Na na nu nu nah nah, Na na nu nu nah nah….

22 Jul

A few weeks ago, the girls and I hopped on a (free) 10-minute ferry ride from Battery Maritime Building in downtown Manhattan to Governors Island and…you got it: rented bikes on Governors Island and visited the Interactive Sculpture Park (check!)

It wasn’t until we got to the actual bike rental location that we realized the type of bikes we’d be riding for the afternoon.  Think: cruiser bikes, one speed, back pedal to break, basket attached for your bag/belongings, bell on the handlebars (which we obviously weren’t obnoxious with at all…):

Anyway.

While two of the girls took off fast-and-furious-style (“Do they think this is a race?”), two of us took in the island at a more scenic speed (ie. we could chat and gossip).  No matter your speed though, the views from the island, and the water taxi we took home, were absolutely breathtaking!

Honestly, if you have never done this before, hurry up and get your ass to Governors Island!  It’s probably just the city girl in me who never gets to ride a bike but this was seriously such a fun afternoon.  It was also one of those rare opportunities in which you actually stop and think “Wow, I live here!”

We did agree though, when we sat down to take a break over a cold beer (hey, it was almost 100 degrees out that afternoon!), that we should have done a bit more research into the island which, based on the various site descriptions/plaques, has a very interesting history.  Here’s a very quick history of the island based on what I read following our visit (you’re welcome, mom):

Originally referred to as Pagganck, or “Nut Island” by the Native Americans of Manhattan because of its hickory, oak, and chestnut trees, it later privately belonged to Wouter Van Twiller for one year in 1637 before being taken over by the Dutch government.  After the British took over New Amsterdam, the island passed between Dutch and British ownership for a decade before finally being taken over by the English for “His Majesty’s Governors” in 1674.  It was officially named Governors Island in 1784. 

The island was used as a military facility by British and American armies for over 200 years until in 1966 it transferred to the Coast Guard and was used as a residential base for 3500 service men and women.  The Coast Guard cleared out in 1996 and in 2001 and 2002 the US government declared 22 acres the Governors Island National Monument (managed by the National Park Service) while simultaneously selling 150 acres of the island to the people of New York for $1 (managed by the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation; the predecessor to The Trust for Governors Island). 

In opening the island to the public for the first time, the group’s goal was “to bring Governors Island back to life by increasing public access, stabilizing historic buildings and investing in Island infrastructure, executing a multi-phase, mixed  development policy for the Island and creating an extraordinary new park and public spaces.”  There are big plans for Governors Island in 2013 including a six-acre terrace with moveable seating and public art; a 10-acre grove with trees and hammocks, a 14 acre “play lawn” with fields; and a 34-acre historical district which will refresh the Island’s rich past (source).  Further plans are also in the works pending funding; there’s a great article one of the girls found about Governors Island here.

I do not have much to share about Figment but mostly because it was just too damn hot to walk around the exhibit space.  Despite the blazing temperature, we managed to snap a few pics of the girls posed with the Face of Liberty exhibit.  And then, because we’re such incredible friends, we text the pics to a girlfriend who is terrified of the Statue of Liberty.  And to quote her response: “You are all terrible people.”  Hehe – loooove you, sister.

(Also, go ahead and admit that you thought it.  Just for a second…Na na nu nu nah nah, Na na nu nu nah nah….)

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One Response to “Na na nu nu nah nah, Na na nu nu nah nah….”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Ahoy! « Unwedded Bliss - August 8, 2012

    […] may remember that a few of us took the east river ferry home following our afternoon of biking on Governors Island.  Stop after stop during that ferry ride back to midtown, one of the girls came up with the idea […]

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