There are days when I can’t imagine ever leaving this area. Then I read the Travel section of the New York Times and I can’t imagine ever staying in this area. But then I spend a random Saturday wandering around an abandoned military installation overrun for the day with artsy hippies, and I know I’ll never leave.
Speaking of artsy (or not), pop on over to Craftastrophe today to see the beautiful accessory I’m suggesting Bridezilla wear instead of a veil. See? I’m always looking out for Gwen. Further proof that I’m the Best Old Married Hag of Honor, EVER.
Why the hell didn’t anyone tell me about Governor’s Island earlier?!? Sure, I’d seen it floating out there just to the left of the Liberty Bitch (as I affectionately call her), but I never really gave it much thought. You Brooklynites have been holding out on me.
Here’s the story for those of you that have no idea what the hell I’m even talking about. There’s this island, about a mile in length just chillin’ in the bay off the tip of Manhattan. By the time I moved to NYC it had already been abandoned. But apparently it served as a military base for two centuries, beginning with the US Army claiming the island in 1783 after ousting the Brits.
The Army built two (now landmarks) fortifications, Castle Williams and Fort Jay prior to the War of 1812. During the Civil War, the Army used those forts to hold captured prisoners. After that, I don’t really understand what the Army did with the place, but it remained in their hands until 1966 when the US Coast Guard set up shop on the island. Then those guys ran away a mere 30 years later, leaving the island abandoned until they agreed to sell the majority of the island to the state of New York for a whopping $1. (Coincidentally, that’s probably what my apartment is going to sell for if St. Joe doesn’t step it up a notch.)
I’m not sure who constructed all the beautiful buildings – I guess it must have been the Army – but it seems downright tragic for them to have been left abandoned out there. I was there to experience Figment, but I continually found myself hypnotized by the history and beauty of our surroundings.
We’d pop into buildings to view installations, and I’d get lost in the crown molding, the high ceilings, the flaking plaster, the ancient light switches, the rippled glass, the inlaid wooden floors. For an instant I thought, “I could live here. Do I really need potable water and the ability to leave the island anytime other than weekends in the summer? Rocco could always ride a jetski to speed up the commute.” Maybe this real estate stuff is starting to get to me.
We decided to leave the festival briefly, and walk the loop around the perimeter of the island. We found an old map of the installations. They had a swimming pool, a bowling alley, a library, a golf course, a movie theater. They even had a Burger King. My brain is still swimming with daydreams of what life must have been like on that island.
Every time I pulled out my camera to snap a picture I thought, “Man I would love to see what Bridget could do with this place.” I don’t have her mad skills, but here are a handful of shots of from the place that is currently haunting my little mind.