civil War. Visitors will find the Island in a time warp, courtesy of the  National Park Service and the 119th New York Volunteer Infantry. Events throughout the day will recreate life on Governors Island during the Civil War including seeing cannon firing, Civil War music, Union and Confederate troops acting out scenes from a typical day in the lifes, and Civil War baseball game. More details can be found here.

Civil War era living historians prepare for a meal on Governors Island. Image by Daniel C. Krebs, courtesy of the NPS.

Civil War era living historians prepare for a meal on Governors Island. Image by
Daniel C. Krebs, courtesy of the NPS.

Governors Island played an important role in the Civil War. Some of the historic buildings were once the New York Arsenal. Also, the Governors Island National Monument – Fort Jay and Castle Williams – were used as stockades for captured Confederate soldiers and officers.

Rite of Summer Free Classical Concert – “American and Argentine Sounds from Bernstein to Piazzolla.” 

The 3rd Rite of Summer Concert will happen this Saturday on Colonels Row. Image courtesy of Rite of Summer.

The 3rd Rite of Summer Concert will happen this Saturday on Colonels Row. Image courtesy of Rite of Summer.

The Rite of Summer  series of free concerts continues this Saturday, August 9th with performances by Pam Goldberg, Esther Noh, Caitlin Sullivan and Allison Charney. The program titled “American and Argentine Sounds from Bernstein to Piazolla,” will feature 6 pieces: Bolcom – Graceful Ghost Rag (solo piano), Corigliano – Forever Young (piano, soprano), Bernstein – Dream with Me (piano, soprano), Kevin Puts – Arches (solo violin), David Lang – Wed (piano trio), Piazzolla – Four Seasons (piano trio) - Spring & Autumn. 

Read more about the performers and the performances here. The concert is free to the public and will be performed Saturday at 1pm and 3pm on Colonels Row.

 

AIDS Memorial Quilt 

For the first time in more than 10 years, the AIDS Memorial Quilt will be on view in NYC on Governors Island this coming Monday and Tuesday, August 11 and 12th. The Aids Memorial Quilt is a memorial to those who have died of AIDS. Today, it is made up of more that 48,000 3 by 6 foot panels that each memorialize the name of someone who has died of AIDS. The quilt was first begun in 1987 by a group in San Francisco, and today the project is continued by The Names Project Foundation.

The AIDS Memorial Quilt on view in Washington DC. Image courtesy of The Names Project.

The AIDS Memorial Quilt on view in Washington DC. Image courtesy of The Names Project.

On Monday and Tuesday, a large piece (a 57,600 square-foot section) of the quilt will be unfolded across the Parade Ground on Governors Island. A dedication ceremony will be held at 4:30 p.m. on August 11th. The unveiling is a part of the fifth annual Kiehl’s LifeRide, a charity motorcycle ride that raises funds and awareness for amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. The upcoming ride is August 2nd -12th, from Milwaukee, making stops in Chicago, Detroit, Niagara Falls and Lake George, and ending in Kiehl’s own hometown of New York City.

 

 

Explore Nolan Park with a Scavenger Hunt!

Did you know that there are over ten different exhibitions and programs in the  Nolan Park houses?

You could visit the summer exhibition of the  Sculptures Guild, the unique hand made items at Brooklyn Artery and at Better Than Jam’s summer pop-up shop, or get a front row seat to Third Rail Project’s dance process during an open studio.

So to help you explore we created a scavenger hunt! This Saturday, come visit the many programs in Nolan Park through the first ever “Explore Nolan” Scavenger Hunt! Answer clues about nearly a dozen exhibits to complete the Explore Nolan clue sheet. The first to complete all 10 questions and take a selfie in Nolan Park will win prizes, many donated by the organizations with exhibitions in the park.

 

The yellow houses of Nolan Park are home to a variety of programs and exhibitions this summer. Image courtesy of the Trust.

The yellow houses of Nolan Park are home to a variety of programs and exhibitions this summer. Image courtesy of the Trust.

 How to play? 

