Seniors from District 48 in South Brooklyn Visit Governors Island

A big thank you to Councilmen Chaim Deutsch and Age-Friendly NYC for organizing a trip to Governors Island for seniors from Councilmen Deutsch’s South Brooklyn district!

Half the group took a walking tour with the National Park Service, while the other half took a bus tour. Image courtesy of Age Friendly NYC.

Half the group took a walking tour with the National Park Service, while the other half went on a bus tour. Image courtesy of Age Friendly NYC.

The group of seniors, hailing from as far away as Brighton Beach, arrived together on two yellow school buses. For most, it was their first time visiting Governors Island. The National Park Service led the group on a tour of the historic districts. You can take your own historic tour with the NPS or through the Governors Island Alliance Phigital App before the Island closes this Sunday.

The group stayed for lunch in Liggett Terrace in the new park. Image courtesy of Age-Friendly NYC.

The group stayed for lunch in Liggett Terrace in the new park. Image courtesy of Age-Friendly NYC.

After the tour, the group enjoyed lunch on sunny Liggett Terrace. Everyone loved the beautiful views of the Statue of Liberty and the new park. Governors Island is a place made by and for New Yorkers, and we proud to have this group of New Yorkers here on the Island. Thank you again to Councilmen Deutsch for organizing this great event!


One More Week to Visit Governors Island!

The 2014 public season, which opened Governors Island to visitors seven days a week for the first time in history, is ending on September 28th.

That means you have exactly seven days left to take a trip to Governors Island!

Nine days left to bike in the new 30 acres of park on Governors Island. Image by Lexi Quint, courtesy of the Trust.

Nine days left to bike in the new 30 acres of park on Governors Island. Image courtesy of The Trust.

Governors Island this week will be filled with events and exhibitions to help you wrap up the summer season!

Ride a Bike with Free Bike Mornings! 

Enjoy free bikes on Governors Island for one more week! Free Bike Mornings allows visitors to borrow a bike for free for up to one hour on any weekday. Bikers will be able to enjoy miles of bike paths, including new paths in the 30 acres of park that look upon the Statue of Liberty. Visitors are also able to rent bikes or bring a bike on the ferry at no extra charge.

“A Portrait of Marina Abromovic” by Matthu Placek in Fort Jay  

Matthu Placek is making his New York debut of his 3D video portraits on Governors Island this week! The piece, ” A Portrait of Marina Abramovic” will be installed in Fort Jay from September 25th through the 28th. Shot in one take and without dialogue, these short films offer rare, uninterrupted moments with subjects as they interact with symbolic surroundings. 3D cinematography enhances the intimacy of the vignettes, further collapsing the space between the viewer and the subjects’ essential natures. Screenings are every 15 minutes to groups of 6 people by reservation. To make a free reservation please visit

LMCC Open Studios 


The LMCC gallery exhibition ““Embodied Practice and Site-Specificity” about Trisha Brown’s Work. Image courtesy of The Trust.

Explore the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s many programs this week on Governors Island. In the LMCC gallery (building 110), you will find an exhibition on the work of Trisha Brown. Over in the St Cornelius Church, you can experience the development of Rachel Tess’s “Souvenir” during open studio hours every day this week (12PM-4PM). LMCC describes the performance: “the project investigates the relationships between architecture and choreography and choreographer and audience. The work more specifically explores the concept of a mobile architecture versus pre-existing institutional structures and how this design may impact the making and viewing of performance.” This coming weekend is the LMCC Open Studio Weekend. There will be art’s activities and open studios at four unique sites, including Governors Island. See more information here.

Hammocks and Food vendors!

This is your last chance to nap in a hammock and take a hammock selfie! With the weather forecast estimated to be 70 degrees all week, it is the perfect time to snuggle in Hammock Grove and maybe bring a book. Afterwards, stroll over to Kings Ave and Liggett Terrace to the many food vendors for a quick bite. Get a taste of Snowday and decide if they deserved their recent Vendy Award (p.s. they totally did). Then back to the hammocks to sleep off that Snowday maple grilled cheese!

