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Go To Governors Island!

Governors Island is a car-free, New York City paradise and now it's open to residents weekends from June thru Sept 2nd.To get there, enjoy a short free ferry ride from lower Manhattan or use new service provided by New York Water Taxi. Bring your bike, enjoy a picnic, absorb awesome city harbor views, take historical tours, and experience Folk festivals all July long. Find all the wonderful details on the Governors Island Alliance website who along with Trorb Productions brings you this short video of opening day 2007.


[intro music]

Rob Pirani: [00:24] Governors Island really is right here in the centre of the harbour and it really belongs to all of New York. And what we’re trying to do with the festival and really with the activities all during the summer is to get people sort of out here so they feel like this is their park, that it’s their Island.


Leslie Koch: [00:40] To enjoy Governors Island this summer, which is every weekend, every Saturday and Sunday from ten to five, you can bring your bicycle, you can picnic, we have concerts and programmes every single Saturday, we have a tram and we have our partners at the National Park Service leading guided tours of the Island, both by tram and by foot.


Speaker: [00:57] It’s like a little 19th Century village next to Manhattan.


Speaker: [01:00] We played Frisbee, listened to the music.


Speaker: [01:02] This is amazing. Car free first of all. Very quiet.


Speaker: [01:06] It’s an easy bike ride for kids and adults, and it’s an easy walk for people who might not do a lot of walking, and the views are spectacular. It’s a great place to come and see.


Speaker: [01:19] It’s so close to either Manhattan or to Brooklyn. You can take the free ferry from Manhattan or hop on a water taxi and be in here about five minutes.


Tom Fox: [01:27] We’re very excited, today we’re opening the water taxi service to Governors Island and it’s the first time that Red Hook and DUMBO are being connected directly to the Island. And boats all accept bikes, you just bungy them up to the front railing. It’s great to see the waterfront growing and Governors Island being connected and the people getting to use it.


Speaker: [01:47] The property is incredible. The buildings, the structures here… I’ve lived in New York all my life and I’ve never even knew about that this actually was on. I’m thrilled to be here, it’s very exciting opening day for me.


Speaker: [01:57] We went at Castle Williams and one of my friends called us who is a history teacher and it was like you’ve got to come here so you can tell the kids. And they’re planning on coming in December too.


[music]

Ken Fisher: [02:28] You know it’s not just Governors Island, it’s the people’s island and having all of the folks out here is just the beginning. And I think that it’s a place for families to come and enjoy, it’s a place for tourists to come and realise what America’s heritage in New York City is, and most importantly it’s a place that has incomparable views and a wonderful opportunity for open space for the entire region.


Linda Neal: [02:48] It’s just amazing to me how many people have enjoyed coming here over the past five years, and the number of activities that have increased. If you’ve been here once and think you’ve done it all, you haven’t.


Speaker: [02:59] This view of Manhattan, I mean where else do you get this kind of view?


Speaker: [03:02] The bridges look very nice from here and you can see the ferry terminals.


Speaker: [03:08] I’m amazed at the amount of open park space available and everybody’s running around and children are free to run and be safe and enjoy themselves.


[music]

Anne Frederick: [03:19] At family day today we’re asking kids to come to visit to tell us what they would like to see in their dream park for the new part of the park that’s getting rebuilt.


Speaker: [03:28] I would include a big giant swimming pool in the centre. It’s so hot today. And a big garden at the bottom of the island with some cherry bushes.


Speaker: [03:36] I’m drawing me flying a kite and I’m flying me in the sky.


Speaker: [03:40] It’d be nice if you had a carousel here.


Speaker: [03:42] Like a toddler playground with maybe like a sprinkler.


Speaker: [03:46] Music fountains that kids can play inside.


Speaker: [03:49] The stage acts were very nice. I think more of that for children, that’s great. It’s always great.


Speaker: [03:55] I’m a native New Yorker and I wanted to give back to my community and this is very exciting for all of the purposes that Governors Island have in the ensuing years. It’s going to be a great summer.

[music]

http://transcriptdivas.ca/transcription-canada/

Clarence Eckerson Jr. has been making fantastical transportation media in NYC since the late 1990s. He's never had a driver's license and never will.

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  • http://sustainableflatbush.org Anne (www.sustainableflatbush.org)

    can't wait to go! interesting lecture series on Saturdays too:

    CUNY Climate Change Science Lecture Series and Exhibition on Governors Island
    CUNY is proud to present its second annual science lecture series and science exhibition on Governors Island. The exhibition will be open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays, starting June 2nd and ending September 2st. The lecture series will be given each Saturday afternoon starting on June 2nd, and continue to September 2nd located in Pershing Hall, beginning at 12:30 pm (see lecture series list below). Both are free and open to the public. These events are part of a nation wide effort led by Focus the Nation (http://focusthenation.org/), which will coordinate faculty and students at U.S. colleges, universities, and high schools to engage in a nationwide discussion centered around the theme of “Stabilizing the Climate in the 21st Century.”

