Amongst all its towering buildings and bustling sidewalks NYC is also home to a huge array of parks and public green spaces. Being from the Midwest where just about everyone has their own private outdoor space I didn’t spend a ton of time in parks when I was growing up. Sure we had the occasional picnic and my Mom and I took a lot of long walks in the woods, but I rarely spent a full afternoon in a park. Living in the concrete jungle sure has changed that – one of my favorite things to do on a summer afternoon in NYC is to round up some friends, pack some snacks and head to a park for several solid hours of relaxing.
This weekend Andrew and I finally checked another box off our Summer Bucket List – our first-ever visit to Governors Island. Located less than a 10 minute ferry ride from either lower Manhattan or Brooklyn the island is a little slice of heaven. During the colonial days Governors Island was reserved exclusively for the use of New York’s Royal Governors, more recently it served as a Coast Guard Base before being turned into a dedicated park space. The island currently hosts bike trails, picnic spaces, art installations and multiple historical forts – a little something for everything.
On Sunday, Andrew, our friend Bryan and I headed to the island to attend a Jazz Age Lawn Festival. The event featured music from the roaring 20s and a lawn full of New Yorkers dolled up in spiffy 20s gear. We settled ourself on a not-very-1920s lined picnic blanket for several hours and enjoyed the show. I’m not sure what was more entertaining, the music or the people-watching, but add a beautiful day, a yummy homemade lunch that we carted along and a few heated card games and we ended up with an incredible afternoon. The Festival will be returning in August and I highly recommend attending. Even if you can’t make it that weekend the island is definitely worth an afternoon.