More Than 12,000 Visitors Come to See Polo on Governors Island

Prince Harry and Polo Star Nacho Figueras played to a crowd of more than 12,000 this weekend at the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic on Governors Island (photo by Claire Agre)

Governors Island was once again home to polo this past Sunday when more than 12,000 visitors came to the Island to see the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic. Thousands of visitors donned hats, dresses and seer sucker suits and braved a warm day to see Prince Harry’s Black Rock team play Nacho Figueras’ Black Watch Team. The match was tied and went into overtime when Black Watch scored the winning goal to capture the game.

Many Governors Island visitors made a day out of the polo match by dressing up and picnicking next to the polo field

 It was wonderful to see thousands of people on Governors Island enjoying polo in such a unique setting.

FIGMENT Helps Transforms Governors Island into an Island of Art

FIGMENT art installations and performances were all around Governors Island last weekend.

FIGMENT took over Governors Island last weekend, and more than 20,000 visitors came to the Island over the course of the weekend to see all that was going on here. 

Art was everywhere — there were performances and bands in Colonels Row, interactive art in Nolan Park for kids and adults of all ages, the Living Pavilion on the Parade Ground and of course artist designed miniature golf and an interactive sculpture garden. 

Some of our younger visitors enjoy FIGMENT's artist designed miniature golf course

If you didn’t have a chance to take the free ferry from either Manhattan or Brooklyn this past weekend, don’t despair! You can still enjoy FIGMENT’s 11 hole, artist designed miniature golf course and interactive sculpture garden at Liggett Terrace. Both are up until October so you have plenty more opportunities to experience FIGMENT on the Island.

Goodbye for Now!

Kids on the Governors Island ferry, photo by Marco Repola

At 7pm this past Sunday, the Samuel S. Coursen took its last load of public visitors back to Manhattan. Governors Island is now closed for the 2009 season and will re-open in May of 2010.  We’re always sad to say goodbye, but 2009 was a grand season for Governors Island. The blog will slow down a bit, but we’re not going away. We’re already looking forward to 2010 and beyond, so check back in with us regularly for updates!

Weekend Round-up: Mist-e the cow, a beer bike, and two Dutch festivals take over Governors Island

This weekend, thousands of visitors came out to Governors Island to enjoy the last official weekend of summer. Many visitors took advantage of the miles of car-free biking here, while others caught performances at the New Island Festival, and saw the houses of Nolan Park as they were transformed by Droog design as a part of Pioneers of Change.

One attraction that provided delight for children and adults alike was Mist-e Simone, the New Island Festivals’ iconic cow.  Mist-e took up residence on the Festival’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams and was a great ambassador for the Island.

Another unique site during the festival was the archeological dig. Even though the festival is over, the archeological dig will remain open every Friday – Sunday until the Island closes.  So even though these wonderful Dutch events are over, there are still many more dynamic exhibitions, performances and programs happening through October 11.

Visitors at the Pioneers of Change exhibition in Nolan Park, where visitors experienced unique examples of Dutch architecture, fashion and design

Visitors at the Pioneers of Change exhibition in Nolan Park, where visitors experienced unique examples of Dutch architecture, fashion and design

Children on the Boulevard of Broken Dreams, at the center of the New Island Festival

Children on the Boulevard of Broken Dreams, at the center of the New Island Festival

Mist-e relaxing on Colonels Row with visitors

Mist-e relaxing on Colonels Row with visitors

Many visitors ate and drank at the New Island Festival. Here, visitors enjoy a beer on the beer bike

Many visitors ate and drank at the New Island Festival. Here, several enjoy a beer on the beer bike



The New Island Festival will offer an exciting smorgasboard of happenings on New York City’s Governors Island from September 10–13 and again from September 17–20. Come discover provocative theatre, stunning site-specific performance, dazzling visual arts and exhilarating DJ sets, all performed by world-class Dutch performers.

The New Island Festival brings the greatest elements of European outdoor performing arts festivals to Governors Island. All of Governors Island will be the stage for the Dutch, American, and other international artists who will utilize the waterfront promenade, historic homes, barracks and open green spaces to re-imagine this Island in the middle of New York Harbor. Performances will begin in the early afternoon and continue through the evening.  This will be the first time Governors Island has been open at night.
The Festival area is open to the public on Thursdays from 4:00 PM – 11:00 PM and Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays from 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM. All events are in English, subtitled, or non-verbal.  Some events are free; some require tickets.