The “Explore Nolan” scavenger hunt will occur between 1 PM  – 5 PM on Saturday. You can download the scavenger’s guide and map  in advance or pick up a sheet at the Governors Island Alliance (GIA) welcome tables at Soissons Landing or Yankee Pier. When you have completed all 10 questions and taken a photo of yourself in Nolan Park, submit your sheet to the judges at the Soissons Landing table. Prizes will be given out to the first to finish in several categories: teams, individuals, and children (under 12).

Teams will win a surrey ride from Blazing Saddles. Image credit: Claire Gorayeb

Teams will win a surrey ride from Blazing Saddles. Image credit: Claire Gorayeb

The Prizes

The prizes have been donated from many of the programs in Nolan Park and from vendors on the Island. Some of the things you can win:  Blazing Saddles surrey rides, blue marble ice cream, exhibition books from the Sculptures guild, tickets to a future Third Rail Performance and more. Follow our twitter to learn about all the prizes as we release them over the next few days.

The Exhibits 

Exhibits in Nolan Park are a part of the Island’s OpenHouseGI program, which offers free space to arts and cultural groups presenting free work to the public. Nearly a dozen houses are open to the public with a diverse array of exhibitions featuring sculpture, photography historic costumes, and art and photos that help visitors learn about the Civil War. Learn more about current and future programs below.

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The Sculptures Guild outdoor installation. See more inside. Image courtesy of The Trust.

Capa in Color and a preview of Sebastiao Salgado: Genesis (Presented by the International Center of Photography). Thursdays through Sundays from 11:30AM – 5:30PM. House 4A. View a captivating selection of  color photographs by Robert Capa and preview the upcoming ICP exhibition “Sebastião Salgado: Genesis.”

Parallax (Presented by the Holocenter). Weekends from 12PM – 6PM. House 4B. See puzzling and tantalizing works of holographic artistry plus glasses-free 3-D photography. 

Surprise House. August 16th – September 14th. House 6B. Embrace the uncertain & engineer the unexpected – play, connect, and explore the unknown in this mysterious house designed by Surprise Industries. 

Envision the Dream – Artwork by Seniors. September 5th – 21st from 10AM – 6PM. House 10A.  Eleven senior artists exhibit work in group and solo exhibitions. Because the art world tends to focus on new and upcoming artists or established artists, often mid-career senior artists find themselves overlooked by the mainstream media. This exhibition will draw attention and recognition to a diverse group of talented senior artists working in both traditional and non-traditional styles.   

Brooklyn ARTery. Weekends from 10AM-5PM. Workshop on Saturdays from 2PM – 4PM. House 10B. Stop by for beautiful handbags, jewelry, artisanal food, housewares, scarves, beauty products and more! Also featuring The ARTery Gallery – a rotating exhibit of professional artists.

Free Art Island Outpost (Presented by the Children’s Museum of the Arts). Weekends from 10AM – 5PM. Houses 11 & 14. Collaborate with other visitors on a variety of themed art workshops including painting, sound design, sculpture, animation, podcasting, and more!

Better than Jam. Fridays & Mondays from 11AM – 5PM. Weekends from 10AM – 6PM. House 16. The Brooklyn shop of all locally handmade products will be taking the ferry ride over, and bringing with it the creations of New York City’s most talented designers, artists and crafters. With the help of the Etsy New York Street Team, the shop will also host family-friendly demonstrations and workshops on Saturdays from 2PM – 4PM to show and teach visitors some of their skills

House 17 (Presented by Third Rail Projects). Open Studios: 8/2, 8/22, 9/13, from 1PM – 5PM; 9/16, 9/17, from 10AM-12PM; Workshops: 7/23, 8/2, from 1PM – 5PM; Invited Showing: 9/18 through 9/21, from 12PM – 6PM. House 17. Third Rail Projects will host open outdoor rehearsals, open studios, public workshops, and performances throughout the summer based on a mobile, site-specific dance/theater work for 6 performers and a 1970’s Coleman pop-up camper

 

Don't miss the whimsical and energetic performances of "Roadside Attraction." Image courtesy of Third Rail Projects.

This weekend Third Rail Project’s is opening up their creative process to the public in an open studio. Visit them in house 17. Image courtesy of Third Rail Projects.

