Governors Island Opens New Season Packed with Attractions and Events
Above: Docking at Governors Island, the 172-acre park that is a five-minute ferry ride from Lower Manhattan. Below: The new, 132-foot-long ferry to Governors Island has increased the frequency of trips from Lower Manhattan to three times per hour.
The 172-acre island off Lower Manhattan that was called Nutten by British settlers in the colonial era, but which we know as Governors Island, will kick off its 2021 season tomorrow (Saturday, May 1), with a broad range of programs and offerings.
Hammock Grove offers lounging, accompanied by a new herd of sheep brought in to control invasive flora. Kids will delight in the nearby Hammock Grove Play Area, along with the water feature at Liggett Terrace, and Slide Hillʼs collection of helter skelter-esqe winding descents. Thrill seekers of all ages may wish to check out Adventures at Governors Island, which, for a fee, offers a 300-foot zip line and climbing wall.
Visitors hoping for sensory and cerebral fun will be drawn to the New York Virtual Volcano Observatory, which recreates the experience of exploring a volcano, featuring real world and simulated displays of volcanic geology. The facility will also host PHREATIC!—the inaugural teaching exhibition of WetLab, an emerging art-science collective and curatorial laboratory at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study.
The Hills, an artificially created set of four peaks on Governors Island, which have been recognized with an Excellence in Civic Space award from the Urban Land Institute of New York.
A more placid way to interact with nature can be found at the Urban Farm, which hosts visitors wishing to engage with environmental learning programs at GrowNYCʼs Teaching Garden, featuring rows of outdoor crops, and greenhouses. Next door, say hello to the chickens of Earth Matter, a nonprofit that teaches New Yorkers about composting
Food and drink options include Island Oysterʼs summer fare and tropically inspired cocktails, wood-fried Neapolitan-style pizzas at Pizza Yard, Jamaican fusion cuisine at Fauziaʼs Heavenly Delights, modern Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine at Makina Caféʼs, and Melt Bakeryʼs artisanal ice cream sandwiches.
Those who prefer to sizzle their own steaks will want to reserve an outdoor grill at Picnic Point. (For reservations, please browse: www.govisland.com) And visitors who don’t want to leave when the day is done should check out the overnight “glamping” accommodations (complete with full hotel-style service and experiential dining) offered in safari tents. (For more information, please browse: www.CollectiveRetreats.com)
Access to Governors Island is by ferry from the Battery Maritime Building, located at Ten South Street (between Whitehall and Broad Streets). Ferry tickets are priced at $3, but are free for all passengers on Saturdays and Sundays before noon, and at all times to seniors, children under 12, military personnel, New York City Housing Authority residents, and holders of the NYCID card. Ferries depart the Battery Maritime building starting at 10:00 am, and run every 40 minutes through 4:40 pm (on weekends) and 4:00 pm (weekdays).
As part of Governors Island’s social distancing program, ferry tickets must be reserved in advance this year. To make a reservation, please browse www.govisland.com
Online concert. During trying times, music stills our souls and provides a healing grace. Throughout the season of Lent, Comfort at One will present performances that are inspired by the Gandhi quote: “In the midst of darkness, light persists.” These concerts include improvisations by Julian Wachner, light-inspired Bach cantatas, our 2014 Lenten “Lamentatio” series featuring NOVUS NY and The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, new performances from the Trinity Youth Chorus and St. Paul’s Chapel Choir, and new virtual content on Fridays from our extended family of artists. Free
Sunset Singing Circle
Singer/songwriter Terre Roche leads this weekly singing program with the beautiful backdrop of the setting sun in NY Harbor. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned crooner, the singing circle is perfect for mellow melodies and healthy harmonizing. Participants are expected to bring their own equipment: blankets, instruments, water, etc.
• Masks and contact information required upon arrival.
• Participants must maintain six feet of physical distance between households.
• All programs will be held in accordance with New York State reopening guidance.
BPCA Prepares Preliminary Steps to Implement South End Avenue Plan
The Battery Park City Authority offered an update on its plans to reconfigure South End Avenue and West Thames Street. This project envisions narrowing both South End Avenue and West Thames Street, while widening nearby sidewalks, and relocating several bus stops.
Board chair Tammy Meltzer began the discussion by noting that CB1, “passed resolutions and had dialogue about South End Avenue going back five years. It’s been very long time that we’ve been waiting for capital improvements on South End Avenue,” in a reference to the BPCA’s presentation about its budget, offered at the April 7 meeting.
BPCA president B.J. Jones replied, “we do have a line item for South End Avenue for this year, to kick the design and engineering into gear. And you’re right, Tammy. We have talked and spent a lot of time with that effort. And it is time that we get started.” To read more…
After a year-long closure, the Regal Battery Park Theater (located at 102 North End Avenue, in the pedestrian arcade between Vesey and Murray Streets) has reopened, as part of public health guidelines that allow movie houses to resume operation at reduced capacity.
The Downtown Alliance, in partnership with The Tank and En Garde Arts, will present a live, free outdoor performance festival in Lower Manhattan on the weekends of May 15/16 and May 22/23.