To find out more:

For Program guide and schedule:

Before you go – for information on visiting Governors Island (ferry schedule, opening hours, open areas, directions):

Governors Island is more popular than ever, welcoming a record 25,000 visitors over Labor Day weekend

Governors Island welcomed a record 25,000 visitors over Labor Day weekend, bringing the total number of visitors to date this public access season to more than 183,000. At this time last year, just over 99,000 people had come to the Island. Governors Island is quickly becoming a popular destination for New Yorkers and visitors alike.

So what did all of these visitors do on Governors Island this weekend? Many watched the NYC Pro Swim, the first ever professional open water swimming event held at Governors Island, and many more cheered on runners in the Run to Remember. Others enjoyed miles of car-free biking, relaxed in a hammock, swung on a swing at Picnic Point in full view of the Statue of Liberty, and took in the opening of the 4 Heads Art Fair.

Even though the unofficial end of summer has come and gone, there are still plenty of weekends to enjoy Governors Island. As an added bonus, Governors Island will be open for the first time at night for the New Island Festival, starting this Thursday.

Swimmers braved the current of the Hudson River to swim two miles around Governors Island on Friday.

Swimmers braved the current of the Hudson River to swim two miles around Governors Island on Friday.









Visitors enjoy the swings at Picnic Point

Visitors enjoy the swings at Picnic Point

Monday Morning Reblog: Racreations

Governors Island

Originally uploaded by racreations

We loved this photoblog about a visit to Governors Island. Since we’re swimming in the Governors Island Kool-Aid here, our explainations about what makes the place so special are sometimes suspect. So, we happily rely on people with fresh perspectives like John Saeyong Ra of racreations blog to break it down into bite sized morsels of delight. The photos in this post are gorgeous, as he walks viewers through a typical visit to Governors Island.  Thanks, John.

Photos from the weekend on Governors Island

Judy Collins on Governors Island, Sunday July 26, 2009

Judy Collins on Governors Island, Sunday July 26, 2009

It was another glorious weekend out here (mostly!). The rain held off for most of the day on Sunday.  Thousands came out to see Judy Colins, Turntables on the Hudson, Seaside Soul Series and more. They rode bikes, picnicked, lay in hammocks and got sunburned (we heard this from a lot of people on Twitter).  For more pics from the weekend, visit our Flickr favorites page.


Gorgeous Weather. By Aloucha

Weekend Review

This was an incredible weekend out here on Governors Island. The weather was great; there was so much to do, and we had an astounding number of visitors.

On Friday, Yankee Pier and the WaterPod was open for the first time, and visitors explored the fully sustainable barge.waterpod

Visitors also flew kites and drew wonderful pictures in sidewalk chalk down by Picnic Point. This was organized by Manhattan Youth.chalk

Then, on Saturday, RECESS brought some serious badminton competition (and ice cream)! If you missed it this time, don’t worry because they will be back with table tennis and bocce later in the summer!

Saturday was also the grand opening of Water Taxi Beach and Dark Star Orchestra played the venue’s first concert. Check out their amazing line up for the rest of the summer!

On Sunday, we watched the Island’s first bike race, the Governors Island Grand Prix, which went fantastically. If you missed the first race, come back on August 9th for their second race, the Tour of Governors Island.IMG_3676

It was a great weekend out here on Governors Island. Be sure to come for City of Water Day on July18th, or any time next weekend. Lounge in a hammock, picnic, ride a bike or check out some art!Hammock

One for the Record Books

Running for a bike on Bike and Roll's Free Bike Friday
Running  from the ferry to grab a free bike from Bike and Bike and Roll

Wowzers! Bike and Roll™, this year’s sponsor of Free Bike Fridays, put more than 900 people on bikes for FREE this past Friday! This was our busiest Friday yet. Every Friday between June 5 and October 9, visitors can borrow a bike for free, for up to one hour.  After the first hour, regular rental rates apply. More than 200 bikes are available for the program this year- including kids’ bikes with training wheels and baby seats and carriers.

Some people take their free bikes pretty seriously, finding the right position on the ferry and sprinting from the dock down Carder Road to be the first in line for a free bike. It’s no running of the bulls, but  the “running of the bikes” became become a regular spectacle of last year’s Free Bike Fridays. This year, with 200 bikes available, there’s no need to run for your bike. 

Still, we’ve come up with a new strategy. We’re calling it  the “Water Taxi Beach wait.” If you stop at the new  Water Taxi Beach  for an ice cream before you go for your bike, you’ll avoid the crowd of people who make a bee-line for the bikes. . .


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