The Civil War & NYC (Presented by the New York Historical Society). Weekends from 10AM – 6:30PM. House 18.  The exhibition portrays the complexities that arose in our city during the period of the American Civil War. Using photographs, newspapers, and works of art, Student Historian Teen Leaders have curated a nuanced view of the Civil War showing multiple perspectives and many surprises.   

TransFORMation (Presented by the Sculptor’s Guild). Fridays through Sundays from 11AM – 5PM. House 19.  This exhibition encompasses six separately themed shows as well as outdoor work.    

Just one of the many captivating outfits from the "Tattered & Torn" exhibit.

These historic clothing come from museums around the world. Presented in “Tattered and Torn” you will see beautiful clothing that has seen the test of time. Image courtesy of the Trust

Tattered & Torn: Part 2 (Presented by Empire Historic Arts District). Weekends from 11AM – 6PM. House 20A.  The exhibit features less-than-pristine costumes from museum collections. Although the condition of the garments is too poor for them to be displayed in museums, the Empire Historic Arts Fund believes they remain a resource for those interested in 19th century fashion design.  

Mu-Math: Mobile Math Unit to Promote Mathematical Thinking (Presented by Living Better Through Mathematics). Weekends 11AM – 5PM. House 20B. Featuring a dozen different mathematics investigations ranging from algebra to topology, the exhibit is appropriate for the math curious beginning with age 7 and ending with those who consider themselves “ageless.”

 

This Weekend, Governors Island is the Center of the Poetry World!

The 2011Poetry Festival

The 2011 Poetry Festival

Words, words, words… the air on Governors Island is going to be full of them this weekend when The New York City Poetry Festival returns for its fourth year! If you’re a lover of books and handmade goods, check out the many independent presses and craftspeople who will be selling their creations. If you’d like to hear some poetry read aloud, visit one of the festival’s many stages, each of which will have readings all day long. You can also visit the Poetry Brothel, where performers will read to you one-on-one in a candlelit bedroom in Building 408 on Colonels Row. There will be a special children’s stage where kids can share their own work, as well as a land of poem-covered balloons called the Poetree Forest.

The Poetry Brothel. Photo courtesy of the Poets Society

The Poetry Brothel. Photo courtesy of the Poets Society

This weekend is also your chance to take part in the Typewriter Project. A small wooden structure, just big enough for one, will house a Smith Corona typewriter loaded with a 100-foot roll of paper. People can write a poem, short story, or whatever else they’re inspired to contribute. The goal is to create, the Poets Society says, a “city-wide lyrical conversation.” The entries will also be uploaded to subconsciousofthecity.com. Read about the project on Brooklyn Based here.

The Typewriter Project-- a tiny writing den. Photo Courtesy of Brooklyn Based

The Typewriter Project– a tiny writing den. Photo Courtesy of Brooklyn Based

We’re so excited to see what new heights of poetic expression will be reached at this year’s festival. The diverse lineup features more than 250 poets. A huge variety of poetry organizations and collectives, small independent publishers, and reading series will be represented this weekend. Come tap into NYC’s vibrant literary community!

Saturday is All-Day Playtime on Governors Island!

A wacky and fun game at the Come Out and Play Festival! Photo courtesy of ishtodo.wordpress.com

A wacky and fun game at the Come Out and Play Festival! Photo courtesy of ishtodo.wordpress.com

Here on Governors Island, we all just want to have fun! It’s the perfect place for all sorts of play, whether you swing in a hammock, play a round of minigolf, ride a bike, or toss a Frisbee.

But this weekend, the Come Out and Play Field Day and Family is changing the game!

Governors Island has been called a giant playground (and not just one for kids). The Island naturally inspires a spirit of play, and the festival will build on that to create a day of supersized, interactive, and surprising games and activities.

There are a bunch of field games and sports to choose from. Get into a game of Settlers of Catan, but as a contact field sport! Bounce giant inflatable balls in parachutes! Whether you’re 9 or 89, an athletic player or more of a strategist, there will be something for you—even if you just want to cheer on your friends.

The festival partners with innovative and creative groups who are reinventing how we play together. Governors Island is the perfect place for it to happen.

