Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I Love Governors Island!

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!

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Joanne Kennedy said...

That would be a great place for vistors to go if they wanted to learn some history, have a nice day and save money :)

I'll be doing this for sure on my next trip.

I will be there next summer as I'm hosting a ghost hunting cruise that will leave from NY. Of course I'll add on some qualty NY time either before, after or if I'm really lucky both :)


Riet said...

Good morning Pat. I see I missed a few of your posts and all so interesting with beautiful pictures. How I wished I could go to NNew York again someday because there is so much more I want to see due to all your photo's and stories that go with them. And I would love to dance in those streets. :))
Have a nice day.

Trotter said...

Hi Pat! Never been to Governor's Island... One more reasoon to get back to NYC... ;)

Blogtrotter Two managed to get inside a cave and take pictures there; enjoy the mites and tites, drop a line and have a great week!

Debbie said...

Neat tour...I loved the gift shop. I have seen gals do that with their tea cups, and I like the idea too. Great Pictures!

GrandmaK said...

I just love you posts...I feel like I'm there or wish I could be there. I have linked this post through today's "Adventure Tour Express." I just had to share it! Thanks! Cathy

Old Kitty said...

Oh gosh I am so ignorant! I had to discover what and ETSY is!! LOL!!!

I love the inventive use of vintage china!! Very clever!

What a fun ferry ride!! And it's very interesting what's planned for Governors Island. I'm so glad to read (thanks for the link!) that it'll be left largely unchanged but with a national park development too. It really looks like planning is going to be very controlled with most of its historic architecture preserved. Brilliant!

I look forward to the next installment!

Take care

Sheila said...

Pat - That sure must have been a wonderful cruise for your 3oth. It sounds like there are so many day trips to do. no wonder you love your home town! I'm looking forward to 3 ferry rides this weekend but I'll have to fly more than 500 miles first.

Claudia said...

I've never been - not sure it was open to public back in the day. It's a definite must do. Because of you,when I return to NYC I shall be a total tourist!

black eyed susans kitchen said...

In all my years here, I have never visited this place! This looks like a wonderful and educational place to learn a little history. Thanks for the great pictures.
♥, Susan

Anonymous said...

Such a wonderful treasure of History!!
Have a Great Week!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I've been wanting to visit Governor's Island for a long time. Thanks for posting this and giving us this valuable information Pat.

Kathleen said...

Beautiful, Pat! I can't believe it is still free. I guess that will be gone soon, too!
Thanks for the tour. I have never been there.

Anonymous said...

Lovely place to visit Pt- thanks for taking us. I have serious porch envy again. :-)

Frances said...

Pat, you keep showing me new places I want to visit in NYC. How will I EVER be able to do even half of them? For the ones I'll never be able to do, at least I can learn about them and enjoy seeing them on your blog. Your photos are always so wonderful. You make me LONG to book a flight and endure the crowds to see the sites that are so special in the place where you live. My husband and sister-in-law and I are coming for a day trip in October, but we will only have a few hours to do the touristy thing. Your blog is helping me decide which things I might enjoy doing in October. Thank you. What I REALLY want to do is go back to the Green-Wood Cemetery and take pictures of the Angel of Grief. But my husband says we will not have time; maybe we can do that next Spring. Sigh. So much beauty ... so little time. Governors Island looks amazing. I'm looking forward to Part 2. Hugs to you.

Dishesdone said...

Thanks for the tour, Pat, I've never been, but your post makes me want to go! That map picture makes me think of the island as an ice cream cone :)

Cool gift shop, too!

Sara said...

What a great post and visit to more of your beautiful places! Thank you.

I like the idea of a fall foliage cruise! We saw the QM II here in Long Beach when she came to salute the QM I who has been in drydock here for decades and is now a hotel and museum. That was an exciting day in town, with lots of hullabaloo to celebrate the event.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Pat, I love seeing more of Governors Island. I do have a question though... Is the ferry the only access to that island---or is there a bridge somewhere?

Looks like a neat place... Surprised to see a little Etsy Shop there... Love the vintage china.

That would be a nice place to ride bikes, wouldn't it??? Love the old homes.

Thanks for sharing.

Together We Save said...

