Picture Perfect

Governors Island is picture perfect, so we’re encouraging everyone to add their favorite photos to our  “Governors Island Summer 2009” Flickr photo pool. Many visitors have already added some amazing pics! These are some of my personal favorites:

to picnic point

"to picnic point" by the Adventures of Tintin

Governors Island

"Governors Island" by Barry Yanowitz

Picnic Point

"Picnic Point" by Trish Mayo


New York dads (among others) ferry out to Governors Island

TIis past weekend a gang on nine dads took their children IMG_5894out to Governors Island, and we could not be more please that they have discovered the Island as a great free place to bring their kids and relax. And one of the guys put it: “The moment you ship out, you’re docking. You could hit the island with a rock but you won’t find a place more different from Manhattan.” And he’s right! Though Governors Island is so close to both Manhattan and Brooklyn it couldn’t be more different from either.

This past Friday, Governors Island was also host the a bunch of other visitors. This group of Picnic Point 083women had a blast with their free bikes (Bike and Roll rents bikes for free for one hour every Friday!). They where in the process of traveling around checking out all of the different Creative Time exhibits. They are pictured down on Picnic Point listening to the Susan Philipsz piece. Our maps located around the Island list all of the Creative Time art exhibits on the Island, the food vendors, FIGMENT*’s City of Dreams, and all of the other on-going events on Governors Island. They were just about to jump on their bikes again and head over to mini golf designed by FIGMENT*.Picnic Point 090

This group of people were enjoying our recently added swings. The views are amazing, and visitors has a great time swinging with a view of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Jersey City directly in front of them. Every fifteen minutes or so a large Staten Island Ferry passes by, along with barges, sailboats, and all types of sea-fairing vessels. The view was so good that this group below (even though thew are New Yorkers) took a family photo in front of the Statue of Liberty.Picnic Point 106

Come out this Friday, Saturday and Sunday to enjoy the summer.

(sandpaper paddle table) Tennis, anyone?

UPDATE (06/21/09): THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO RAIN. Please join us for the next RECESS event on Septmber 26!

Photo taken from http://www.recessnewyork.com/badminton/photos/ Photo Credit: Jason Lewis













August 22nd, Saturday: RECESS Table Tennis Noon to 5PM

RECESS is back this Saturday August 22nd at Colonels Row, this time with a sandpaper paddle table tennis challenge. The game itself is currently going through a renaissance but for the RECESS showdown, we’ve decided to put a little twist on the game, a sandpaper version that will even the playing field and co-ed friendly. As usual, 32 teams from the creative community will be battling their way to the finals, but there will also be open public tables to test your skill at the sport, paddles provided. LeGamin and Van Leeuwen Ice Cream food truck, as well as Function Drinks are back again for food and refreshments to keep everyone hydrated and well fed. While you’re out on the island, take a spin on the highly coveted series of PUMA Biomega bikes and test ride them, we promise its going to change the way you feel about urban transportation!”

Earlier this summer RECESS hosted a massive badminton championship. The photos can be viewed here. It was a huge hit and we are so excited to have them out a second time. If you can’t make this one there will be bocce on September 26th.

Bearing Fruit

The Added Value Farm on Governors Island is really taking off. Though the plants were only recently started, some big changes are taking place. This squash plant has some of the best views in the city. The farm is located in Picnic Point (a recently created eight and a half acre public open space that is the closest point on land to the Statue of Liberty’s face) on the southern end of Governors Island. Added Value produce that is grown on the Island will be sold to Water Taxi Beach’s food and dining facility on the Island, as well as at a farm stand also on the Island.

I hope you come out for yourself to see the wonderful work this great organization is doing on Governors Island.

Experience “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” on Governors Island

Scene from Pulse Ensemble Theater’s production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Photo courtesy of Pulse Ensemble Theater.

Pulse Ensemble Theatre Company is bringing Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” to Governors Island this weekend. The play will be staged in Colonel’s Row at 2:00 PM on August 15th, 16th, 29th and 30th. The presentation is part of Pulse’s annual commitment to a “summer Shakespeare site-specific outreach project.”

Governors Island is the perfect place for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and we are so excited to have Pulse put on this free show for our visitors. Make sure you get there early so you can find a seat!

Pulse is one of the oldest ensemble theatre companies in New York City, and we are proud to have them out on Governors Island for an afternoon of magic.

African Film Festival and Civil War Weekend

This weekend two festivals will share Governors Island. Both the African Film Festival and Civil War Weekend will be hosting events on the Island.

IMG_1833The African Film Festival’s (AFF) mission is to promote knowledge and understanding of African culture through the moving image. The festival will involve a number of activities and performancessurrounding this theme. Unless otherwise noted, all events will take place in Colonels Row. There will be Afro-Brazilian Dance lessons from 12:30 to 1:45, Needle Art from 1:00 to 3:00, short films in Pershing Hall from 2:00-5:00, Senegalese Sabar Dance lessons from 2:30-3:34, storytelling and double dutch from 3:00-4:00 and Guinean Dance from 4:00-5:15. There will also be additional food vendors just for the event. The rain date is for Sunday, August 9th, and the information will be posted on AFF’s website, as well as ours by noon on Friday.