Come Out and Play is happening on Saturday July 19 from 11 am to 4 pm. Check out their website for more information and game descriptions. 

Explore Nolan Park

There are tons of fun and free activities for the whole family on Governors Island this summer – especially in Nolan Park.

Take a look at the historic 19th century officers’ homes in Nolan Park, all painted yellow. Image courtesy of The Trust.

The park is a remnant of the 19th century, lined by charming yellow houses that were once home to military officers. These homes now serve another purpose – every summer arts and cultural organizations turn the Nolan Park houses into exhibits, shops, and activity spaces.

Stop by building 4A and you’ll be surrounded by the masterful photography of Robert Capa; head over to building 18 to experience NYC during the Civil War; and if you find yourself in building 10B, you’ll be privy to an array of one-of-a-kind, hand-made crafts by Brooklyn ARTery. A full listing of summer programs in Nolan Park can be found at the end of this post!

capa_kodachrome 023

Visit the “Capa in Color” exhibit to see what everyone’s looking at! Image courtesy of ICP.

Nolan Park is also a wonderful spot to relax in the shade of an elm tree, set up a picnic, or enjoy a walk along crisscrossing brick pathways. The south end of the park is especially scenic – there you can find the Chapel of Saint Cornelius, another exhibition center that houses some of the most spectacular performances on Governors Island!

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St. Cornelius Chapel in Nolan Park. Image courtesy of The Trust.

What to do in Nolan Park:

- Enjoy the Park! While there are many exciting events offered in the houses of Nolan Park, the Park itself is a tranquil area full of century-old trees that offer great shade. Make time for a picnic, relax on a bench to do some people watching, or just go for a leisurely stroll.

Take a walk through Nolan Park and be surrounded by  the charms of 19th century New York.

Take a walk through Nolan Park and be surrounded by the charms of 19th century New York. Image courtesy of The Trust.

Capa in Color and a preview of Sebastiao Salgado: Genesis (Presented by the International Center of Photography). Thursdays through Sundays from 11:30AM – 5:30PM. House 4A. View a captivating selection of  color photographs by Robert Capa and preview the upcoming ICP exhibition “Sebastião Salgado: Genesis.”

Parallax (Presented by the Holocenter). Weekends from 12PM – 6PM. House 4B. See puzzling and tantalizing works of holographic artistry plus glasses-free 3-D photography. 

Surprise House. August 16th – September 14th. House 6B. Embrace the uncertain & engineer the unexpected – play, connect, and explore the unknown in this mysterious house designed by Surprise Industries. 

Envision the Dream – Artwork by Seniors. September 5th – 21st from 10AM – 6PM. House 10A.  Eleven senior artists exhibit work in group and solo exhibitions. Because the art world tends to focus on new and upcoming artists or established artists, often mid-career senior artists find themselves overlooked by the mainstream media. This exhibition will draw attention and recognition to a diverse group of talented senior artists working in both traditional and non-traditional styles.   

See captivating artwork such as this at the "Envision the Dream" exhibit. Image courtesy of New Century Artists, Inc.

See captivating artwork such as this at the “Envision the Dream” exhibit. Image courtesy of New Century Artists, Inc.

Brooklyn ARTery. Weekends from 10AM-5PM. Workshop on Saturdays from 2PM – 4PM. House 10B. Stop by for beautiful handbags, jewelry, artisanal food, housewares, scarves, beauty products and more! Also featuring The ARTery Gallery – a rotating exhibit of professional artists.

Free Art Island Outpost (Presented by the Children’s Museum of the Arts). Weekends from 10AM – 5PM. Houses 11 & 14. Collaborate with other visitors on a variety of themed art workshops including painting, sound design, sculpture, animation, podcasting, and more!

