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!
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.
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: www.newislandfestival.com
For Program guide and schedule: http://www.newislandfestival.com/program
Before you go – for information on visiting Governors Island (ferry schedule, opening hours, open areas, directions): www.govisland.com
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Filed under: Bikes, Weekend Report | Tagged: Bike and Roll, Biking Grand Prix, City of Water Day, Dark Star Orchestra, Downtown Day Camp, Free Bike Friday, governors island, Manhattan Youth, Puma, Recess, Trentorn, Water Pod, Water Taxi Beach, WaterPod, WTB | Leave a Comment »
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. . .
It’s official! Governors Island has ended the season with more visitors than ever. This year, more than 128,000 visitors came to the Island, compared to 56,000 last year and 26,000 the year before. Visitors came to enjoy more than four miles of car-free biking, concerts, performances, exhibitions, tours and more. The Island may now be closed to the public, but there is still a lot happening here. The design process for the future park and promenade got underway, and we want to hear what you think about these new open spaces on Governors Island. Be sure to mark your calendars for May 30, 2009 when we reopen to the public. And in the meantime, subscribe to our blog to get email updates about the design process and what is going on during our off-season. We look forward to seeing you back on the Island soon.