September 27th Governors Island Kite Festival 

Bring your kites or make one during the Governors Island Kite Festival! Brooklyn Artery, CMA, and the Brooklyn Kite Fest are coming together to bring you a Governors Island Kite Festival. There will be music, refreshments and fun to be had for the whole family.  All activities are free. The festival will run from 11-4PM.

Explore Nolan Park

Explore everything that makes Governors Island great  by heading to Nolan Park. The historic area is the home to 19th century Army officers houses. Today, these faded yellow buildings become the summer home for many arts and cultural organizations. Find handmade items for sale at Brooklyn Artery or Better than Jam, or see exciting exhibits at the New York Historical Society house and the International Center of Photography gallery. See further information on the more than 12 organizations in Nolan Park here. 

The Governors Island Art Fair

Sabrina Barrios, “How to Build a Pyramid.” Image courtesy of

Sabrina Barrios, “How to Build a Pyramid.” Image courtesy of

The 4 Heads Governors Island Art Fair will be open one more weekend. Already reviewed by the NYTimes, ArtNET, Gothamist and more, the Governors Island Art Fair is not to be missed! Around 100 rooms within the historic buildings in Colonels Row have been transformed by paintings, sculptures, video and sound installations, and other installation works. The Governors Island Art Fair is run by artists and has recently headed to Kickstarter. 

Labor Day Weekend

Celebrate Labor Day Weekend on Governors Island with many fun and free activities!

Extra ferries will run on Labor Day. Image courtesy of the Trust.

Extra ferries will run on Labor Day from Brooklyn and Manhattan. Image courtesy of the Trust.

Come experience the many exciting activities on Governors Island! The Trust is extending ferry service on the half hour from Brooklyn and Manhattan through Monday because of the holiday. On Governors Island you can lay in a hammock, picnic, rent a bike, and enjoy delicious ice cream. There are also several special events happening on the Island this weekend.

Explore Nolan Scavenger Hunt 

The second Explore Nolan Scavenger Hunt is happening this Saturday. The historic yellow houses in Nolan Park become the home to many arts exhibitions and cultural organizations over the summer. Currently, there are over 12 different organizations within Nolan Park. You can find handmade gifts at the Brooklyn Artery and the Better Than Jam Pop-Up, or enjoy several group shows put on by The Sculptures Guild or the International Center of Photography.

Come explore the many exhibitions in Nolan Park this summer. Image courtesy of The Trust.

Come explore the many exhibitions in Nolan Park this summer. Image courtesy of The Trust.

The scavenger hunt asks you to answer questions about many of the exhibitions in Nolan Park. The 5 teams and 5 individuals who are the quickest to complete the hunt will win prizes given by organizations on the Island. Some of the prizes include free surrey rides from Blazing Saddles, photography catalogs from the International Center of Photography, and two tickets to a future Third Rail Productions performance.

You can download the clue sheet here , pick one up from the Governors Island Alliance Welcome stations at Soissons Landing or Yankee Pier, or download the new Governors Island Alliance Phigital Tour App on your phone and look for the Nolan Park Scavenger Hunt tour!

NYC Unicycle Festival 

For a truly unique experience, come to Governors Island this weekend for the NYC Unicycle Festival. The festival brings more than 300 unicycle enthusiasts together for fun activities and astounding events! A partial list of activities include races, competitions, exhibitions, and the unicycle sports. Come see unicycle basketball, hockey, sumo, and even unicycle double dutch!

Double Dutch

A little game of unicycle double dutch at the NYC Unicycle Festival. Image courtesy of The Trust.

World-famous riders will display their skills, and of course visitors to the festival will have an opportunity to try their feet at some one—wheel riding. Events on Governors Island are on Saturday-Sunday from 12pm – 5pm. See here for a full list of events.



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!


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.


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 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!


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