I had just been in New York for about one week when my birthday happened. And since I am not under thirty anymore, actually quite far from that, I decided to keep a low profile on it and not tell anyone in my new life about it.
I casually went in the office and nothing spectacular happened that day. However, the next day did bring a surprise. We have a colleague who lives two hours away from New York and she comes in a few time a week in the office. It so happened that she came in on the 20th and brought me a gift as a welcome to the city and the team. I thought the coincidence was kind of nice. The gift was a book called “111 places in NY that you might not miss”. It’s not the typical, touristic spots, but more off the beaten path and not so popular places. As I explored the book, I found Governors Island.As this is not far from where I live – just a fifteen minutes ferry ride and it costs only 2 dollars – I decided I should check it out during the weekend. So when I finally find the right Saturday to go here, a colleague gives me the sad news that it’s going to rain. As I am a true optimistic I keep my hopes high until Saturday morning comes with its heavy raindrops. I guess no more Governors Island. The rain stops around 2 PM, so not a lot of time left to explore an island. I slowly switch my plans to Brooklyn, as that’s also just one ferry stop away. My friend Laura and my roommate also join in. We meet at the ferry pier and as we arrive, the Brooklyn ferry had just left. It seems like it’s not our lucky day. But we notice that the Governors Island ferry just got to the pier so we make a spontaneous decision to go to the island instead, which was my main purpose. The place is beautiful and very tranquil, nothing like New York, no cars, no skyscrapers, no deafening noise – an oasis where you can truly relax, enjoy a bike ride or kayaking, watch movies, have a picnic, go on slides and probably more activities I haven’t discovered yet.
As we pass between the man made hills, we can hear loud music and see white tents in the grass. There are signs everywhere indicating that this is a private party, but my friend just asks a random guy what is happening there and how long it’s going to last for. It turns out that our guy is quite influential and he helps us pass all the security guards and lets us in. And I thought he was just a simple landscape guy. Appearances are deceiving.
We enjoy a semi alcoholic drink for fifteen bucks, do some people watching of interesting characters – such
as the guy wearing a hat with 2 chickens on it and the woman with lips that cover half of her face. (no close up photos, I am trying to be GDPR compliant :)). This is how you end up seeing Governors Island and crashing a private party. As Laura puts it, “I like it when things just happen.”
P.S. You can read more about the history of the island here.