  • http://www.mlliu.com Brunswickian

    I got the chance to visit Governors Island during Open House NY last year. You can really feel the history in that place--brick buildings, brick walkways--plus, it was nice just being somewhere with so many trees. I can't wait to go back with my bike!

  • Lynne

    Governors Island was a small town, abandoned by New York and the US Government in 1996. Despite a recent NY Times article that said that the southern part of the island was comprised of "tacky barracks", there were no barracks there, tacky or not. Instead, the lower two-thirds of the island held the infrastructure of that small town, with housing for six or seven thousand people, an elementary school, several houses of worship, swimming pool, bowling alley, commissary, post exchange, movie theater, several restaurants,and more. All gone, given to demolition by neglect/abandonment. Some of the housing wasn't 20 years old.

    You wonder what Manhattanites would think if they knew that several hundred apartment units in the borough of Manhattan were deliberately abandoned.

    I have written to governmental agencies and to the press about Governors Island for 11 years, with no response from anyone. I have written about how no one needed to develop a "plan". The island was as it should be - a place that could have continued to offer residential housing while linking itself to the Borough of Manhattan in a way that it had not over three centuries.

    Oh well, 2/3 of the island is gone. Since so few people have ever been on the island, not many are there to witness what the federal, state and local governments have taken.

  • RICK SLATE

    IN 1977 I JOIN THE COAST GUARD AT THE AGE OF 17.I HAD RECEIVED ORDERS TO GUNNERS MATE SCHOOL.I FOUND OUT THE SCHOOL WAS ON GOVERNORS ISLAND NY.BEING A CONTRY BOY FROM NORTH CAROLINA I SIAD NO WAY.JUNE 1979 I GOT ANOTHER SET OF ORDERS,WHERE ELSE GI NY.I ARRIVED AT PENN STATION AND I CAN REMEMBER WALKING TO A STREET CORNER AND ALL THE CARS LOOKED ALIKE(YELLOW).SOME HOW I MADE IT TO BATTERY PARK.I ASK A MAN AT THE SAT ISL TURM HOW DO I GET TO GOV ISL. I BOARDED THE LITTLE WHITE FERRY AND TO THE ROCK I WENT.I SPENT 16 WEEKS THERE AND I HATED TO LEAVE.WE HAD EVERY THING THERE YOU WOULD EVER NEED.AT THE END OF THE SCHOOL DAY WE WOULD EAT TAKE SHOWER AND HIT THE BIG CITY.MY BEST FRIEND AND HIS WIFE ALSO WENT TO SCHOOL ON THE ROCK.WE HEARD THAT TH CG WAS SHUTTING DOWN THE SCHOOLS AND CLOSING DOWN THE WHOLE ISLAND.I THOUGHT FOR YEARS THAT THE ISLAND WAS TO NICE OF A PLACE JUST TO LET IT CRUMBLE APART. I PULLED UP THIS WEB SITE BY CHANCE AND I HAVE TO SAY, IT'S GREAT THAT THE ROCK IS A LIVE ONCE AGAIN.THE COAST GUARD MAY HAVE SHUT HER DOWN BUT THE MEMORIES OF THE YOUNG MAN FROM CAROLINA ENJOYING THE BIG CITY CAN NEVER BE TAKEING AWAY.IT WAS 28 YEARS AGO SINCE I WAS ON GOV ISL AND AFTER LOOKING AT THE VIDEO IT LOOKS LIKE SHE'S BEEN GIVEN A NEW LIFE.THANKS RICK SLATE

  • Joe Harnedy

    As a former civilian employee of the U.S. Coast Guard who began working on Governors Island as a Federal Firefighter in 1969, and worked there until 1990, when I retired as Fire Chief, I am pretty familiar with the "Rock" as it was nicknamed. In 1969, the official name of the installation was the U.S. Coast Guard Base New York. In the 1980s the Coast Guard decided to downsize the installation and began moving various units off of the island. Among these units were the largest Coast Guard vessels (Dallas, Gallatin, and the Morgenthau)as well as the various Training schools that were located on the island (Search & Rescue, Gunnery, etc.) To most of the civilian employees who worked on the island, this was the tip of the iceberg and we knew eventually that the Coast Guard was going to pack up and leave someday in the near distant future, as their budget was limited and Governors Island was too rich for them to support. A new command called the Maintenance Logistic Command (MLC) was created, but it was much smaller than it had been when it was under the 3rd Coast Guard District. I was fortunate enough to retire before the USCG left the island, but I have good memories of the various events that took place on the island, such as the BiCentennial Celebration in 1976, Liberty Weekend in 1986, and the Summit in 1987 where President Reagan, Vice President Bush, and Soviet Premier Gobachev met in the Admiral's Quarters (Bldg.#1) to discuss world peace. At the south end of the island, President Reagan dedicated a large boulder in honor of Liberty weekend, also the Coast Guard built several multi-storied dwellings in that area and called it "Liberty Village". From what I have seen while riding the Staten Island Ferry over to Manhattan, those buildings have been demolished, and the area is a large picnic area. Time marches on. My fervent hope is that NYC does something good with the island, and does not let it languish away, but with the budget as it is, I don't see how they can maintain its upkeep.