Looks like a fun and wonderful place!!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

It always brings me back to the book "New York" and all of the references to the history of this area! I'm glad you can go and take photos to make it 'come to life' for me! Looks like you had a beautiful day! ♥

Sara said...

Sounds like a great place to spend the day and not spend a lot of cash!

I just might have to start looking for some pretty vintage china! You think epoxy glue would work to hold them together???

Sarah said...

I've never been to Governors Island, so this is one more for my list. I look forward to Part II. ~ Sarah

daylily (Queenmothermamaw) said...

I would love to visit here. Wonderful photo story. I love anything to do with the water. Great post.

Oliag said...

Governors Island has been on my list of must sees for a while....My best friend lived there for over a year when her husband was in the Coast Guard in the early 70's ...I hope to plan a trip with them now that it is open...

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Oh, what a neat place, Pat! I loved seeing Governors Island and those neat buildings, too.

Hope all is well with you. I'm still on break, but I wanted to be sure and drop by to see you and tell you that I miss you. I hope to be back blogging again after the first of September. That's the plan at any rate.

Sending you hugs across the miles.


Sheila :-)

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Thanks everyone for your nice comments.

Sorry, Betsy, there is no bridge to Governor's Island. The only way to get there is by boat.

Pondside said...

I love the idea of riding a bike along the streets lined with those beautiful old houses.....and then finding an Etsy shop along the way!

Gracie said...

Thanks again for the beautiful photos and informations.

Tracy said...

What a fun, place rich with variety! Loved all the history & architecture--look at those porches! I'd like to sit and stay a spell. ;o) Thanks for taking us there, Pat. Happy Day ((HUGS))

My name is PJ. said...

So neat, Pat! I loved the bicycle photos....and those weren't the ones you were featuring....MWAHAHA!

You are THE 'get up and go gal'. That should be the tag line on your blog.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

What a fun place to visit...with beautiful old buildings. And a most interesting piece of history as well.

I think you inspire many people in your area to get out there and explore places on their doorstep that they have never seen!

Blooming Rose Musings said...

You take such fantastic pictures!
What a lovely day you had. I feel I was right there with you.
The QE1 is located not far from us and we have gone on board several times.
Thanks again for a lovely day.

M.Kate said...

Thanks Pat for the peek into Goverrnors Island and happy weekend. Hugs :)

CatHerder said...

i just love your posts Pat...we are planning on hitting the City in the fall when its cooler..but i WILL be at yankee stadium tonight!

Just a little something from Judy said...

This has been another one of your most inspiring posts. In fact, right now I want to travel to New York and take this cruise. I think you should be on the payroll of the NYC Travel Agency. Your blog posts make it all sound so beautiful and interesting. It makes history come alive.

I especially think the New England cruise in the Fall would make #l on my bucket list. Did you share pictures from that cruise that you and your husband took? What a magnificent cruise ship!

Marina Capano said...

Hi! what a interesting post!
you are great journalist!

I can enjoy USA with your note!
I love USA!!!


steviewren said...

I learn something new every time I visit your blog and I enjoy historical reenactments of any type.

La Petite Gallery said...

Very interesting, I learn something about NYC everytime I visit. Thanks

My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a fun trip Pat. I would have loved the Civil War reenactment. We've been to some reenactments when we lived in Vicksburg. Grant came marching into the city. It wasn't good for the south. In fact Vicksburg, because they fell on the 4th of July, don't celebrate it like everyone else does.

Of course I love ferry rides also. Thanks so much for this wonderful tour of Governors Island.

Blooming Rose Musings said...

I was just checking in...I am so looking forward to your part II! It just seems unbelievable to me that I grew up so close to NY but never got to Governors Island! I am so thankful you have given me the chance to visit through your spectacular pictures. I love your blog!

The Gathering Place said...

Thanks for sharing another fun neighborhood! Some day I hope to visit some of them.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy your husband and I lived in NJ for a while in 1983...we never did this tour...sad, it looks FUN! We mainly used to go to China Town to eat and grocery shop for Asian foods!

Lily Hydrangea said...

I am so psyched to see you wrote about this . Everyone keeps telling me about this place I guess I must visit before it closes.

Vee said...

You went to New England and Canada on the QEII? How interesting!

betsy said...

Pat- those photos of military housing on Governor's Island could have been taken in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Uncanny! I cannot believe these houses are in NYC.