The Civil War Weekend will be having reenactors out on the Island all weekend for some very special programming. There will be cannon demonstrations at various times IMG_1744throughout the afternoon, the Governors Island Music School will be giving performances in the historic district and a special walking tour. Civil War weekend is presented by the National Park Service. Click here for a full schedule of events for Civil War Weekend (pdf).

It should be an incredible weekend and we hope you all will come out to enjoy it with us.

More Bikes!

bikesBike and Roll is bringing more bikes to Governors Island, due to popular demand. The additional 50 bikes brings our fleet up to a solid 250 bicycles for the public to enjoy. If you’re free tomorrow you should hop on a ferry over to the Island and grab a set of wheels–they are free to rent for up to an hour (this happens every week as part of Free Bike Fridays). You can also bring your own bike if you would prefer. There are over 5 miles of car-free biking, and our promenade (which circumnavigates the entire Island) is 2.2 miles long. When you get to the Island with your bike (rented or owned) I would head down the eastern side of the Island. Right as you round the tip of South Battery and Picnic Point, you will have the best view of the Statue of Liberty on the entire Island. And if you’re looking for other bike tours, check out this one.

Bikes are available to rent anytime on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Bikes cost $10 for one hour, $15 for two hours, and $20 for the day (helmets are included if you’d like one). Bike and Roll also has tandems, surries and child sized bikes.

Come out to Governors Island; there are now 50 more reasons to enjoy the day in New York Harbor.

Picnic Point – viewing the recent changes

IMG_2316You can see the changes that have been happening to Governors Island in the following pictures. The first photo is directly following the demolition of eight unusable and abandoned buildings at Picnic Point. Within a relatively short period of time these eight acres (which were previously off limits to visitors) have been turned into a fantastic public space.2009_07_09_09 Picnic Point from water_Harbor_WTB 031The last image, which was taken from the top of a neighboring building, shows the wonderful spaces we’ve created. On the bottom left are the recently added swing sets. There are all types of swings with a perfect view of the Statue of Liberty. Then, on the left, is a clear view of the Added Value Farm. The veggies are hearty and are growing extremely fast! Once the garden is producing, the tasty treats will be sold to Water Taxi Beach for food, and at a farmer’s market in the fall. In red, you can just make out the urban cabanas designed by LOT-EK, the hammocks under the trees, and Adirondack chairs on the promenade.

The height that this photo was taken from demonstrates how the added altitude created by the proposed hills in the future park and public spaces will foster new views of the New York harbor. The future park and public spacesis being designed by the landsacpe architecture firm West 8. Aren’t the views stunning from up here?picnic

We can’t wait to see you out here this weekend enjoying our new public spaces!

Governors Island: Jewel of the New York Harbor

Governors Island: The Jewel of New York HarborOne of Governors Island‘s biggest fans (and GIPEC boardmember), Ann Buttenwieser, has recently written a book about the Island’s history and importance in the New York Harbor. The book is called ‘Governors Island: Jewel of the New York Harbor’ and is published by Syracuse University Press. In Rob Pirani’s blurb of the book he mentions that “Governors Island has borne witness to the grand parade of American history, from the revolution to the Cold War. Ann Buttenwieser’s book showcases the fascinating parade of characters that built the Island and called it home.” Rob Pirani is the Executive Director of the Governors Island Alliance.

Ms. Buttenwieser is coming out this Saturday, August 8th for a reading. She will be speaking in the Commanding Officers House at 12:30 PM. The book is available in the National Park Service book store on the Island in Building 140 by Soissons Dock.

A good time for (free) Kid Fun

july 09 011Come out this weekend for some major kid fun on Governors Island. This weekend the Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum will be having an arts and crafts celebration along with an apple press where kids can press apples to make juice! Last weekend over 500 kids pressed apples. That will happen this Sunday, the 26th of July in Fort Jay. There will also be ‘Delft’ tile painting like the Dutch used to do when they were out here. And on Saturday, Linda Russel will explore the history of the Hudson River through song. Both events hope to explore and celebrate the 400 anniversary of the Hudson River.

Kids can also have free art classes with the Children’s Museum of the Arts. This event is every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This weekend’s theme is “Art Trip to China.” The wonderful CMA instructors have all the supplies necessary to have a blast.

Sunday is also the day of the Judy Collins concert. The concert is free and open to the public. It will be at two o’clock in Colonels Row. Come early, bring the kids, and enjoy a fun day out on Governors Island with music and activities. Along with the programs listed above, there is also mini-golf, art exhibits and more.


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