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NYguy

NY waterfront part II: GOVERNORS ISLAND (37 pics)

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NYguy    0

Governors Island is the largest island in NY harbor. It was given to the US government and was occupied by the military for a couple of hundred years, most recently the US Coast Guard, which left the island in 1996. It was the world's largest coast guard base, with about 15,000 residents.

The island includes a school, restaurants, golf course, and a movie theater. It has sat abandoned for almost a decade while the US government and the city worked out an agreement on a return of the island to the city. Part of the island was declared a national park, and the agreement states that there must be no private development of the island. Plans for the future of the island are being worked out by the city, and it includes possible uses by CUNY (City University of NY), B&B hotels, conference centers, but mostly open space for the public.

While most of the island remains off limits, it is slowly being reopened to the public. A mile long stretch of the western promenade is now open on saturdays, and tours of some of the historical buildings on the island are given during the week.

I took a trip to the promenade (sat June 19th), and below are some photos from that trip....

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NYguy    0

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The view of Downtown Manhattan as we leave the Battery Maritime Building on the ferry for Governors Island...

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It was a quick 3 or 4 minute trip to Governors Island...a look at the ferry landing

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A welcome to the island...

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Manhattan is never too far from view...

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NYguy    0

The island is a sea of green, and I'm already convinced once its fully open will be on of New York's greatest treasures -

as great if not better than Central Park, Coney Island, or the Bronx Zoo combined

(it has the potential)...

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There are more extensive tours of the historical buildings during the week.

I will go back for that, but here's a small sample. The Admirals House is

the building where President Reagan and Mikhail Gorbechev held their famous summit...

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Yellow was the color of choice for some of the builings...

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The entrance to Fort Jay...

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The dry moat that surrounds Ft. Jay...

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Some barracks on the interior of Ft. Jay....(storage for ammunition was underneath)

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Target: Manhattan!

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Nearby, a second fort was built on Goverors Island, Castle Williams (sister to Castle Clinton on Manhattan)...

http://www.rpa.org/greensward/Govisland/Castlewilliams.html

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The interior court of Caste Williams...

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Castle Williams also served as a prison during the Civil War...

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NYguy    0

There are lots of average buildings, and even some bus stops (or such) along the way...

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The setting is perfect for a lazy afternoon picnic...

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When the island fully reopens, summer nights will be spectacular...

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It was very windy out, the surf was rough, and there were a few unexpected "showers" as a result...

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The promenade will eventually fill with bikers, bladers, and more casual strollers...

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The City of rocks...

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The ferry back to Manhattan

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And a return to the "mainland"...

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PghUSA    0

Great Pics,

Interesting backstory on the Island, there is no road to it if I remember correctly though most fun trips are done on the harbor by Ferry.

As far as the city's largest island technically that would be Staten and then Manhattan maybe even Long since the city has Queens and Brooklyn on it.

It always amazed me how long time NYers would refer to "that" Island when talking about the Roosevelt Train or Liberty Island or Roosevelt Island, every borough except the Bronx is its own Island or on an Island. :lol:

Thanks man great pics!

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Cotuit    0

Excellent tour! I really enjoyed it. Yes it will be a great addition to the public in NYC. Questtion, are the bus stops local to the island, or is there also a road where city buses come to the place?

There's no bridge to the 'mainland,' just island shuttles.

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NYguy    0

As far as the city's largest island technically that would be Staten and then Manhattan maybe even Long since the city has Queens and Brooklyn on it.

It always amazed me how long time NYers would refer to "that" Island when talking about the Roosevelt Train or Liberty Island or Roosevelt Island, every borough except the Bronx is its own Island or on an Island. :lol:

New York is in reality a city of islands. (There's a book by that same name with photos.) Manhattan and Staten Island are islands, Brooklyn and Queens are at the western end of Long Island. And the Bronx, the only part of the city on the "mainland", is connected only to its north.

But boroughs aside, Governor's Island is far from the city's largest. City Island in the Bronx is an experience of its own, and worth a trip. Wards/Randall's Island is also larger, and is in the process of undergoing its own makeover, with an amphitheater, waterpark, lots of ballfields, etc. There's always Roosevelt Island in the East River. Rikers Island, also in the East River, is home to the city's prison population. There are numerous larger islands in Jamaica Bay (Queens), one of which has the neighborhood of Broad Channel. One of the city's most famous islands, Coney Island, is in fact no longer an island. Its almost an island, but was connected to Brooklyn with fill a long time ago.

Governor's island is unique for its primary military use for so many years. It is only now beginning to reveal itself to the public. That's part of the mystique and amazement of this island, so close yet so far from Manhattan....

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Wendell FOX    0

Great tour, it reminds me of a mini-tour of Manhattan's waterfront I had myself about a week ago, I didn't go to the island or anything but nevertheless I have to say that it's an experience pictures and words alone don't make up for (though these pics are great). I agree with heckles, there's no such thing as too much of downtown Manhattan.

Anyways I like the castle-like fortress establishments in those pics, though to me, the skyscrapers will always be the real castles. :)

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