New York’s Hottest Hotspot: Governors Island

June 30, 2009 at 2:50 pm Leave a comment

Governors Island is the buzz of New York. Only four weeks into the 2009 summer season, 40,000 visitors have ferried five minutes across the water to enjoy the beautiful open spaces in the center of the Harbor. Last year at this time, not even half that many people had been to the 172-acre Island. But there is talk in the air about New York’s new, favorite park. If you haven’t been out yet this summer, the time is now. Your visit might include music and dancing, arts and crafts, Civil War uniforms and cannons, kayaking or taking a ride on an historic ship, mini golf, or simply relaxing in a hammock at the newly-opened 8-acre Picnic Point, with views straight to the Statue of Liberty. On the Island’s May 30th opening day, the Veuve Clicquot Manhattan Polo Classic attracted the likes of Madonna, Kate Hudson, Marc Jacobs and polo-playing Prince Harry. The Island offers children’s art classes and summer camp programs, and more art exhibits and historic buildings are open to the public than ever before. And perhaps what’s most exciting – the full 2.2-mile promenade is now open for bikers, walkers, runners, and strollers. Admire the views that us New Yorkers often take for granted, smell the salty air and spend a day with loved ones or on your own in what’s quickly becoming one of the region’s favorite places. This summer, two special events will take advantage of the Island’s most enticing spots, one brand new, the other dating back to pre-Civil War years. Next week, July 10, join the Governors Island Alliance in welcoming the Island’s newest tenant, Water Taxi Beach. And later in the summer, July 26, after what promises to be a riveting performance by folk music icon Judy Collins, celebrate the Island’s architectural beauty with fellow Alliance members for a Garden Party in the historic Admiral’s House in Nolan Park. On Friday, July 10, have a beer with a crowd of young designers, planners and real estate professionals to watch the sun set over the Manhattan skyline at Governors Island’s newest hot spot, Water Taxi Beach. Be among the first to explore this all-new beach, café, and performance space. At the Island’s first-ever happy hour from 6 to 8 pm, the Alliance will honor Tom Fox, founder and CEO of Harbor Experiences, the Water Taxi’s parent company. Mr. Fox has played a pivotal role in the creation of the Water Taxi fleet and its several beaches, as well as Brooklyn Bridge Park and Hudson River Park. Co-sponsored by Emerging New York Architects (ENYA), the beach party will be the second GIA event for young professionals. ENYA is the young professionals group of the New York Chapter of the AIA, and a member of the Governors Island Alliance Young Members. More than 100 of these young design, architecture and real estate professionals came to the Island last fall for drinks in the Admiral’s House. RSVP: Later that same month, come back for an afternoon of music, picnicking and a garden party in the historic Admiral’s House in Nolan Park. On Sunday, July 26, find a place on the grass in Colonels’ Row for the third annual Folks on the Island concert by Judy Collins, presented by Trinity Wall Street and the Governors Island Alliance. Take your time getting back home after the show – join Alliance members in the Admiral’s House from 4 -6 pm for a garden party reception of champagne and light hors d’oeuvres. Enjoy the relaxing shade trees in Nolan Park and share the afternoon with friends, family, and other Island-lovers.

RSVP: All funds raised for these events will go towards free public programs on the Island and the Alliance’s advocacy work. Don’t forget to keep in touch with Governors Island Alliance on Facebook ( and twitter (@govisalliance).

You can also e-mail with any questions. For directions and ferry times, visit We hope you enjoy Governors Island as much as we do this summer, and can’t wait to see you there.

By Elizabeth Case. Reserach Associate, RPA 

Regional Planning Association

Entry filed under: Go Coastal, Manhattan, Public Waterfront. Tags: .

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