Thursday, June 17, 2010

govnahs island

governors island, the former-military-base-turned-car-free park/artist-haven/biking-paradise recently opened for the season, and a friend's birthday picnic was a perfect reason to hop a ferry and check it out.  the majority of the island is park-like with grassy open spaces and a hammock-furnished picnic area overlooking the statue of liberty (ahhh, hammocks - truly a brilliant addition).  i guess the island was hosting an arts festival and we encountered quite the spectrum of performing artists from the more traditional (a 40ish year old woman in 80s spandex scratchily singing "everyone in new york is crazy ... yeah yeah yeah ... everyone in new york is crazy ... yeah yeah yeah ... everyone in new york is crazy ..." (keep repeating it for 10-15 minutes to get the full picture) to the perhaps less expected (the line of "greek gods" as one member of our group called them, who, perhaps dressed in bed sheets, were in single file making extremely slow exaggerated walking movements to the very slow beat of various handheld musical instruments).

i have yet to see water taxi beach - i didn't make a special point to see it this past weekend, partly because it rained, and partly because i expected the beach to be only a tease.  you see, although with some cognitive effort, i had managed to forgive the idea of importing sand to create the pretense of a beach, i did not want to get too attached to a "beach" where one might soak up one's fill of sun only to discover that splashing in the ocean afterward was verboten.  however, having recently learned that beach volleyball nets are in existence there, i have also decided to forgive the beach its lack of ocean access.  i'd like to call the island central park south, but it is relatively newly acquired and is still a little rough around the edges - the real central park would likely feel slighted (i do mean literally a bit rough around the edges- the path around the island is still a bit rough ... but i read plans for developing the island, and it looks like a new promenade is in the works.  nonetheless, it is a nice place to run or bike).  there were charming pale(ish) yellow victorian houses dotting part of the landscape (i suggested to J that we live in one because it would be fun to live on such a pleasant little island a 1/2 mile from manhattan ... and then i remembered that i wouldn't be able to swim in the ocean and changed my mind - visiting is sufficient).  i want to explicitly say that the island is lovely and a fun place to visit ... because i also want to say something that would obscure those thoughts, were they not explicit.

there were a bunch of red brick barracks-like (? - i'm no military expert) or almost dorm-like buildings, and the collection of architecturally similar buildings surrounding green areas had a campus feel to it - with one striking exception.  no signs of life within the walls.  a collection of seemingly abandoned buildings, particularly on a dreary, drizzly gray day, is creepy.  i think perhaps hollywood should jump on this island as a setting for a (non-gory) thriller before the abandoned buildings get auctioned and beautified.  then again, i also thought i was so clever because i thought it would be brilliant to build a college campus there.  and then i found out that apparently nyu already had that idea a long time ago.

all in all, govnah's island was an enjoyable place to visit.  it is even worth the short subway trip to south ferry, which is, of course, one of my highest compliments (unfortunately, i am not always able to convince those around me that that it really isn't too far to walk several miles to and from a destination (where more walking or other physical activity will take place) ... thus, i have found myself unwittingly frequenting the subway ... but my fellow new yorkers may be relieved to know that recent rides have continued to be uneventful - it seems that sangria promotes long term protection against motion sickness).

4 comments:

  1. Cracklepuff WheezlebonkerJune 18, 2010 at 9:54 AM

    Why didn't nyu go for it?

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  2. i thought they are trying to go for it:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/12/nyregion/12island.html

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  3. i would just like to say, that i took a picture of that same sparkly dude too. excellent people watching skills my friend :)

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