Three open-air venues (Four New York Plaza, where a covered loading dock will become a stage; the 85 Broad Street arcade, adjacent to Stone Street; and One Battery Park Plaza, featuring with views of New York Harbor) will host performances from noon to 8:00 pm. Participating artists include multiple Obie Award and Pulitzer Prize winners, as well as emerging voices, such as playwright/actress Kaaron Briscoe; playwright/actor David Greenspan; hip-hop, spoken word and performance artists Baba Israel and Grace Galu; and popular downtown music and storytelling duo James and Jerome. Tickets are free, but required — and must be reserved in advance for social distancing and pandemic precautions. To R.S.V.P., please browse: TheTankNYC.org and/or EnGardeArts.org
Ars Gratia Artis
The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) is offering 18 free arts classes for older adults, with offerings ranging from a Japanese dance workshop to memoir writing. The organization has enlisted more than a dozen professional artists, working across a broad range of disciplines, oversee creative-aging projects for Downtown seniors. The classes are offered through June 30, and all are remote and free to attend. No previous experience is required, and art materials are provided. The series includes dance and movement, music, theater and storytelling, visual arts and writing and literature. For more information, or to sign up, please browse: https://lmcc.net/resources/artist-residencies/su-casa/
Socialize Under the Stars
Pier 17 will re-open the Greens, its rooftop space, on May 3.
A reservation (priced at between $20 and $40, depending on the time of day, with a portion of the fee going to local charities) get you a ten-by-ten patch of mini-lawn, with with cabana-style lounge chairs, a sun umbrella, a USB charging port and a cooler. Bites and cocktails cost extra, but the panoramic view is included. For more information, please browse: http://thegreens.pier17ny.com
The Battery Park City Authority asks that the public not interact with or feed the urban wildlife in the neighborhood’s parks and green spaces, and at the waterfront.
Digital event. Take a fun and informative virtual tour of the zero waste work happening at the Battery Park City Authority!
Downtown Non-Profit Sues to Halt Arrest for Minor Offenses
A non-profit based in Lower Manhattan is suing the New York Police Department and the City to halt the practice of arresting people accused of low-level offenses, such as administrative violations and infractions, misdemeanors, and some class-E felonies.
The Legal Aid Society, headquartered at 199 Water Street, filed suit on April 14 in New York State Supreme Court, on behalf of multiple plaintiffs who were arrested and detained on minor offenses during the demonstrations that convulsed Lower Manhattan last summer, following the death of George Floyd in police custody in May.
More Survivors than Responders Now are Submitting Claims
The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) has released its annual report for 2020, which documents some significant developments.
Over the course of its ten years of operation thus far, the VCF has awarded $7.76 billion to more than 34,400 individuals who have suffered death or personal injury as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and their aftermath. The vast majority of these injuries take the form of illness caused by exposure to toxic materials that were released by the destruction of the World Trade Center.
311 – Emperor Galerius legally recognizes Christians in the Roman Empire
1315 – Enguerrand de Marigny is hanged on the public gallows at Montfaucon.
1492 – Columbus is given royal commission to equip his fleet
1772 – John Clais patents first scale
1789 – George Washington inaugurated as first president of US
1803 – US doubles in size through Louisiana Purchase ($15 million)
1808 – First practical typewriter finished by Italian Pellegrini Turri
1859 – Charles Dickens’ “A Tale Of Two Cities” is first published in literary periodical All the Year Round, continues in weekly installments until Nov 26
1864 – New York becomes first state to charge a hunting license fee
1904 – Ice cream cone makes its debut at the St Louis Exposition
1925 – Automaker Dodge Brothers, Inc is sold to Dillon, Read & Company for $146 million plus $50 million for charity.
1939 – New York World’s Fair opens
One of the first exhibits to receive attention was the Westinghouse Time Capsule, which was not to be opened for 5,000 years (the year 6939). The time capsule was a tube containing writings by Albert Einstein and Thomas Mann, copies of Life Magazine, a Mickey Mouse watch, a Gillette Safety Razor, a kewpie doll, a dollar in change, a pack of Camel cigarettes, millions of pages of text on microfilm, and much more. The capsule also contained seeds of foods in common use at the time: (wheat, corn, oats, tobacco, cotton, flax, rice, soy beans, alfalfa, sugar beets, carrots and barley, all sealed in glass tubes). The time capsule is located at 40°44′34.089″N 73°50′43.842″W, at a depth of 50 feet (15 m). A small stone plaque marks the position.
1961 – First shuttle flights between Washington DC, Boston and NYC begin with Eastern Airlines
1967 – Highest tower to the world finished, in USSR 537meters 1,761 feet tall
1975 – Last US helicopter leaves US embassy grounds, Saigon surrenders
1980 – Terrorists seize Iranian Embassy in London
1990 – US hostage Frank Reed freed after 4 years in hands of pro-Iranians
1991 – In Bangladesh a cyclone killed over 131,000 and left 9 million homeless
2004 – U.S. media release graphic photos of American soldiers abusing and sexually humiliating Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison.
2008 – Two skeletal remains found near Ekaterinburg, Russia, were confirmed by Russian scientists to be the remains of Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia and one of his sisters.
2009 – Chrysler automobile company files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
2009 – Failed attack on the Dutch Royal Family results in 7 deaths and 17 injured.
2012 – The unfinished One World Trade Center overtakes the Empire State building to become the tallest building in New York City
1877 – Alice B. Toklas, companion of Gertrude Stein (d. 1967)
1829 – George Washington Adams, son of John Q Adams, dies on City Island, NYC
1883 – Édouard Manet, French impressionist painter dies at 61
1900 – John Luther (Casey) Jones, dies in Cannonball Express train wreck
1945 – Adolf Hitler, German Dictator (1936-45), commits suicide at 56
1983 – George Balanchine, Russian/US ballet composer/choreographer, dies from Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease at 79
1994 – Richard McClure Scarry, US kid book illustrator/writer, dies at 74