My husband and I took the ferry to Governors Island a few weekends ago, and we had a wonderful time exploring the island that is now open to the public on Friday, Saturday and Sunday through October 10, 2010. It will re-open again to visitors in the spring of 2011. The Governors Island ferry departs from the Battery Maritime Building located at 10 South Street, adjacent to the Staten Island Ferry in Lower Manhattan. The ferry ride and nearly all events that take place on the Island are free!
(all photos can be enlarged by clicking on once, and then again when they open in a new window)
Governors Island is a 172-acre island in Upper New York Bay, approximately one-half mile from the southern tip of Manhattan Island and separated from Brooklyn by Buttermilk Channel. It is legally part of the borough of Manhattan in New York City. Because of its strategic location in the harbor, Governors Island has a long history of being used by the military, from the Continental Army during the American Revolution, to the U.S. Army from 1783 to 1966. From 1966 to 1996 the island served as a major United States Coast Guard installation. On January 31, 2003, control of most of the island was transferred to the State of New York for a symbolic $1, but 22 acres was transferred to the United States Department of the Interior as the Governors Island National Monument, administered by the National Park Service. The portion of the island not included in the National Monument is administered by the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation (GIPEC), a public corporation of the State of New York.
The ferry leaving the terminal.
A Governor's Island ferry, making a return trip to lower Manhattan, can be seen in this photo..
A map of the island and the current amenities. The promenade around the island is easily walkable 2.2 miles. There are now future plans to convert the island into a park to be used for recreation, car-free biking, cultural programming, and relaxation. To see renditions of what the future may hold for Governors Island parks look at this web site.
More interesting facts about the island can be read on this informational placard that was on the island. Click on to enlarge.
The day we visited the island there were special Civil War reenactments taking place.
Some examples of the various types of military housing that still stand on the island.
Visitors to Governors Island can bring their own bicycles. Bicycles, quadricycles and tandems can also be rented.
I was pleasantly surprised to see an Etsy store in one of the former residences.
The homemade goods for sale were creatively displayed among a few rooms of the house.
A nice idea to use vintage china, glued together, as display tiers. Even I could make something as pretty and useful as this!
Across Buttermilk Channel, in Brooklyn's new cruise terminal in Red Hook, the Queen Mary 2, Cunard's flagship luxury cruise ship was docked, ready to depart on a cruise later that evening. Isn't she beautiful? The QM2 holds a special place in our hearts, as we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary on a fall foliage cruise to New England and Canada on board during her maiden year.
Come back to my next blog post with part two of Governors Island where I'll show some of the magnificent views that can be seen from it's shores!