What if I told you there was an island that only takes five minutes to get to from Manhattan? This island is a fairytale land, with old brick house with white columns out front, their paint peeling. There are no cars, just baby blue bicycles with wide handlebars and leather seats. It takes 15 minutes at a leisurely, I-want-to-see-everything pace to bike around the edge of the island. There are trees growing out of the windows in the apartment buildings.
The weather is always sunny, and you can see the Statue of Liberty clearly from the western side. There’s ice cream, beer, and even bacon to eat. There’s a picnic area and a swing set. Sometimes there are cocktails, and a bride and groom dancing in a half-renovated house at the top of the hill. When it’s hot there’s a cooling breeze that picks up your scarf. When it’s cold you can lay in the sun or gaze out over the sparkling water to the financial district. It’s never cold though. Old sailboats that look like pirate ships drift by. There’s a makeshift mini golf course on this island, that looks like Mr. Grady’s shop class put it together for their end-of-year project, all bright colors and stupid names.
There’s always a festival on the island. You can dance or eat or drink the day away. There is nowhere to go on the island, but that’s OK because you are right where you want to be when you are there. You can sit or you can walk but you can never rush.
There are little, well-behaved kids around, but not too many. There’s artwork that isn’t pretentious. Sometimes it isn’t even good, but it’s good to laugh at. You want to move to the island, but you can’t. Like any good fairy tale island, you have to leave before the sun goes down, take the boat back to the real island, the one that makes you feel like you need to be doing something. But this island is just happy to not have a purpose. It’s just there for mild, lazy entertainment.
Governor’s Island’s last weekend is the next, the 7th through the 10th. You can get there from Brooklyn or Manhattan by ferry. Go there before it slips away from your grasp for a whole six months.