Governor’s Island, in a different world.

11 Jun

This past weekend I went to Governor’s Island for a Jazz Age Picnic. It was out of this world. I took a complimentary ferry ride from Battery Park across to the usually-deserted island. Then found myself in an open campus-like space with free rein to venture anywhere, even to parts that are absolutely cloistered.

I love that there is a place to go in this city and you could be completely alone if you wanted to be. I took a tram-thing around the island and caught some cool sights. An old Theatre, some barracks, and nameless other old but well-maintained buildings. The views are very unique because you are sandwiched between the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island. It looks like a cross between a college campus and an old Army base.

We went to a large open area where people were picnicking and dancing. Many were dressed up in Jazz Age summer dresses and seersucker suits, doing the Charleston and holding sun umbrellas. The band that played was Michael Aranella and the Dreamland Orchestra. It was beautiful, but way too hot (The high was in the mid 90s)! See the pictures below to get a feel for the atmosphere. They even had a half dozen old automobiles amazingly restored.

Later this summer they are going to continue with some great weekend events, one of which I will surely return to; a performance from the Battery Dance Company (August 16-17). The island is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for its longest season ever. 

Click here to read a brief history of the island. It served a fascinating military purpose for the British and Americans for over 200 years, the Coast Guard being its last inhabitants, before it was turned over the the people of New York in 2003.

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