Yesterday was a beautifully sunny, late-September Sunday. Summer is slowly slipping away from us here in NYC, and we were determined to make the most of this blue-skied day. After a quick morning run, a trip to the supermarket and some super speedy cooking, we packed up our picnic and paced down to Brooklyn Bridge Park to catch the ferry over to Governors Island.
The ferry whizzes you past the most spectacular views of Manhattan: the two minute journey across the river is not nearly enough time to snap enough photos of that iconic skyline.
You disembark the Brooklyn ferry on to Buttermilk Promenade and stroll down past rows of perfectly identical, orderly, colonial-style houses.
Governors island was a military base for over 200 years, but now the buildings all stand empty, with the exception of a few art exhibitions and installations. I imagine the island would have an eerie, vacant atmosphere on a winter's evening, but on a bright summer's day when it's bustling with visitors, I would happily move into any one of these buildings and make it my home. I certainly would never get tired of the views from the elegant windows.
Although, on further reflection, I may need multiple homes. Luckily, there seem to be plenty left here to spare: I'd like to be able to switch between views of Lady Liberty and Ellis Island, to looking out over the Buttermilk Channel to Brooklyn, and of course there would have to be a room from which I could admire the overwhelming towers of Manhattan.
We meandered around the island: with no cars, no buses, no trains (only bicycles and walkers are allowed), the place feels like a giant floating park, decorated with disused buildings which have been left behind from another era. Children happily run and play, adults catch up on sleep on a blanket in the shade, families eat picnics on bright red tables in the dappled light which shines down through the leafy trees.
As we sat with our picnic, gazing at the helicopters flying overhead, breathing in the pollution-free air, we felt many, many miles away from the bustling city.
We walked off our lunch visiting the many historical landmarks, B making sure I brushed up on my (distinctly lacking) knowledge of American history, while I daydreamed about maybe also moving into one of these yellow houses to spend my days sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch with a jug of iced tea always in reach.
The rest of the afternoon was spent lying under this tree, snoozing and reading: the perfect way to spend a sleepy Sunday.
Governors Island is open from the end of May to the end of September. The Manhattan Ferry departs from the Battery Maritime Building; the Brooklyn Ferry departs from Pier 6, Brooklyn Bridge Park. For more detailed information on schedules and opening times see here.