Governors Island is closed for the season and that’s a good thing – it gives me a few months to exorcise some moments I’d like to forget. Well, one moment repeated a few times. It all started when I cleaned out my closet and discovered a pair of long forgotten khakis. As I get moody just thinking about shopping, this was even better than finding a $20.
So happy was I to be reunited with my perfect-fitting pants that I decided to wear them to Governors Island. We went a few weeks back on the last Saturday that it was open, and it didn’t take long for me to remember why said khakis got shoved to the back of the closet in the first place. To get to the island from Brooklyn all you need to do is catch the free ferry at the end of Atlantic Avenue. We walked the 2+ miles there and ran to catch the boat so it felt really good to sit down once we got on.
You know the sound velcro makes when it decides to rip apart? That’s what a boat full of people heard as I sat down. Did I mention these pants have a zipper with a top velcro closure AND and drawstring? I prefer buttons. Buttons are reliable, but you’d think three points of closure would suffice, and should one fail the other two should keep you covered. As the boat pulled away from the Brooklyn dock I glanced down to see velcro open, zipper down and drawstring trying and failing to preserve my decency.
Brooklyn is a hop away from Governors so the ferry ride is about two minutes – not even long enough for embarrassment to fully kick in much less recovery mode. While I chastised my danger pants, sister gleefully snapped this photo of heavy clouds over the city.
“Looks like rain. Did we bring an umbrella?” -Nope.
“Your pants are open.” – I know.
“I saw your underwear.” -Thanks.
First we went to the east side of the island where a pretty gigantic art show occupied about five 4-story buildings. Every artist had a room in a former apartment to decorate. The apartments are like nice dorms, which served to showcase many different types of artists without the different visual styles clashing or competing. You only ever saw one space at a time. Walking into each room you immediately know what the artist is about, not only seeing their work, but how and where they’ve chosen to display it.
We got through one building before the dreaded museumed-out feeling started to come over. I only took a picture of my favorite room and spaced on remembering the artist’s name. You walk through this series of hanging water colors and it’s like wandering through a painting. If you happen to know who did this room, please tell me:
The swings awaited so off we went to the food trucks where we split a hibiscus tea and sat at a picnic table smack in the middle of a handful of food carts with small lines. I thought I’d managed to re-zip and re-velcro my pants AGAIN with no one noticing when, between bites of her Mac & Cheese, my sister piped up to ask if I was drafty again.
The swings are on the southern tip of the island so to get there you walk past a handful of older brick buildings that beg exploration:
My dad helped build some of these buildings ages ago so seeing them coming down is strange, but then you look across the way and it makes sense. They plan to put a park where the buildings stand, hopefully with more adult swings and maybe even an adult slide – the swirly kind that’s not metal so it won’t get red hot under the sun and also won’t have any jagged edges to cut your legs open! Kids today with their plastic playgrounds have no idea.
And in case you’re skeptical about this whole adult swings thing, I present evidence:
Also there’s Castle Williams (the same fellow Wiliamsburg Brooklyn is named after):
Inside one of the cannon rooms:
And a cannon pointing at Manhattan. Why not?
The velcro holding my pants up parted ways once on the roof whent I bent down to tie my shoes, and once when I sat down on a bench inside the cannon room. Why did I keep forgetting to not sit down? At least the clouds cleared enough to give Lady Liberty some flattering light:
It occurs to me now that even in her loosely draped toga Lady Liberty was less exposed than I was on that day. At least it didn’t rain.
Did the French really gift us with a symbol to welcome immigrants? Because she’s kind of looking like a giant witch calling to the elements.