Better than Jam. Fridays & Mondays from 11AM – 5PM. Weekends from 10AM – 6PM. House 16. The Brooklyn shop of all locally handmade products will be taking the ferry ride over, and bringing with it the creations of New York City’s most talented designers, artists and crafters. With the help of the Etsy New York Street Team, the shop will also host family-friendly demonstrations and workshops on Saturdays from 2PM – 4PM to show and teach visitors some of their skills

Roadside Attraction (Presented by Third Rail Projects). Open Studios: 8/2, 8/22, 9/13, from 1PM – 5PM; 9/16, 9/17, from 10AM-12PM; Workshops: 7/23, 8/2, from 1PM – 5PM; Invited Showing: 9/18 through 9/21, from 12PM – 6PM. House 17. Third Rail Projects will host open outdoor rehearsals, open studios, public workshops, and performances throughout the summer based on a mobile, site-specific dance/theater work for 6 performers and a 1970’s Coleman pop-up camper

 

Don't miss the whimsical and energetic performances of "Roadside Attraction." Image courtesy of Third Rail Projects.

Don’t miss the whimsical and energetic performances of “Roadside Attraction.” Image courtesy of Third Rail Projects.

The Civil War & NYC (Presented by the New York Historical Society). Weekends from 10AM – 6:30PM. House 18.  The exhibition portrays the complexities that arose in our city during the period of the American Civil War. Using photographs, newspapers, and works of art, Student Historian Teen Leaders have curated a nuanced view of the Civil War showing multiple perspectives and many surprises.   

TransFORMation (Presented by the Sculptor’s Guild). Fridays through Sundays from 11AM – 5PM. House 19.  This exhibition encompasses six separately themed shows as well as outdoor work.    

Tattered & Torn: Part 2 (Presented by Empire Historic Arts District). Weekends from 11AM – 6PM. House 20A.  The exhibit features less-than-pristine costumes from museum collections. Although the condition of the garments is too poor for them to be displayed in museums, the Empire Historic Arts Fund believes they remain a resource for those interested in 19th century fashion design.  

Just one of the many captivating outfits from the "Tattered & Torn" exhibit.

Just one of the many captivating outfits from the “Tattered & Torn” exhibit. Image Courtesy of Art Observer.

Mu-Math: Mobile Math Unit to Promote Mathematical Thinking (Presented by Living Better Through Mathematics). Weekends 11AM – 5PM. House 20B. Featuring a dozen different mathematics investigations ranging from algebra to topology, the exhibit is appropriate for the math curious beginning with age 7 and ending with those who consider themselves “ageless.”


For a detailed listing on all the exhibits both in Nolan Park and throughout the Island this summer, visit http://www.govisland.com/html/visit/calendar.shtml!

City of Water Day on Governors Island

85 degrees! Not to worry.
This weekend is City of Water Day, presented by the Manhattan Waterfront Alliance. Now in its 7th year, City of Water Day celebrates New York’s waterfront and offers many opportunities for New Yorkers to stay cool and enjoy access to the water.

There will be lots of opportunities to Kayak close to Pier 101 on Governors Island. Image courtesy of MWA

There will be lots of opportunities to Kayak close to Pier 101 on Governors Island. Image courtesy of MWA

 

City of Water Day events happen all across the City. Governors Island will be hosting the main festivities once again, along with Maxwell Park Place in Hoboken, New Jersey. A special free ferry will be running between Governors Island and Hoboken all day. Regularly scheduled ferries will also run to Governors Island from Brooklyn and Manhattan as they do every weekend.

See what events are happening in your neighborhood.

Fun and Free Activities 

Find exciting events all across the Island this weekend.

The defending champions of the Cardboard Kayak race.

The defending champions of the Cardboard Kayak race.

 

The Children’s Fair is back with plenty of creative and educational activities. Build a pirate boat with the ‘pirate certified’ arts group Pirate Fiesta . Get your face painted with Kittymeow Kreations and then learn about sustainability with Solar One. 

Take to the open water with Free Kayaks at pier 101, courtesy of Downtown Boathouse. The pier will also serve as a landing dock for anyone who would like to Kayak to Governors Island.

If you feel safer on dry land, sit back and watch the Cardboard Kayak Race 20 teams will put their boat building skills to the test, building a kayak out of sheet metal and cardboard. The teams will race around Governors Island. According to the rules, “boats that disintegrate mid-race will be disqualified.”

Other events happening on Governors Island can be found here, and include the World Cup finals and the second performance of the Rite of Summer festival.

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